When we started a family several years back I traded in my stick-shift sedan for a more family-friendly mid-size SUV. I have a Hyundai that I really love, but it’s not new anymore and it’s definitely my ‘Mom car.’ I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a new ride since mine is getting up there in miles and would love to find something still very family-friendly but a little more modern and stylish. And guess what? I found it! The Kia Sorento is a classy, current, stylish SUV that’s perfect for our whole family.
I love the way the Sorento looks. It’s the perfect size, too. Not too small that it’s cramped for the kids and all their worldly goods, yet not so big that it’s hard to handle. It’s not a boxy design either. Just perfectly sleek without looking space age! I just love it.
The first time I got inside I was a little surprised that there’s no place to insert a key into the ignition. You just push a button to turn the car on and off. This took me a few rides to get used to but I ended up totally loving this feature. It’s wintertime and cold here in Pennsylvania and while I was running around doing my last-minute Christmas shopping I loved being able to beep the locks open from a couple steps away, hop it and put my foot on the brake, hit that button and start the car. This feature totally eliminates fumbling with keys which is not only convenient but safer. You do have to have the smart key in your possession to be able to start the car with this button, so don’t worry about just anyone hopping in and taking off with you car even if you leave it unlocked. (They thought of everything!)
The Sorento has two sun roofs, one in the front and one in the back. My kids thought it was the coolest to have their own sun roof to be in charge of! And I really liked being able to let in the light. We didn’t open them and let the wind blow due to that whole cold winter thing, but I bet they are awesome fun in the summertime! Speaking of kids, we easily got both of them in the car. My son’s convertible car seat uses the latch system which this car has so it was a snap to install. And they both had adequate space to themselves (though that never prevents them putting their hands on each other. Ah, siblings!).
One other really useful safety feature of the Sorento is the reverse camera. When you put the car in reverse you can see what’s behind you in this camera. Obviously you should still look over your shoulders and check for cars or people or anything else that might be in your way, but this is a great way to see what’s directly behind you that you might miss looking out a window. When that screen isn’t serving as a reverse camera it’s a built-in GPS system. It’s so handy to have that built right into the dash. We usually use our phones if we need directions and this is much easier to see and safer to use while driving.
Okay, now let’s get to my favorite interior feature: heated seats. I never wanted to get out of this car because of these babies. When it’s bitter cold outside and you can push a button and warm up your backside….heaven! There’s a separate control for the driver’s and passenger’s seats (lucky for my husband who doesn’t like a warmed butt like I do), and you can control the level of heat too. I cranked that bad boy up and got nice and comfy. I definitely need heated seats in my next car. They are fantastical, especially when it’s 30 degrees outside!
Though we didn’t have occasion to do it, you can pull up the floor of the trunk to create a third row of seats. More than once we’ve wished for more seating, either to take of the kids’ friends with us somewhere or to bring one of our parents out. It’s so nice to have that option if you need it. So the Sorento can seat up to seven! And it’s really easy to pull the seats up and put them back with the little straps attached to the back. It can be done in seconds!
The other thing I found really useful is the HUGE trunk. This was really perfect for the time of year I got to test drive the car: Christmastime! I did a couple of last minute shopping trips, one with a friend where we seriously power shopped and we filled that trunk right up but had plenty of room for our bags.
My friend even bought table lamps so we were grateful for the cargo net in the trunk that kept anything from flying out when you open the door. (Yup, those are lamps, chips and hula hoops. We’re a wild bunch.) This is such a genius idea. You should see me when I open the trunk with a load of groceries in it. One hand on the handle, pulling up very slowly. One hand at-the-ready to grab any loose items ready to hit the garage floor. I’m half bent over, trying to see where the loose item will fall from. It’s not pretty. Let’s leave it at that. With this cargo net I had no worries that I was going to lose my load. I also really like that cargo screen that allows you to hide the contents of your trunk. Perfect for those shopping trips when you want to keep your purchases safe. While this isn’t the greatest pic since I snapped it with my phone in the dark, you get the idea. Plenty ‘o room for your goods!
The Sorento also has a USB port where you can plug in your iPhone or iPod and play your music right through the car stereo! I have a different kind of mp3 player that I couldn’t get it to recognize, but my friend plugged in her iPhone and we rocked out for a little bit on our way home from shopping together. I totally love that feature. I have lots of music on my device that I don’t have on CD. And is it me or is there nothing good on the radio anymore?! You almost have to take your own music. This would make it worth getting a compatible mp3 player to me! I’d use it all the time.
Finally, the car rides like a dream. It’s a smooth ride, not jerky or bumpy and definitely not noisy. One thing I noticed about it is that it has a really nice and tight turn radius. So you don’t have to swing wide to make little turns. We got good gas mileage too. I was surprised how much running around I was able to do before I had to fill it up. We actually got to drive it in the snow twice and had mixed results. On Christmas Eve it had snowed for a little while when we ventured out to church and it handled pretty well on roads that had a decent amount of snow on them. A few days later I went out with the kids and it had just started snowing so there was barely a coating on the roads and that was a little slick. But, I heard the same thing from anyone who was out that day so it may have been more the conditions than the car. You can tell from that picture above that the roads are pretty nasty. Overall we think it handled well in inclement weather.
We totally fell in love with the Kia Sorento. All four members of the family were sad to see it go. My husband isn’t the most excitable guy and even he was gushing over this car. He said he’d definitely love to get a Kia for our next car. Music to my ears since I completely loved it, too! It’s perfect for our family of four and yet feels more like a luxury ride than a ‘Mom car.’ Really there’s nothing ‘Mom car’ about it! Classy and stylin’ is more like it. 😉
These cars start around $23,000 and go up with added options. You can read more about all of the awesome features on the Kia Motors site!
I was provided with temporary use of a Kia Sorento to facilitate this review. The opinions in this post are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.