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Aaron Gold

Test drive: 2014 Kia Sorento

By March 1, 2013

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2014 Kia SorentoMy latest review is another job for Jason's SUVs site, but it ties in to an issue we've been discussing here vis-a-vis the Mazda6: What aspects of a new car are really important to consumers?

The new 2014 Kia Sorento is a great example. Technically, this a mid-cycle refresh, although Kia did make extensive updates to the underlying structure, taking advantage of changes made to the platform for the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. Anyway, my point is that Kia spent lavishly on the Sorento's touch-points, but saved some cash on the mechanical bits. Does that make it a great vehicle? You can get my opinion in my 2014 Kia Sorento review, and I'd like to hear yours in the Comments section. -- Aaron Gold

Photo Kia

Comments
March 2, 2013 at 2:29 am
(1) Zdravko - Toronto says:

Aaron, nice review, as always. I have two questions for you:

- Which one do you like better – the Sorento or the Santa Fe?
- Can you please upload some more photos – rear space, trunk, more exterior ones?

March 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm
(2) Aaron Gold - Guide to Cars says:

Hi Zdravko –

I haven’t driven the Santa Fe, but Jason has a review here:
http://suvs.about.com/od/hyundai/fr/13_HyundaiSantaFeSportJF.htm

In my experience, the driving dynamics between Kias and Hyundais are similar. Kia tends to have heavier steering, which can be annoying on the highway, but the Sorento’s FlexSteer system solves that since you can turn the effort down. Generally the difference seems to come down to styling, and I tend to prefer the Kias.

Photos: Hopefully Jason will post the gallery soon.

Aaron

March 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm
(3) Eric says:

Sounds like it’s probably an excellent value for most people. Your assessment of the driving dynamics, combined with the hard seats kills it for me. When I test drive, I take a car to an empty parking lot and do a lot of slalom style maneuvers, hard braking and steering exercises, and then take it up several freeway on-ramps to evaluate acceleration into fast moving traffic. I do this because any vehicle that I drive has to be able to perform emergency avoidance maneuvers well in the event that a kid runs out in the street after a ball, or I have to avoid a deer running across the highway as happens so frequently in NE WI. Additionally, a vehicle that can’t merge onto the freeway effortlessly, or perform a simple passing maneuver without a weeks notice gets a fail from me. If a car can pass these simple performance tests, it should fare well for me under “normal” driving conditions. From what you described of this vehicle, it would likely fail or score mediocre in my tests. This is one of the main reasons why I tend to shy away from SUVs and lean more toward cars.

That’s not to say that all SUVs handle poorly. I’ve driven SUVs in the past that handled and performed very well. The old Jeep Cherokee Sport handled like a go-kart, inasmuch as an SUV can, in performance driving. Yes, the ride was stiff, and acceleration in the latter versions was ho-hum, but the early versions were quite nimble. Steering response and road feel was very good. I’m sure there are a few others capable of the same.

March 4, 2013 at 7:30 am
(4) earn money from home for kids says:

Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple,
yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appeal. I must say you have done a awesome job with this. In addition, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Firefox. Exceptional Blog!

March 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm
(5) Andrew says:

Eric, don’t be fooled by some vague wording on the part of the tester here; although I think he’s pretty spot-on regarding quick handling maneuvers, the acceleration is quite a bit more solid than he implies. I own this car (with the V6) and it moves from hanging-back speed to passing speed with considerable alacrity if you’re not subtle with the go pedal. Take a look at the acceleration times compared to others; I guarantee it’s quite a bit quicker than an old Cherokee Sport.

March 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm
(6) Andrew says:

Zdravko, I just finished researching and shopping with both these cars on my list along with others, and for me it was hands-down the Sorento. As similar as they seem on paper, and for all that they share parts and parentage, the first-person experience left me strongly disliking the Santa Fe and purchasing the Sorento. It still seems odd to me that they were so different; maybe I had the bad luck to test drive a real bad apple of a Santa Fe.

February 14, 2014 at 4:50 pm
(7) Fanny says:

I am the Owner of a Kia Sorrento 2008. This USV car in general is good. I love the size and how this car work in a free way, no complain about. unfortunately because I live in NY and in an area of a lot of snow , this car is not recommendable drive in a snowy road or when there are a big accumulation. I am a woman and I had a lot of difficulties to get out from a frozen place. Most of the time I am been stoked on the ice for hours trying to get out even from the parking lot..
The dealer that sold me this car never told me that this car doesn’t have Four Wheel Drive. I realized that the first winter that I have it.
I think that for the money that I paid for this car I could get something better. My suggestion to Kia Motor is that is necessary that add to the Sorrento Four Wheel Drive in order so this car work better in a snow state like mine. .

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