Thank you to STI for providing me with a 2014 Kia Sorento to test drive, free of charge, for review. These are my own honest opinions.
My family and I had the pleasure of receiving a 2014 Kia Sorento SX Limited AWD to drive for a full week. This is a vehicle I have wanted to get into for quite some time, as I have been interested in seeing how my family would fit into a SUV with 3rd row seating, which is necessary for us with three car seats to fit in. I currently drive a minivan, which I love, but I miss the feel and looks of a SUV. When this vehicle was delivered to our house, I was in love immediately from the external looks of it ~ super sharp!
Things I loved:
- Exterior ~ This is a gorgeous, eye-catching vehicle. When I pulled alongside a BMW X5, I felt like I could match it nose-to-nose for curb appeal!
- Interior ~ I felt that I was sitting inside of a luxury SUV when in the Kia Sorento. The leather seating was extremely soft and supple and the contrast stitching gave it a beautiful, sporty feel.
- Heated Seats & Steering Wheel ~ Living in Northeast Ohio and it being December, these two features were used daily. I have heated seats in my minivan, but not a heated steering wheel. I didn’t realize how amazing this feature is when you get into a freezing cold vehicle until I used it. It heated up so quickly and felt amazing! Obviously this is a nice-to-have feature and not a deal breaker in terms of selecting a vehicle, but it is something I would love to have! The second row’s seats are also heated, which would make for happy passengers but didn’t make a difference in our case since all of our passengers are in car seats.
- Moon Roof ~ Panoramic moon roof. My girls could see the blue sky overhead from their seat in the 3rd row. Need I say more? The amount of extra natural light that this moon roof provided as compared to a standard moon roof was amazing. Huge favorite feature of mine.
- Integrated 2nd Row Window Shades ~ It’s the little things, right? No more of those store-bought window shades that attach with a suction cup and only work for a few weeks. The Kia Sorento SX Limited has these shades build right into the door and you can use them or not use them – your choice.
- Navigation ~ I love in-dash navigation and it is a “must-have” for me. There are already too many potential distractions when driving: kids yelling, other drivers, phone calls coming in. While handy, I don’t like relying on GPS on my smart phone when driving to unfamiliar locations. My phone could fall, perhaps the volume isn’t loud enough, etc. With the in-dash navigation system, the volume of my music would drop a bit with each spoken direction so that I was sure to hear what the next instruction was. It was very intuitive to use. I loved the extra features that allowed me to input a phone number of the location I was headed to if I didn’t know the address and … voila! The address would appear and I was on my way!
- Drive-ability ~ In terms of my experience of handling of a SUV and how smooth of a ride they can or cannot be, the Kia Sorento Limited SX AWD ranks very high. I absolutely loved driving this SUV for how smooth of a ride it was, my ability to see well in every direction and for how well it handled in the Northeast Ohio winter weather.
Sadly, there are reasons this cannpt be the vehicle for us:
- Virtually no trunk ~ WIth the optional 3rd row, there is virtually no trunk. At all. When I would put the 3rd row down, the trunk space was amazing, but with 3 young children in car seats, the 3rd row is a must for us. We travel a lot and we have to have ample space for our bags, stroller and other baby/kid gear. Sad to report that this is a deal breaker for our family. If it were just my husband and I … or if we had fewer car seats, this would all be different. I do need to mention that you can split fold the 2nd AND 3rd rows … so if we had fewer car seats we could expand the trunk space by using this option, but again – with our need for seats, this wasn’t a viable option.
- Limited leg space for 3rd row ~ My girls are very petite. Even their little legs were cramped for space in the 3rd row. I don’t see how an adult could ever sit in the 3rd row at all, which begs the question of what is the purpose of it?
- Extremely difficult to access 3rd row ~ During my week of driving the Kia Sorento SX Limited, I had my older two in the 3rd row and my infant in the second row. This left an open seat in the second row, however in order for the older two to access their seats in the 3rd row, I had to keep that side of the second row folded down. I don’t see how a teen or adult would be able to access that row with ease at all.
Bottom line ~ if we didn’t have 3 car seats to deal with, I would absolutely consider the 2014 Kia Sorento for our family without the 3rd row. It is a sharp looking SUV that has amazing amenities and a luxury SUV feel, but unfortunately not the amount of space that we personally need. The 18 mpg City and 24 mpg highway are pretty impressive for a SUV, though, and for that I am sad to see this couldn’t be a car for us right now!
A very special thank you to #DRIVESTI for providing me with the vehicle to test out for a week. To learn more about Drive STI you can like their Facebook page!