We were loaned a Kia Sorento to test drive for a week
Last weekend, I drove my kids down to Anaheim to spend the weekend at the Disneyland Resort.... without my husband. He was busy last weekend, but hey, it's Disneyland, so I'm not about to let 400 miles get between me and the Happiest Place on Earth! It's a 6-7 hour drive from where we live; we left Friday morning and got back home on Sunday evening, so that was a lot of driving in a 3-day period, even with a driving partner. I had never done it before, and to tell you the truth, I was a bit nervous about the whole thing.... but I did have a trusty partner throughout the whole trip: a Kia Sorento, which we test-drove for our road trip.
The fact that I'm writing this means I've survived and lived to tell the tale. It was a pretty exhausting weekend, especially since I had zero chance of resting once we reached our destination (hey, it's Disneyland!). Having the Kia Sorento to drive was an absolute lifesaver! It made a huge difference to our comfort level and to my peace of mind. It turned what could have been into a nightmare journey into a comfortable trip.
Everyone in my family loved the Kia Sorento (including Alfie, who didn't accompany us on our trip, but got to drive it before and after). I asked my 3 kids to "explore" the Kia Sorento while we were driving take photos about the features they liked the best. Here's a photo montage of what's cool about the Kia Sorento, according to my kids:
The Pea was supposed to be my navigator, but she's terrible at directions and she was stressed about leading us the wrong way, so she loved the in-dash GPS with all its navigation features. The GPS gave great directions, with voice commands supplying helpful instructions at all the right times, so she didn't have to do a thing. For my part, I didn't have to stress about having to hold my phone between my knees to check a map, while trying to drive at the same time. Finally, The Pea loved the built-in mirror in the passenger's sunshade!
Jammy loved how roomy the back seat was. He had plenty of space to stretch his legs and shift around during the long drive. The pull-up sun shades were great when the sun began shining on his side of the car and he couldn't see the book he was reading! Finally, Jammy's favorite color is blue, so he loved the deep blue shade our Kia came in.
3Po got to sit up front with me for a portion of the drive because The Pea wanted to spend some time in the back seat playing with Jammy. We thought it was pretty cool to see the automatic front passenger airbag sensor -- the airbag is turned off unless the passenger is a certain minimum weight. He also loved the sun/moon roof that extended all the way to the back of the car. He loved the way the side mirrors automatically extend and retract when the car engine is turned on and off. And he loved having a buit-in USB charger to keep his mobile device powered throughout the whole trip!
For my part, it's hard to say which feature of the Kia Sorento I loved the most. It's such a great vehicle for a road trip! Here are some of the features that really go a long way towards making any family's road trips safe and comfortable:
V6 engine -- I appreciated having lots of power to climb those hills and accelerate past slower vehicles on the road!
Seamless Bluetooth pairing -- it was so easy to hook my phone (as well as any other Bluetooth-enabled device) up to the car's speaker systems! I was able to use my phone hands-free to check in with my husband every 2-3 hours and to answer incoming calls. We also used the playlists on my phone to entertain us throughout the drive.
Comfy leather seats with built-in heating and cooling functions -- I could almost imagine that I was seated in a luxury airline seat for the whole road trip!
Drop-down center armrest -- if you only have 2 in the back seat, the middle seat turns into an armrest with cupholders. This was a great way to separate the 2 kids in the back and give each one his own space -- no more encroaching or "Mom, he's in my space!", just peace and quiet :)
Lots of trunk space -- There was plenty of room for suitcases, extra pillows, Halloween costumes, and bags full of Halloween candy and Disneyland souvenirs!
Trip computers and feature-rich dashboard -- All the information relevant to our trip was on hand and accessible at a glance, even while driving.
If you're in the market for a new family car, definitely check out the Kia Sorento. I had never really had the Kia on my radar before our road trip, but it's such a smooth, luxurious ride for the price (MSRP starts at about $24,000 and higher end models with upgrades can reach upwards of $40,000) that it has won the whole family over.
Disclosure: I was loaned a Kia Sorento for a week to test drive and review. I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.