Kia Review

The Kia Sorento is on our short list! It is in the top 3 of our vehicle choices as we consider which family ride will be our next (which we will be purchasing within the next few months). I had the chance to review a Kia Sorento EX FWD on our recent trip to Disneyland and it was quite the experience right from the start.

When we picked up our vehicle from the airport valet parking service it was really late and we were all just ready to hit the road and find a bed — 10pm PT but midnight back home.  I was a bit skeptical of the vehicle at first because I quickly learned that we didn’t get one that has a third row of seats, so here I was with three kids that all needed to fit in one row of seats. Did we do it? Of course we did since we had no choice, but I was amazed that they all actually fit — with a baby seat and two booster seats! I was thinking one kid was going to have to forgo a car-seat, but luckily that didn’t happen.

I snapped a quick shot two days later as we were loading up the vehicle to head off and visit some family that lived in Cali. You can see that we have the rear-facing baby seat and two kids in booster seats easily in the second row.

kia sorento 3 in back row

*Disclaimer – we had to pull out of our parking spot to get the doors open far enough for everyone to get in the vehicle (apparently California parking means really close together?), so even though the kids weren’t buckled properly at this point we did secure them correctly before we drove anywhere.

Thoughts on the Kia Sorento

One of the first things that caught my eye was the huge 8″ touch screen with backup camera, navigation system, and audio controls. It was large, easy to read and pretty easy to use once you figured it out — like anything new you have to play around a bit to figure out all the ins and outs.

What I did really like was that most of your options to get started with the navigation, radio, satellite radio, or the settings were on hard buttons below the screen. I like having an initial one-touch option for what you are looking for.

Kia Navigation

The other thing that I found really fascinating and helpful is that the speed limit is displayed for whatever road you are currently traveling. This was immensely helpful as I can’t tell you how many trips we have taken where we had no idea what the speed limit was wherever we were at that time!

Kia Navigation Speed

Another great feature for me is the dual climate control. My husband is always hot and I’m always cold — problem solved!

Kia Climate Control

Once you hit the Dual button, your selections show up on the screen and you can adjust the temperature for each side of the cabin.


The kids loved the panoramic moon/sun roof the best. They loved having it all the way open in the nice warm sunny California weather — a big change from the blustery winter/spring we have been having in Wisconsin!

Image courtesy of Kia

Image courtesy of Kia

When I asked my husband his thoughts on the vehicle he told me that  this is probably the nicest vehicle he has driven. He also wanted to mention that we have been looking at new vehicles and the Sorento is in our top 3, although this particular model did not have the two options we would like which are All Wheel Drive and a third row of seats — but we have looked at them a few times already with those options.

He also went on and on about the speedometer. While were driving around he was completely taken with it. I don’t really get it but he kept going, “You have to take a picture of this! Watch this, take a picture — it is so cool!” His thoughts after we got home were, “I can’t state this enough, it is sweet [the dash] – they should offer this in all of their vehicles.”

He went on to say how he thinks this is the future of dash design.

Kia DashThe other thing my husband kept telling me to get pictures of was this blind spot detection indicator that kept popping up on the side view mirrors. Apparently I’m not quick enough with the camera but it was a pretty cool feature. It would pop on as cars drove into your blind spot, and then pop off again once you could clearly see them in your mirror.

Image courtesy of Kia

Image courtesy of Kia

Since we had the five passenger version the cargo space was really great as well. My husband loved the powered lift gate and thought the height of the rear gate was decent enough. He is pretty tall so he managed to bump his head on it once or twice, but overall he thought it opened pretty far.

Kia Rear Hatch

After all is said and done, we really liked the features the Sorento has to offer and how comfortable everyone was riding in it. Since it is named as one of Kelley Blue Book’s top ten SUVs under $25,000 we will definitely keep it on the short list!

Safety Features

Since safety is a huge thing, I thought I would note all the safety features that come standard on ALL models of the Sorento:

  • Dual Front Advanced Airbags
  • Dual Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Side Curtain Airbags (1st & 2nd Rows)
  • Rollover Sensor
  • Front Active Headrests
  • 3-Point Seat Belts For All Seating Positions
  • Front Seat-Belt Pretensioners
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes with ABS
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD)
  • Brake Assist System (BAS)
  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
  • Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Side-Impact Door Beams
  • Front and Rear Crumple Zones
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH)
  • Rear Child-Safety Door Locks

If you would like more information on any of these features, visit Kia’s safety information here.



Thanks @DriveSTI and @Kia for the great driving experience! (All opinions expressed are my own).