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First Drive: 2011 Kia Sorento Page 2

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2011 Kia Sorento

The general right-sizing of the Sorento means more interior room and a take-it-or-leave-it third-row seat. Front and second-row passengers can be full-sized adults and still not feel cheated; there's Equinox-sized space here, with about a half-inch of headroom for six-footers in back, sitting beneath the new panoramic sunroof. The third-row seat is off-limits for the middle-aged man--the cushion's on the floor, and with reclining second-row seats, it's impossible to see anyone over 12 years old making a willing choice to sit back there. It is flexible for kiddie carpools, though, and the third row folds flat to open up a big cargo space with a decently low cargo floor and a hidden storage space below the floor itself. Initial build quality, particularly from a brand-new vehicle in a brand-new plant, is encouraging.

There's more to come with the Sorento--in fact, we've published our 2011 Kia Sorento Bottom Line while we wait to sample the four-cylinder version. While we toil, you can see a raft of photos and related news over at our 2011 Kia Sorento page. And stay tuned: as soon as we've updated other reviews, we'll pit the Sorento against the RAV4, CR-V, Equinox and CX-7 in a playoff round to find out which crossover's best for you.

TheCarConnection's Bottom Line: The 2011 Kia Sorento takes a right turn in its transition from off-roader to all-weather wagon: it's sized right, timed right, and packaged right.


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Comments (19)
  1. You might call this a crossover but the profile looks very SUV like. I hope for Kia's sake they can keep all their buyers convinced that it is not an SUV
     
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  2. Can't wait to see more of this...I've been really impressed by the Kias I've seen lately. Not cheap by any means, especially compared to similarly-priced cars.
     
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  3. What great value- they really are putting on the pressure- watch out for Kia-they are coming in strong!!
     
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  4. Kia and Hundayi are going to role the usa market in 5-6 years. With these great offers and cost/effective cars, lots of people will buy them and not much more expensive cars like honda,toyota. Not to mention brands from detroit.
     
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  5. Weird. Looks like the rear (which I like) and the front (bleccch) were designed in two different countries. At least the front is fixable easier than the rear.
    I've been impressed by Kias lately too. The Forte is sharp. This one is sharp too ... from the rear.
     
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  6. marty, sounds like a solid product. very curious to get more details as the offical launch date is set.
     
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  7. A little derivative from the pics, but I haven't seen one in person yet, obviously. Kia/Hyundai is doing well with the split-personality thing in the U.S. Seems like Hyundai is the new Toyota and Kia is the new Honda, eh?
     
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  8. That's an interesting car. Can't wait to read the full review for it...
     
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  9. Marty, This car is not same class in Honda CR-V & Toyota RAV4 grade.
    Hyundai Tucson/Kia sportage are Honda CR-V & Toyota RAV4 grade car.
    -----------------------
    Check, Official Honda and Hyundai website.
    Hyundai Tucson/Kia sportage are Honda CR-V grade. Hyundai Santa Fe / Kia Sorento are NOT same class in CR-V class.
    http://automobiles.honda.com/tools/compare/select-competitor-similar.aspx?ModelName=CR-V&ModelYear=2009&AICGroupNum=5096&AICNum1=25708&LastState=%2Ftools%2Fcompare%2F%3FModelName%3DCR-V%26ModelYear%3D2009%26AICGroupNum%3D5096%26AICNum1%3D25708%26LastState%3D&Filter=&Mode=&Photo=
    http://www.hyundaiusa.com/vehicle/comparison/comparison.aspx?vehicle=Tucson&year=2009&trimID=24406
    -----------------------
    Check Euro NCAP classification.
    Hyundai Tucson = Honda CR-V = Toyta RAV4 ; Same Class
    http://www.euroncap.com/small_off_road_4_4.aspx
    Hyundai Santafe & Kia Sorento are cleary out of CR-V class.
    http://www.euroncap.com/large_off_road_4_4.aspx
     
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  10. 1. Hyundai Tucson / Kia Sportage = Comapct SUV.
    Honda CR-V & Toyta RAV4 class
    http://www.euroncap.com/small_off_road_4_4.aspx
    2. Hyundai Santa Fe / Kia Sorento = Midsize SUV.
    Toyota Highlander & Honda Pilot & Nissan Pathfinder.
    http://www.euroncap.com/large_off_road_4_4.aspx
     
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  11. @ Sorento Owner: I totally agree with you, and I'm so happy someone pointed this out. It is mind-boggling when auto journalists compare the Santa Fe and the Sorento to the CR-V and the RAV-4. This new Sorento is nearly identical in size to the new Highlander, and nobody would ever compare that SUV to the CR-V. It would be absurd. I don't get it.
    Anyways, I'm so ready for this to go on sale! I'm going to get the Limited in Black with Tan Leather! Kia is really stepping up their game as of late! Go Kia!!!!
     
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  12. Say what you want Sorento Owner..but the Kia press kit in my hand says "CR-V and RAV4."
     
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  13. I have been searching the US market in vain for years for a vehicle with AWD, a manual transmission and 6-7 seats. Until the 2011 Sorento came along, only the Mazda 5 came close, but doesn't have AWD.
    Will the new Sorento offer a manual with the AWD model? In both V6 and I-4 models? No article is clear on this. Are my simple needs too basic for the US market? There are plenty of options outside the US for such vehicles.
     
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  14. you sold im picking on up today!!!
     
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  15. Simpleton, the base model manual will only be available in the 2.4L I4 and will not be available with AWD. The 6 speed transmision in these are great! They now come with a fully sealed transmission that doesn't require any maintanence until 100K miles which is great for saving money as opposed to spending 3-400 every 50-60k miles for a flush and top off.
     
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  16. I picked one up on tuesday and now I'm seeing commercials for other cars similar so I'm comparing and for what I got and the prices I'm happy.The other cars START at what I got mine for fully loaded. I love it!!And kia has the Best warranty. The only prob was out of 3 different dealerships they only had one car that had the sunroof. Thats the one i got. hehe :)
     
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  17. Before purchasing the 2011 Sorento last Wednesday I looked at the Toyota Rav4, Honda CR-V,Hundai Sante Fe, Chev Traverse, and the Ford Edge. I bought the 2.4L LX version without the 4 wheel or all wheel options. I absolutely love my new cross-over and can't wait to drive it to and from work everday (not so much the work part). I live around the Ann Arbor, MI area and we get the occasional snow storm, so I knew I was taking a chance in cheaping out and not going with the AWD or 4WD. I had the first test of its winter weather performance on Monday morning with a 8-10inch snow storm (before my flight to Minneapolis, of course), which caked the roads with about 1-2 inches of ice and other winter-related crud. I was extremely impressed with the distance to stop when approaching an icy itersection, the ability of the vehicle to stay on track while driving at reasonable winter speed (40-45ish), and what happened when I hit a large pile of snow, slush, and winter crud on the highway at 65mph. This similar scenario caused my wife to do a 360 on the highway earlier this winter in her Impala. The electronic stability control is awesome! I feel even more safe and I stand by my decision to purchase my the 2011 Sorent (first import purchase ever..I'm a long time GM buyer, being from near the Motor City) as well as not splurging for the AWD or 4WD.
     
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  18. Just leased the 2011 Sorento (4 cylinder FWD-automatic base model, white/beige fabric interior). Me and my wife (but mostly me) LOVE THIS CAR/TRUCK/CROSSOVER...WHATEVER! It's pretty, sleek, smooth and FUN. I had a 2008 Kia Sportage LX(which we loved for our first new car), and this is a more than upgrade to that. Our lease is $110 more ,but I was able to end my Sportage lease 16 months early. I'm really excited and can't stop looking at/driving my new...vehicle. You get so much in the basic model..you don't really need to add much (although the sunroof looks really great)..just doesn't fit into our budget to add more. Kia, you guys really know what you're doing.
     
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  19. The 6-7 seats are a great option for familys who need the space and want the AWD
     
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