In the last episode of My Sorento Life, I mentioned that the iPod interface was just barely functional in our long-term Kia. Well, apparently it knows how to read because in an act of rebellion it has decided to stop recognizing my 4th generation iPod Nano entirely. The only iPod it will currently work with, and I use the term "work with" loosely, is my 6th generation Nano. It will still play through the system and the track-seek buttons still work, but it still won't display song, artist, album, playlist, or any other vital information for navigating a device that holds 2000 songs. Imagine holding a stack of 200 vinyl records all with no labels and trying to find a song you want to hear. Why can't Apple make everything?

These aren't the only frustrations on my commute. Our Sorento has real-time traffic data available within the navigation system. Over the last few weeks, we had rain, hail, lightning, and an espresso shortage -- all the signs of the apocalypse -- all during rush hour here in Southern California. Every day while the world is ending I pull out of the Motor Trend World Headquarters and Global Command Center to a screen full of red-lines tracing my freeway path home. For those uninitiated, red equates to an average speed lower than walking. If I set the navigation for my home address, it wants to steer me straight into the heart of the traffic storm. With a flurry of touch-screen virtual button pushing, it is possible to tell it that NO I really don't want to take the freeway, I am looking to the salvation of surface streets.

Now most navigation systems have a projected time of arrival, as does the Sorento. It is, however, wildly inaccurate. Although the previous several miles have averaged 10 minutes each, it maintains its glorious optimism and projects that I will cover the final 18 miles in a scant 20 minutes. You may say, well it can't predict traffic on city streets so that's its best guess, but it does the same thing on the freeway. My only guess it that aside from giving the map a little more color, the traffic info system does nothing else.

On a separate note: while I was on a press trip, road test editor Scott Mortara, the long-term driver of a Kia Sorento SX, borrowed the Sorento for a trip to Las Vegas. After 10 hours of driving to, around, and from Las Vegas over the space of three days he returned with complaints about the Sorento's unrefined suspension, poor fuel mileage, and general lack of comfort. He apparently didn't try to use an iPod, so at least he was safe there.


Our Car
Months/miles in service 7/13,363
Avg econ/CO219.0 mpg/1.02 lb/mi
Energy cons 177 kW-hr/100 mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $0
Normal-wear cost $0