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.