Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kia Sorento Easy to Live With

With a family of three, I really don't need a midsize crossover vehicle. But you might--and if you do, the Kia Sorento is a real possibility. Fresh off a week in a black one with shiny chrome alloy wheels, I can wax enthusiastic.

Everything seems right about this car. It looks sharp without extreme bulges or odd proportions. It's spacious but doesn't drive like a boat. Inside, the controls are nicely weighted, attractive and fit into the scheme of the dash in a way that shows it was all well thought out from the start.

Folks who might go for Ford Explorers can now safely try a Kia. There's optional third-row seating, which folds flat and invisible if you don't need it.

The new Sorento debuted last year, replacing the previous, slightly smaller model. Despite a bounteous range of new product offerings, it's now Kia's biggest selling car. And--it's assembled in Georgia.

The EX top-level version, like mine, is loaded with the good stuff--almost a luxury vehicle, really, at just over $34,000. Sorentos start $11,000 lower with the LX.

Pick a competitive 3.5-liter V6 of a more thrifty 2.4-liter four--both with a six-speed automatic. You get Kia's 10-year limited powertrain warranty.

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