Let’s be honest, the Koreans haven’t exactly been experts in this department. Take pretty much every single model Hyundai went to market with in the late 80s to well…even today. Not exactly their strong suit. Kia also had its own share of laughable designs, like the Amanti. They started to turn the corner when they copied the Lexus RX design in the first Sorento. But now look at the Kia line-up. With new designs coming out of their Irvine design center like the Soul and the Forte, Kia is really showing up its parent company Hyundai and also the competition. New Kias have a distinct corporate look in the nose of the cars. The corporate grill and headlights actually work pretty well on the Sorento SUV, despite its taller face. The taillights could use more work, as can the fat C pillars. I also think the SUV could benefit from a wider stance, not only for style but probably for handling as well.
The Sorento tester MSRPs at close to $35k, not exactly a bargain for a Korean car. But then look at all the options and then drive the vehicle, you might begin to change your mental model about Kias. Funny thing about mental models though, they’re very hard to change. I think Kia will have a hard time convincing car buyers that this Sorento is just as good as competitive offerings like the Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander, Dodge Journey and the Honda Pilot and to shell out about the same amount of money. Once you peel off the tape over the Kia oval, the perceived value drops instantly. That’s too bad because this 2011 Sorento is a really solid performer and a vast improvement over the last generation.
Who should buy it?
I would recommend the Kia Sorento EX to small families with one or two children, who might need the extra room for 7 passengers when grandparents come to visit. It is not big enough to fit 7 people comfortably on a regular basis. It is a practical SUV/crossover with a lot of bells and whistles. It will not, however, turn any heads at the mall or make your kids cool at the school.
Overall the Kia Sorento is a solid and practical performer that exceeds expectations. Kia has come a long way in terms of quality and design, now if only they could do something about resale values and brand equity.
|The official website of Kia Motors – www.kia.com|
Pages: 1 2