2011 KIA SORENTO REVIEW
How You Like Me Now?
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Mon, Sep 5, 2011
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
You’ve seen the ad. It’s Muno (from YO GABBA GABBA!), Sock Monkey (Fox River Mills, Inc.), MR. X (BLABLA KIDS collection), The Robot, and Teddybear, with The Heavy singing “How You Like Me Now” in the critically acclaimed “Joyride Dreams” commercial by the advertising firm, David & Goliath. It’s unquestionably a very catchy and likeable commercial for the Kia Sorento crossover SUV. But does it tell you anything about the car? We think not. That’s why we commissioned noted automotive historian and LA Car Review Editor Harold Osmer to spend seven days in the car. Harold reports below. By Harold Osmer The supply of mid-sized crossover vehicles on the market provides ample opportunities for buyers. Kia’s Sorento CUV has been in the game since 2003 and lucky buyers will have a vastly upgraded 2011 package. Previous Sorentos were built following the standard ploy of ten years ago wherein an enclosed body was mounted to an existing truck chassis. Moving into the modern era, Kia has changed all that with the car-based 2011 Sorento.
Contemporary styling allows Sorento to blend well with the crowded field. Let’s face it, vehicles in this class are not meant to be eye turners or rocket sleds. People buy these to carry family, friends, and associated supplies on a daily basis. Running flat-out along a mountain road can be done, but that’s not really how Sorento is meant to be deployed. The 3.5L V6 engine (276 horsepower @ 6300 rpm) is quiet, smooth, and able to pull well when getting onto a freeway. Around town, the engine/transmission package work very well together. Kia’s 6-speed electronically shifted transmission has overdrive and Sportmatic® modes which, again, work very well. Five doors, folding rear seats, and a high roof line make getting in and out of Sorento a simple task. We found the front seats to be a touch too high off the ground, requiring us to climb into and drop out of the car. However, this high seat position also gives the driver and passengers a clear view of the road ahead. The ride is a bit stiff, though confident, with positive steering controls and decent brakes.
Fold the rear seats down and Sorento will hold 72.5 cubic feet of cargo. Front seats provide ample room and comfort. Dual zone temperature controls were unexpectedly welcome at this price range. Overall, the 2011 Kia Sorento offers good value for the price. Many comfort and convenience features, economical V6 engine, and a lot of useable interior space hits the target market spot-on.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT In answer to the question, “how you like me now?.” there’s lot’s to like in the new Kia Sorento. We’d like it even more if Muno, Sock Monkey, Mr. X, Robert and Teddybear came with every model. For more information on Kia products, go to kia.com SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2011 Kia Sorento Price: $21,195 - $32,395 standard features include: Dual Zone Climate control; Independent F/R suspension; SIRIUS satellite radio, USB and Bluetooth compatiblity EPA mileage estimates City/Highway: 20/26 miles per gallon Engine type: 3.5L V6, CVVT DOHC Horsepower: 276@6300 rpm Torque: 248 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm Performance: 0-60 mph 10.1 seconds top speed NA Drive configuration: Front engine / front wheel drive Transmission type: 6-speed Automatic, Electronically Controlled, Sportmatic Mode Suspension: Front: Rear: Independent, Multi-link, stabilizer bar Wheels and tires: 18-inch alloy wheels 235/60R18 Brakes: Front 11.8-inch Vented Disc Rear 11.9-inch Solid Disc Power assisted braking system Overall length/wheelbase: 183.9 inches/106.3 inches Overall width: 74.2 inches Overall height: 67.3 inches (sans roof rack)