2016 Kia Sorento
2016 Kia Sorento

2016 Kia Sorento

There’s no arguing that the NBA is great at getting behind new talent. Back in 2009 when it drafted Kia, there were skeptics. But Kia has proven up to the challenge. That’s very evident in the 2016 Sorento.

This crowd-pleasing Sorento has been elongated and the result is a sleeker and more sophisticated vibe. The exterior is harmoniously balanced, with nothing appearing to be out of place. Inside is a joy too. First of all it’s gorgeous. There are not enough words to praise the panoramic sunroof which allows the sun to gloriously do its thing, but there is a power sunshade for those who like to hide from it. And the premium Nappa leather is a nice touch. But it’s an SUV so the fact that it’s so spacious that it even has a folding third row seat is perhaps most noteworthy.  Of course those heated first and second rows are lovely too.

It’s impressive under the hood as well with several engine options, including the 3.3. Liter, V6 which clocks up to 290 hp, at the highest trim level. Thanks to Dynamax All-Wheel Drive, optimum performance is assured, plus the Torque Vectoring Cornering Control ensures more precise turning.

Safety is foremost: ample airbags, an advanced sensor system, lane departure warning, blind-spot detection and front and rear parking assist. The Sorento’s UVO system’s advanced voice-recognition technology allows you to be completely hands-free and make calls using only your voice.

Toccoa Falls

Toccoa Falls

There’s no substitute for putting a SUV on the road to see what it’s made of. Granted Toccoa Falls, the beautifully calming waterfall that is believed to be the highest single drop waterfall east of the Mississippi located at Toccoa Falls College, is just roughly an hour and a half away from Atlanta, outside the city, the Sorento still got a chance to flex what it does. Cruise control works well and smoothly. Navigation gets the job done even when some areas are questionably barren. It effortlessly navigated the Sorento over to the more well-known Tallulah Gorge which is nearby. Those who’ve witnessed the isolation of the area know how impressive that is!

2016 Kia Sorento at Tallulah Gorge

2016 Kia Sorento at Tallulah Gorge

Overall, the ride was very comfortable. According to Kia, gas mileage hits around 18 in the city and 26 on the highway and, judging by this drive, that’s pretty accurate.

The Sorento’s starting price of $41, 300 for the Limited V6 definitely gives its competitors—the Toyota Highlander, Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, Ford Edge—reason to worry. Clearly Kia is going for MVP status. -ronda racha penrice

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