Life can feel as if you’re in constant overdrive, particularly for busy families. Whether you’re shuttling the kids to soccer, band practice or school, you’re always on the move. Factor in the cost of raising a family in today’s wavering financial market with ever rising fuel costs and it’s easy to see why that “just-right” vehicle may seem elusive for young families.
Enter the 2014 Kia Sorento, which we experienced in sunny Arizona for its national press introduction. The 2014 Sorento may appear on the surface to only have cosmetic upgrades, yet it features a new platform offering more interior space, and a new chassis that improves torsional rigidity by 18% for a stronger body, thus producing a smoother ride. Powering this enhanced family mover is a new all-aluminum 3.3-liter, direct injection, 290 horsepower V6 producing a vigorous 252 pound-feet of torque at 5,200 rpm and is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. This drivetrain offers Kia’s enhanced “Torque on Demand” All-Wheel Drive system with improved stability from Kia’s Torque Vectoring Cornering Control system. The 2014 Sorento also features an electric motor driven power steering system with available “FlexSteer,” allowing drivers the flexibility of choosing from three steering modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport.
The new interior is complimented by a redesigned instrument panel with an optional 8-inch touch screen housing navigation with real-time road updates and SiriusXM Traffic, a premium Infinity audio system, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity. You will also find Kia’s telematics and infotainment eServices feature, UVO — short for “Your Voice.” UVO features voice and touch-activation access to manage music files and hands-free mobile communication. While several manufacturers offer similar services and features, Kia is looking to break the norm by offering this service free of charge for 10 years or 100,000 miles and is transferable from owner to owner. Second row passengers enjoy the view from above via a redesigned panoramic sunroof. Third row seating with 50/50 split-folding seats is optional on all model levels.
A first for Kia featured on the 2014 Sorento is an advanced sonar sensor-based blind spot monitoring system which warns drivers of other vehicles that enter within a determined safety zone with both visual and audio alerts. Other standard safety features include front seat mounted side airbags, first and second row side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, and driver and passenger front airbags.
With a base MSRP of $24,100 for the LX, the upscale Sorento SX Limited can be had for $39,700 providing you with such luxuries and amenities as Nappa leather trimmed seats, a wood-trimmed heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats, all standard. Additionally, the SX Limited stands apart from the rest of the line with exclusive colors as Ebony Black, Snow White Pearl or Titanium Silver along with 19-inch chrome rims. Having such a broad price range, the Sorento is well positioned in the highly competitive compact sport utility market.
With excellent road handling skills, ample interior space and an average mpg of 18 city/24 highway, the new 2014 Kia Sorento may be that just-right combination for today’s young fiscally responsible family on the go.