2011 Kia Sorento SX AWD: Major League Page 2

January 6, 2011

There’s a certain elegance to the 2011 Kia Sorento with its very clean body lines and use of “chrome” on the door handles, roof fails and grille surround.  Bright, and handsome twinned five-spoke 18-inch wheels ride on P235/60R tires.  In dark cherry black with a black interior, this is a very businesslike machine.  Turn signal repeaters are in the mirrors, an elegant touch and the rear spoiler is muted.  Fog lights ignite with the automatic lights and the rear privacy glass allows purchases to remain private.

Information for the driver comes through black gauges with white numbers and red pointers.  There are both temperature and fuel gauges that augment the speedometer and tachometer.  Between those gauges one finds the odometer and trip computer, the latter activated by pressing the trip odometer pointer.  All controls are very straightforward and easy to understand; the steering wheel functions include audio on the left, voice and muting on the lower left, cruise on the right and phone access on the lower right.

To the lower left of the dash are the rear window wiper/washer controls, the differential lock, traction control defeater, park assist off buttons and hill descent controls, all within easy reach of the driver.  There are cupholders in all four doors, two 12-volt plugs (and a USB port) at the base of the central stack and there’s a third 12-volt plug at the rear of the center tunnel.  There’s ventilation in the “B” pillar for second seat passengers.

The V-6 has plenty of grunt to get onto freeways and cruises nicely at 70 mph when it’s turning 2100 rpm; redline is 6750 rpm so this machine is truly loafing at that point.  Just about the only things that turned me off about the 2011 Kia Sorento SX AWD are its heavy, posted hood and the wind noise coming into the cabin during freeway drives.

Kia has an exceptional warranty for all of its machines: five years or 60,000 miles basic coverage with roadside assistance and 10 years or 100,000 miles powertrain warranty.  Where Kia cars and SUVs used to be the province of the bargain hunter, today’s Sorento SX AWD has grown up to be highly impressive

In a rather crowded field of SUVs and crossover vehicles, the 2011 Kia Sorento stands out with its great build quality (from right here in Georgia, folks), its good road manners – even in the rain – and its playful nature.  Who wouldn’t be impressed?
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