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Step aside lux X-overs - there is new King in town

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 7/7/2016 Netscorer

Kia has outdone themselves with new Sorento. It's a perfect size crossover - huge trunk in 5 seater configuration and always available fairly comfortable 3rd row to haul up to 7 adults. Very blunt front and rear minimize exterior dimensions to assist in parking, while providing the same interior dimensions as much larger Highlander. Comfort on the top trim SXL is rivaling premium crossovers from Japanese and American carmakers. Compare Sorento with Lexus RX, Lincoln MKX or Acura MDX and you will find that Sorento matches them feature by feature, seat comfort, road noise isolation, technology and ride. All while costing $10K less MSRP. Considering that KIA & dealers are also providing very aggressive discounts from MSRP, you can easily save $15K by forgoing the prestige brand logo. Sorento's Adaptive Cruise Control is also considerably better then competition - keeping distance reliably and supporting full stop & go traffic where most of the competition cuts out below 15mph. Ride quality is excellent - assertive, yet soft enough to forget road imperfections. Acceleration for V6 Direct injection engine matched with 6-speed automatic is excellent too. Starting up hill or overtaking cars on the highway is piece of cake. Fuel consumption could be better, but at least the listed specs are very conservative. My V6 AWD trim is rated 17/23/19 combined and so far in the first 1,000 miles of mixed driving with plenty of traffic and AC on I am averaging 23mpg. 2017 model adds Adaptive headlamps that swivel in the curves to provide better illumination and Autonomous Emergency Breaking that keeps an eye on the traffic ahead and will apply brakes automatically if it feels that collision is imminent. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also come standard and greatly enhance available infotainment system. Otherwise 2017 is indistinguishable from 2016 redesign model. Huge panoramic sunroof goes beyond second row of seats and provides great sky views for passengers in all rows. My only pet peeve with it is that it is controlled by single lever. So if you want to just open blind, but leave the sunroof closed, you can't. Once you push the button to open the blind, the roof starts to open automatically and you need to go back and forth to achieve what you want. Another perplexing omission in US is absence of DRLs. There is an LED brow light on Sorento that acts as DRL in all regions outside US, but in US it is can not be turned on without full headlight. So you either drive with your lights off, or you need to turn on main headlights. It's a mystery why KIA decided to disable this feature in US.

Average Rating : 5

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