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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
Standard equipment for the EX includes hill start assist and hill descent control, Bluetooth, keyless ignition and back-up alerts, and you can opt for navigation, a back-up camera, leather upholstery, heated seats and a gigantic panoramic sunroof.
Our test car lacked extra-cost options like the navigation system and Infinity stereo, but the base stereo delivers adequate sound, and inexpensive, portable navigation systems are good enough these days that we'd hesitate to pony up the extra cash for a factory setup.
The optional 7.1 surround sound Infinity audio package strikes us as a good idea, especially since the new Sorento is commendably quiet both in busy urban settings and longer, high-speed stretches on the highway – all the better to properly enjoy your tunes.
The standard Sirius satellite radio came in handy, although we have one huge gripe about the tuning in Kia (and Hyundai) vehicles: When selecting a satellite station, you turn a knob as in most other vehicles, but you then have to push the knob to confirm the change.
Car and Driver
Kia fits some useful features to every 2011 Sorento and adds some family-friendly options to the order sheet.
The Sorento LX has standard tilt/telescoping steering; steering-wheel audio controls; cruise control; air conditioning; power features; Sirius Satellite Radio; Bluetooth connectivity; and USB connectivity for audio players.
The EX adds push-button start; backup sensors; automatic headlamps; a power driver seat; dual-zone climate control; 18-inch wheels; fog lamps; a rear spoiler; and ionized filtration. The EX V-6 adds the third-row seats with rear air conditioning—along with that recommended V-6 engine.
Options include an Infinity audio system; a navigation system with a rearview camera; leather seating; roof rails; a panoramic sunroof; and a DVD entertainment system. We like Kia’s audio systems for their amply good sound quality, but the buttons don’t always do what you’d expect. Sometimes you have to push and twist one more way before the Sorento sound system obeys; another round of development would make the user interface Apple-worthy.
One last note: With the plethora of phone-driven navigation systems, we’re not sure we’d opt for a built-in GPS for the high price tag you’d pay even in the value-driven Sorento.
The 2011 Kia Sorento nails the basics with standard features like USB ports and Bluetooth, and it factors in upscale options like leather and rear-seat DVD players.