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.

Conclusion

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. 

 

 

Dreaming of the 2014 Kia Soul

Dreaming of the 2014 Kia Soul

What’s your dream car?  If you are a follower of my site you know that I happen to be in love with the Hyundai Santa Fe.  Until…. I test drove the new Kia Soul. Yes, you read correctly: 2014 Kia Soul.  My buddies at Drive STI asked me if I would reconsider my opinion about the 2013 version and try out the 2014 model.  Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared to love this car.  After all, it’s looks the same on the outside: Boxy and small but I was in for a great surprise when I actually got in the car and drive it.  The inside is totally new—funky, has lots of cool features and an overall  huge improvement over the 2013 iteration.

 

2014 Kia Soul

2014 Kia Soul

Remember how I said in my last post about the Kia Soul that “I couldn’t help feeling that I was driving a large box”? Well, with the 2014 version, I got over that feeling because as Lulu put it so eloquently: “This car is AWESOME!” The car comes with a standard with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine but we drove the more powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Unlike last year’s model, this Kia really kicked it on the highway. Remember how I felt like I was struggling to get up to speed when I drove the 2013 model?  Well, that was a feeling of the past.  I loved driving the 2014 Kia Soul on the highways (almost as much as I loved driving it on the Chicago streets.) Maybe I was so pleased because I enjoyed the high-quality, comfortable and supportive seats?  Or maybe I just enjoyed the heated steering wheel?

 

Great lighting and fun sunroof

Great lighting and fun sunroof

The cabin is roomy and, to be quite honest, I sort of forgot what car I was driving—I really felt like I was driving a luxury car.  There are quite a number of standard features including a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, satellite radio, USB and auxiliary inputs and steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. The available UVO infotainment system keeps drivers connected and has an intuitive touch screen, test drivers say. Other available features include a backup camera, an Infinity sound system, navigation, push-button start, automatic climate control and a panoramic sunroof.

KiaSoul2

Let’s go back to the basic mom question: Is the Kia Soul the next Keats Family Car?

We loved this car. In fact, I practically begged Drive STI to loan it to me for another week.  At one point, Adam and I sort of bickered about who would get to drive the Kia Soul to the gym.  But, the car lacks the one characteristic that we still require: space.  Yes, the back does have ample room for groceries, golf clubs and suitcases but you can’t fit all of them in at the same time even if you fold down the backseats.  We still need a car that can carry all of our “junk” and contain our German Shepherd.  Unfortunately, the 2014 Kia Soul, a car that really was designed with urban dwellers without kids in mind, can’t be magically transformed into the latest iteration of the 1980’s version of the station wagon.  If that’s what you are looking for then this is not the car for your family.

But if you are looking for a reasonably priced, sporty car with tons of cool bonus features and aren’t in need of a lot of cargo room, then I absolutely endorse the 2014 Kia Soul.  Bottom line: We LOVED this car!

 

The Newer, More Slimmed Down,Sophisticated Kia Soul

 

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.