I received a 2016 Kia Sorento SXL AWD on loan to drive and review for a week, courtesy of Drive Shop and Kia. Here are my thoughts.
The timing of the loan was ideal. What better way to really get the feel for a family car like the 2016 Kia Sorento than to drive that car hundreds of miles for a Memorial Day weekend excursion?
We piled in on Friday afternoon and headed for Gulf County, a five-hour drive north of our home in the Tampa Bay area. A magnificent beach house awaited on Cape San Blas.
Our loaner Sorento had a 2.0-liter turbo gas direct injection, four-cylinder engine; independent front and rear suspension; and full-time all-wheel drive with lockable center differential.
Um … what?
I’m no car expert. I drive them, and I pay attention to things like how comfortable the seats are, how good the gas mileage is and how much space there is for packing. Our Sorento passed those tests with ease.
There also was the Kid Test, though. Would the boys like it?
Short answer: They loved it. The Sirius/XM radio was a huge hit — Kids Place Live became, in just that one week, an all-time favorite. They were fascinated by the navigation display and paid close attention to our progress on the real-time map. There was plenty of room in the back for them to be comfortable during our long drives up to and back from the Panhandle.
I can sum up the experience simply: By the time our loan period ended, the Sorento felt like our car. It took us to a place where we made wonderful memories, and we will always associate our family’s first trip to Cape San Blas with the car we came in.
I wasn’t asked to do this, and it isn’t associated with Kia or Drive Shop at all, but I felt compelled to commemorate our experience with the Sorento in video form. Forgive its sappiness. It’s not an actual commercial, just a genuine expression of how a family trip can bridge generations, and how lifelong memories are made on the road.