Our friends at Kia offered us the opportunity to take the all-new 2016 Kia Sorento on a road trip and I gladly accepted, particularly when they explained the trip would be between NBA playoff games in Cleveland and Chicago!
Not only would we be able to enjoy the games, but we’d be traveling in style with the 240 horsepower, turbocharged 2.0L AWD version of the Sorento. It became clear right away when we headed to Chicago that we had an ideal road trip vehicle that offered the comfort and luxury you’d want on a long drive. (Read more about our road trip here.)
I liked the previous generation Sorento, but the exterior styling has improved dramatically with the all-new generation introduced for the 2016 model year. It all starts with the aggressive and prominent front grille, narrower and longer headlights and eye-catching LED front fog lights. The result is a distinctive look from the front that sets the tone for the entire design.
The first thing I noticed about the interior of our fully-loaded Sorento was the beauty of the red and black leather interior. Right away, you get a noticeable feel of luxury, and that initial impression is reinforced as you spend more time in the Sorento. You get all of the soft-touch materials we now expect from luxury vehicles which you appreciate even more on long drives.
Kia also emphasizes the stronger body structure for the new Sorento, which likely contributed to a very smooth and quiet rise throughout our road trip.
Overall the interior was very roomy and comfortable and would have easily handled a larger group.
The drive from Cleveland to Chicago is not very exciting. It’s pretty much a straight shot heading west with mostly freeways and flat countryside, so we didn’t exactly have a dynamic ride to put the Sorento to a tough test. Still, the 5-6 hour drive gave us plenty of time to appreciate just how nice a road trip can be when you have a luxurious CUV that offers a quiet, smooth ride.
With the turbo the Sorento offered nice acceleration, particularly when you have it in Sport mode. I rarely use cruise control, but that may change after watching my road trip partner, Paul Strauss from 95octane, take advantage of the Sorento’s Smart Cruise Control which had the vehicle accelerating and breaking in order to keep pace with traffic. I also appreciated having the Surround View Monitor, and this version of the Sorento came with other drive-assist features such as Vehicle Stability Management, Forward Collision Warning System, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Again, everything you would want on a long road trip!
With the new Sorento you can select the options that work for you to fit this into most budgets depending on your tastes and needs. The CUV market is ultra-competitive these days but if you spend time driving the new Sorento you find an option to seriously consider.
Thanks again to Kia for the opportunity to enjoy this adventure with the Sorento!