Long Term Update 2: 2011 Kia Sorento SX AWD
5 Months and 8243 Miles
I drive a lot of cars. As a matter of fact, I drive a majority of all models built every year. There are bad cars and good cars, great cars and even cars so exceptional they define us as a species. Just about every car sparks some reaction. Then, there are cars that just exist. The more I drive our long-term Sorento, the less emotion and feeling I have for it. At this point, I acknowledge it as part of our reality but have no real attachment to it.
In the beginning I was rather put off by the big Kia. It's a three-row SUV with a smallish second row and a positively Lilliputian third row. Trunk space is decent, with the third row folded down but barely big enough for groceries with the third row in place. We are averaging less than 20 mpg and everyone who drives it complains about the suspension tuning. My own complaints center around a driving position obviously designed for someone at least 6-inches shorter than myself. Worse yet, the iPod interface is barely functional.
Even with these complaints, I have gotten to the point that it no longer matters. My commute rolls by, just three hours gone from my life every day. This week I was driving a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS, probably one of the best cars built in the last three decades. Before that, I had a 470-hp Challenger Super Bee that turns every mile into a 1970s cop show. I remember every mile of every day of these drives. I talk about them with friends, family, coworkers, people at gas stations, the poor fool unlucky enough to be behind me in line at the grocery store, pretty much anyone who will listen either by force or free-will. When I drive the Sorento for a week, I couldn't tell you if my hair was on fire during the drive. All that time, just gone. Although I imagine the baristas at Starbucks are happier not having to listen to me blather on about power slides and steering feel.
Maybe that's the Sorento's lot in life, to just get people where they are going and not really be a part of the owner's life. To me, this is almost unthinkable as cars are a part of my family. My wife and I have real emotional attachments to our cars. We name and talk about them, but I don't ever see that happening with the Sorento.
Obviously, many drivers only want worry-free cars. They don't care about handling dynamics, they aren't going to be doing any epic road trips and they probably have small kids that will be pliable enough to use any of the seating positions. For those people, the Sorento might work well. I can't imagine any of them will be reading this magazine, but if you are, consider a Sorento.
|Months/miles in service||5/8243|
|Avg econ/CO2||18.6 mpg/1.04 lb/mi|
|Energy cons||181 kW-hr/100 mi|