In the land of Suburbia there are many SUV/Crossover choices available that offer seven passenger seating. With a slew of all new SUV/Crossovers just hitting the market it would be understandable for any new car shopper to be bewildered by the choice. But just remember you need to be like Goldilocks and pick the SUV/Crossover that is “just right” in size, power and price for you.
First on the gigantic end of the spectrum there is the Chevy Tahoe which needs its own special “big SUV” parking spot at the grocery store. Then on the tiny end are models like the Mitsubishi Outlander which cram a third row in a space not designed to accommodate living humans.
But in the middle of large and small there is a choice spot where Honda Pilots, GMC Acadias and 2011 Kia Sorentos offer up everything 90% of SUV/Crossover buyers will ever need. As it just so happens I recently had the privilege of testing a 2011 Kia Sorento for the week in EX-V6 guise.
I came away mightily impressed by a family vehicle seemingly devoid of flaws. Then, having grown to expect huge deals on Kia models, I was surprised to see this 2011 Sorento EX-V6 that I was testing cost $35,005 including destination. So what makes the Sorento worth this princely sum? Read on to find out.
That Price Includes Every Feature You Could Possibly Want or Need
My test 2011 Kia Sorento EX-V6 came with dual zone climate control, power windows, power door locks, push button entry, push button start, navigation, back-up camera, leather upholstery, Infinity audio sound with USB/Aux-input jack, Bluetooth, a huge panoramic sunroof, heated seats, Sirius, 18-inch chrome alloy wheels and interior ambient lighting that bathes areas like the power window switches in soothing red light. Add in every conceivable safety feature, all-wheel drive and a whole list of stuff I don’t care to mention and it is easy to see why the 2011 Sorento is worth the price.
The Sorento Has Seven Seats but isn’t Huge
Yes, the third row of seats do have enough legroom (mainly for kids) but they are also easy to climb into and out of thanks to cleverly folding second row seats. The Sorento also feels narrow enough for suburban shopping malls and fast food drive-thru lanes. It really is obvious that this car was designed for the realities of day to day life in North America. (Note: the assembly plant for the 2011 Kia Sorento is in Georgia.)
The Interior is Like a Mini Acura MDX
Here is where the 2011 Kia Sorento really impresses. The interior of my black on black EX-V6 model was logically laid out and all of the materials you touch every day were smooth and refined like those you see in VW models. Then I noticed the build quality and realized this Kia’s interior felt uncomfortably like the interior of an Acura MDX (that’s a good thing). To sum it up, the 2011 Kia Sorento has an A+ interior.
The 3.5 Liter V6 Engine is Economical but Fast
The V6 in my test model is all new and pumps out 276 horsepower/248 lb. feet of torque through a smooth and precise 6-speed automatic. EPA figures are 19 city/25 highway and during my testing I averaged 21 miles per gallon. Also keep in mind that this new Kia V6 howls with a aurally pleasing metallic roar when you floor it. So don’t buy the 4-cylinder as it isn’t that much more economical.
The Warranty, of Course…
Although Kia doesn’t need to prove to us their cars are reliable (owner surveys prove this) it is nice to know they still offer a 5 year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Considering how good the 2011 Kia Sorento is you will no doubt want to keep this vehicle for the full 10 years.
Vehicle Provided by: Kia Motors America