Posted On: Nov 23rd, 2014 By: Alissa Barry Tyler
SUVs were always present in our driveway growing up, in alternating forms of a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a Ford Explorer. The SUV was the mountain car, the weekend vehicle we’d take on four-hour trips from New Jersey to Vermont. My sister and I would take our positions in the back seat after my father packed that sucker full with suitcases and ski gear. It was a pleasant trip, chock full of evasive traffic maneuvers, ’60s and ’70s radio, and fights with my father about stopping for bathroom breaks.
The flatlander family trips to New England encompass the majority of my current experience with SUVs. In an effort to challenge my perspective on them, I opened myself up to driving the 2015 Kia Sorento SX. I now live in Colorado, and although it’s normal to contend with afternoon thunderstorms, snow, flash hailstorms and tornadoes (yup), the weather was great the entire time I had the car, driving to and from work in rush hour traffic. As the sunshine and dry roads were the only conditions to contend with, it may not be surprising that my favorite feature was the impressive panoramic sunroof.
The Sorento seats up to seven with three rows of seating – the third row is pretty much for kids only and folds with a 50/50 split. The engine comes in either a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder 101 horsepower or 3.3 liter V6 with 290 horsepower. Front wheel drive is standard and all wheel drive is available. Standard equipment includes cruise control, Bluetooth, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column with audio controls, auto up/down driver’s window and 19” alloy wheels.
Appreciated amenities, in order of personal preference, include leather heated and cooled seats, a back-up camera, blind-spot detection (a first for Kia), a 10-speaker Infinity audio system, auto-dimming mirrors, navigation with an 8” screen and dual-zone climate control for us freezing women.
The coolest feature about the Sorento is the sunroof…which is more like skylight that puts other sunroofs to shame and sends them to therapy for insecurity and inadequacy issues, then after years of therapy they realize they really were the awesome Sorento skylight all along… inside…in their heart.
Spanning almost the entire length of the car, this magnificent mechanism is so sensational, it made me actually want to ride in the back seat for a change, just to see what the view was like for a backseat passenger. Sure enough, this feature makes skyward gazing a joy for all passengers. I especially liked being able to look up at the Colorado mountains. SUVs can feel dark and dingy, but the Sorento felt sunshiny and fabulous.
The panoramic sunroof used to be reserved for luxury carmakers, but fellow SUVs who claim panoramic sunroofs include Subaru Forester, Ford Escape SE and Lincoln MKC. To keep it real among Kia’s panoramic peers, I’ve lovingly nicknamed their sunroof the Sorento Skylight.
The 2015 Kia Sorento SX looks like the Adidas Jeremy Scott AR 2.0.
After creating many pie charts, scientific graphs and data tables, it has been deduced that brightly colored fitness attire is most suitable for driving the perky Kia Sorento. For example, athletic-minded ladies donning Fabletics would look great behind the wheel.
Every time I spy a Kia, I hear the Chia Pet theme song. “Ka-ka-ka-KIA! Add some water and watch it grow.” I imagine a big watering spout pouring over the roof with bright green blades of grass growing on the top of the car. I’m waiting for the day Kia will let me co-create an ad campaign to fully embrace this inevitability. Hey Kia, you know where to reach me.
AVAILABLE TRIMS: LX, EX, SX, SX Limited
BEST FEATURE: What I call the Sorento Skylight: the fantastically large sunroof that would pour buckets-full of sprinkles and sunshine onto even the grouchiest anti-bathroom breaking passenger in existence.