I love my wife but she is not an official car person. But when my 2014 Kia Sorento SX tester arrived today I was relatively shocked at the quality and layout of the interior. DAMNNNN this thing is nice. It has the power to surprise me. I am jaded to be old enough to remember the original Hyundai Excel release into the US market and then thought Kias were like those cars, but only sold in Texas and Oregon. So I decided to run the official black electrical tape test by just covering up the large Kia badge on the black steering wheel. I then invited her into the car and asked her to guess what we were sitting in. “Oh, I know this switchgear (how she even knew that word was beyond me- I must be rubbing off on her). This is the new Audi truck.” Indeed, where we live even small SUVs and cute-utes are designated ‘trucks’. “Its the Q7, right? It’s like Niki’s and she has a Q5 but this has a third row.”
Now, our crack editorial staff would have figured it out, but I bet even the best of us would have been stumped at first glance. The Audi similarities are strong, especially the HVAC and shifter. The tester had 10K on the clock, so the sweet olfactory perfume of Korean phthalates had lost their potency further fooling us.
But, you get memory seat and mirror settings, a panoramic sunroof so large it might as well be a portal to heaven, heated and cooled seats, and an 8″ navigation/infotainment display. I am excited to play with UVO. Stay tuned.
Warning: the Sorento does climb high on the Kia price spectrum at 38,550 with all of the goodies. But for that coin you can also get a stripped Cadillac SRX without four wheel drive or third-row seating. I think I would rather have the amenities.