2014 KIA Sorento: Kid Tested & Dad Approved

2014 KIA Sorento: Kid Tested & Dad Approved

Hopping into the 2014 KIA Sorento after spending a week driving the KIA Soul was an adventure.  Let’s remember, I truly LOVED driving the KIA Soul and, if it wasn’t for the dog, the kid (and all of her stuff) and the need to cram as much sporting and camping equipment into one car as possible, I would have begged Adam to buy the KIA Soul immediately.  But we do have these things and are more inclined to favor a car that has a lot of space.  And the Kia Sorento has ample space.

Could it be a mini-van trapped in the body of a gorgeous SUV?

My buddies at Drive STI asked for my opinion about a car and I was up for the challenge.  After my first test drive, I reflected that I felt like I was driving a min-van dressed up as an attractive SUV.  It turns out that the 2014 KIA Sorento is a beauty inside and out.  Once again, I was a HUGE fan of the steering wheel warmer.  (Note: We drove this car over Thanksgiving and it is usually pretty cold in Chicago around this time of year.)  The controls were conveniently placed.  I could keep my eyes on the road when I needed to call home or change the radio station in the car.  (Note to self: Do not let Lulu and her friends take control of the Sirius tuner—Howard Stern is not appropriate for 10 year olds.)

We all loved how adaptable the seats were.  Adam could move the driver’s seat so far back that there was no risk of his knees hitting the steering wheel.  And because the 2014 KIA Sorento has so much space, Lulu never complained that the front seats were crushing her legs in the 2nd row.

Drool-Worthy Features

The Kia 2014 Sorento has a lot of other features that actually led to Adam and I arguing about who got to drive the car.  Usually Adam and I do not disagree when it comes to who is going to drive the car: I do most of the “family” driving.  But with features like power passenger seats, Blind Spot Monitoring, rear seat vents, dual heated and ventilated front seats, extendable visors, 115 V power, ECO mode, V6 engine and more, Adam and I started arguing about who got to take control of our new “toy.”  Lulu settled the argument by telling me that I “ALWAYS got to drive and it’s time to give Dad a chance.” No worries, I played with all the gadgets and buttons while he drove the car.

Like its cousin, the Soul, the Sorento handled well.  To be quite honest, although I felt like I was driving a big car like a Suburban or an Escalade, it didn’t feel like I was driving one.  Although, it was as comfortable as traveling in a “luxury” SUV.  I was even more surprised with the Sorento’s turning radius.  Unlike my Hyundai Santa Fé, I was surprised at how well I could execute a U-Turn despite the car’s size.

Let’s say a few words about flat-folding seats.  They are a must.  I didn’t realize what I was missing until we visited our favorite store, Costco, and decided to do some major grocery and holiday shopping.  Let’s just say that we took advantage of all of the room in the car.  If one is going to buy a car with a 3rd row, being able to fold down the seats and make room for extra cargo is a great feature.


I asked that Adam, Lulu and my mother-in-law share their opinions and reflections on their Kia Sorento experience with me.  I wasn’t too surprised by their answers: Adam wouldn’t mind having one, Lulu liked the fact that we could squeeze in four of her friends, the car did “all sorts of cool stuff” and my mother-in-law felt that the car had ample room and was comfortable.  Overall, they enjoyed the added features and loved the panoramic sunroof.

Even though (thank goodness) we never needed the air bags, it was a comfort to know that the front, sides and the second row had them.  We did wonder, however, why the third row did not come with the same level of protection?

We thought that the car was expensive, but justified the price when considering the optional third row seating, a powerful engine option and tons of latest technology. And, while this shouldn’t be any family’s main concern, the Sorento is a great looking automobile.

Bottom line: Adam and Lulu really loved this car!  Lulu was pretty jazzed to show off the car to her friends.  If you’re in the market to buy any new car, it’s important to consider what’s really important (and no, your child’s friends “oohing” and “ahhing” shouldn’t be the impetus to buy one car over another one.)  So, honestly, is having a seven-passenger cross over really necessary for a family of three, a large dog and a Costco shopping habit?  You bet—especially if you swore after having children that you would NEVER buy a mini-van!  On the flip side, it’s not ideal when we’re road tripping into the city and need to find a parking spot on the street. It turns out that we may just be a really crossover kinda family after all.  And if we are, then we will seriously consider the 2014 Kia Sorento.



Could this be the NEW Betsy?


Disclosure: I am not a car person; I don’t review cars for a living.  But I am a mom who is concerned about the safety of her family, is budget conscience and also takes pride in have a cool “mom-mobile. ”  All opinions and views with regard to this car review, the company that loaned it to me or the vehicle manufacturer are entirely mine and were not influenced, edited or even reviewed by the companies prior to posting. 



Hyundai Santa Fe: My One True Love Is Inanimate.

Hyundai Santa Fe: My One True Love Is Inanimate.

I Love My Car

I Love My Car

Dear Betsy–

Before I knew you, I wanted you.  I’ve longed for you since I first saw Demi Moore drive off with your cousin in St. Elmos Fire.  Each day when I am in the car pool line, behind the Cadillac Escalades and the random Hummer or two, I am proud to be in my fire engine red Hyundai Santa Fe.  Those cars have nothing on you and, trust me, are not loved nearly as much as I love you, my sweet, wonderful dream of an automobile.

Knowing of your mere existence, incited emotions in me that I did not know I possessed (at least not at age 13.) I begged my parents when I was a mere teen, and then again in my twenties for permission to meet and spend my life with you.  My declarations of love and adoration were discarded as a passing fancy.  As if someday I would turn my back on you and secure a more mature acquisition.

You are red; the color of fire, speed and the sun.  On the inside you are soft and allow the sun to shine on those chilly Chicago days when I begin to lose hope of ever seeing sunlight again.  Did you know that, like a lover waiting for her soulmate, I purchased a red down parka and red cowboy boots well in advance of your arrival?  I knew that someday you would enter my life and we would be together until the salt started to dissolve your internal organs.

It took some cunning and conniving for us to be together.  I had to dispose of the competition.  It took me a few years but eventually the others just couldn’t keep up with the Chicago winters. Many complaints were lodged by those wanting to take you home. But you chose me.

Betsy!   As soon as we are together, you take pains to ensure my every comfort. Like ever so slightly toasting my buns when the days are frosty with your awesome butt warmer. Or by blowing cool air on me when it is hot outside. Your windows automatically open with a bush of a button.  You ensure that I have plenty of spots to place my drinks, my food, csmart phone, computer, tablet–well, you understand.  Your leather seats cushion my bottom after a long and arduous workout. And regardless of what we leave inside of you daily (apple juice, an old banana or cleats) you do your best to smell fresh and clean.   You take such pains to accommodate my every need.  You’ve always been like that.

Aesthetically, Betsy, you remind me of a Gaudi sculpture.  You are smooth, without harsh lines or edges.  You are whimsical and are not afraid to show your lighter side. You rarely show the random nicks and bruises received by traversing the City of Chicago.  Nor do you advertise when you have been hiking in the woods and come out covered by pine sap, bird poop and camping clutter.  You just remain the same fire engine red truck with whom I fell in love.

There is talk about replacing you for a newer, faster, shiner model these days.  I want to assure you that, until you are ready to quit me, I will never quit you.  So, please go on consuming massive quantities of gas and oil.  I know that, after all of these years, you’ve developed some expensive habits like getting poor milage in the city and on the highway.  It’s to be expected.  But I don’t blame you.  Keep shining on my beautiful girl.

Affectionately Yours,

Renee, aka Windy City Momma



Oh! The Splendor and Beauty of the 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe