Recently purchased a KIA Sorento (SX trim) to replace a much loved 2004 Saab 9-5 "sportswagon." With requirements for AWD and a preference for a V6 to haul around two tons of vehicle, there were simpl...
Recently purchased a KIA Sorento (SX trim) to replace a much loved 2004 Saab 9-5 "sportswagon." With requirements for AWD and a preference for a V6 to haul around two tons of vehicle, there were simply few choices in the mid-$30K range. Add in acceptable handling, rear a/c for the kid and dog, and a size that can fit into a "compact" parking space and still open the doors, and the universe of acceptable vehicles amounted to two; a Kia Sorento and a Subaru Outback.
Had just about settled on the Outback when we drove the Kia Sorento. A more airy and open interior, equal cargo room, memory seats, surround sound, a better (though still not great) nav system, a panoramic dual sunroof, keyless entry, and seating for five adults plus two chimpanzees, children, or even a couple more adults for a short trip.
Neither the KIA nor the Outback is a serious off-road vehicle, but the KIA adds hill descent control and a locking center differential lacking on the Outback. Each will get us to the mountains for skiing (and home again) but the KIA is simply more upscale for the other 95% of our driving.
Overall, the Sorento meets our requirements quite well. Far more maneuverable than most "mid-size" CUV's, more "oomph" than most other "compact" alternatives. (The RAV4 offers a V6 at this price point but lacks rear a/c and introduces problems for a rear bike rack with its antiquated rear opening and external spare.)
So far less than 8000 miles on the Sorento but virtually trouble-free. Hopefully that will continue and even if it does not the 5yr/60000 warranty provides some reassurance.