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2012 Kia Sorento SX, 2003 Honda S2000
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Alright guys, I just got back from a road trip from Dallas to Santa Fe and back over Memorial Day weekend and I'm just under 15K miles so I figured I'd write up a review. It may be kinda long for those that love details, for those that don't feel free not to read it :D

The Trip:
Dallas to Santa Fe and back (plus some detours), 1530 miles round trip. 6 adults (3 males, 3 females two of which are taller than average, otherwise all passengers about avg size/weight). We sat 2,3,1 since the rear row has so little room for adults. Of course this meant no room for our gear so I got a Curt hitch cargo carrier , which required an adapter and we put our stuff in a waterproof rack bag, which worked out great. We did remove the cargo carrier and keep it in the hotel room because it drags a little on some dips entering shopping centers and such. The trip went well, with no 7th passenger we had room for a cooler, and misc snacks/jackets/ect in that spot while still giving the rear passenger some extra leg room. When asked what they though the response was it was ok and worth the cost of not taking a second vehicle/gas money. Not the best review, but it's 6 adults in this small SUV[/CUV]! We averaged about 21-22MPG for the trip, which I consider pretty good since we prob averaged 75MPH and had the car loaded up so much (also, V6 AWD). The satellite radio is great for trips like this as well. On one day, while part of the group was on the hike a couple ppl put the second and third row seats down and relaxed stating that they were quite comfortable even w/o any sheets or anything to put down.

The GPS on the other hand, tried to route us an additional 100 miles out of the way, in both directions... When we ignored it and took the Google directions it eventually recalculated the route and it even admitted it was shorter both in time and distance :-/ I used to say "It's not the greatest GPS but it'll get you where you need to go", now I think it needs a revision for longer trips...

On the way out we drove straight thru, 10 hours... a couple stops to get out and stretch and get gas but overall there were no complaints about the car. On the way back was a bit better with some stops scattered every few hours. All in all I think everyone was quite content with the vehicle and would be willing to do it again.

Now on to the overall review:

Buying Decision Overview:
I had gone from an older Ford Escape to a Mercedes CLS500 and after two years decided I wanted an SUV again. The Ford Edge was in the final 2 but it was going to be about $5K more than the Kia for a similarly equipped package and lower MPG. I drive about 40 miles a day for work and on weekends, and on some weekdays I drive another 40-50 miles for after work hanging out. Most of my driving is done at freeway speeds of about 70MPH and not in traffic.

My Package:
I decided on the SX for the technology, and got one w/ AWD and Sunroof. I wanted the AWD because at the time I was going to be making some winter road trips but the winter was calm this year and my sister moved so I won't really be using it much. I did NOT want to pay for the sunroof but there was a misunderstanding when I ordered my car so I got it for well below invoice.

Problems I've run into:
Some of these are kinda knit picky but oh well...
  • Immediately after picking up the vehicle I had two minor problems: My middle row cup holder was not fastened correctly and one of the third row seat belt clips was loose, both of these were promptly fixed by the dealership.
  • I had a recurring pull to the right issue which I had to take the vehicle in for several times, until they finally released a camber kit (Details Here!) which seems to have fixed the problem.
  • I also had a problem with my rear defroster, the button just didn't work which was promptly fixed (dealer said it was a loose connection)
  • Cell phone often does not connect to the hands free - No resolution
  • Navigation does not always pick best route - No resolution
  • Auto climate control is not as refined as other brands (comparing to a Mercedes), it doesn't adjust the vent temp and fan speed properly if it's really hot outside even after the interior cools down until it is really close to the target temp. I almost never had to adjust the temp in my old vehicle, in the Kia I have to adjust the temp as a fan control mechanism (or turn Auto off) - No resolution
  • I find the steering wheel is a bit "heavy" but that's more of a personal preference. - Not mentioned to dealership, doubt there's a resolution.
  • The wind noise w/ the Panoramic roof is a bit much, I hear if I take the roof racks off it will be substantially better though
  • I wish the steering wheel had more adjust-ability to it, to move it forward a couple inches would be great.
  • The traffic on the GPS is useless and I wish the display would dim a bit more, also the "auto-volume" doesn't seem to do a thing
  • I wish the rear window opened, apparently not having this is pretty common though these days
  • I need to figure out how to turn off the front two reading lights when the doors are open (I'll be honest, haven't checked the owners manual yet)... this was a small issue when I went to the drive in movies and kept the doors and rear hatch open for the audio

The Good:
Cost and technology mostly.
  • I love the heated steering wheel even though I live in Dallas and didn't get to use it much, I'm a total cold wimp so even if it's 50 out I'll turn that sucker on. The heated/cooled seats are nice too, but my previous car had that so I was already spoiled for those.
  • The backup camera is great when you've got the cabin stuffed (helping friends move, camping, person in second row middle seat, ect) or you are towing
  • I usually like the sportier feel of the suspension, though for passengers in the 3rd row it's multiplied quite a bit.
  • The car is responsive in both acceleration/braking and evasive maneuvering which you'll be great full for when a vehicle in front of you wrecks!
  • Versatility! I don't usually use the 3rd row but it's nice to have. One one camping trip I completely removed the seats and gained about 8 cubic ft of storage (8 bolts total, easy!)
  • The radio sounds great, the sub could use some more umph, but it will get the job done for most people.
  • The sunroof gets TONS of compliments/jealous statements from people that are sitting in the back.
  • Power folding mirrors are great for tight parking spaces such as a friend's garage!
  • I love the looks of the vehicle, the shape, the colors/accents, the wheels, it's just nice to look at! The paint is holding up well, though I just recently got one small scratch, which looks like it's from somebody's purse as they walked through a parking lot? :( The interior still looks new as well.
  • Tons of storage/cupholders which is great for regular driving and especially on road trips
  • The rear storage area, where the jack is, has tons of extra space for jumper cables, first aid kits, an air pump, gloves, ect
  • While it may not be ideal, a 5' 10" adult can fit in the third row seats which was pretty impressive
  • Rear vents on the side pillars (vs middle of the car) was nice because the third person's knees weren't constantly cold, and it doesn't waste storage space in the center console
  • Extra vents/fan for the third row is nice when they're being used
  • Tons of 12V power ports and a USB port, provided ample charging power for all of our cell phones.
The Dealership
My dealership has been great. They've taken care of me, which is good since I've had to bring my vehicle in so much (due to the pull to the right, hopefully that will change now though!) they know me by name. This is the dealership in McKinney (north of Dallas, TX) so if you're in the area then I would recommend going there well before going to the Plano dealership.

I'm sure I'll think of stuff I forgot so this post may be revised... we'll see.
 

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Resurrecting an old thread, but wondering how the 2011-13 SX AWD handles load on the hitch... I'm planning a 1200 mile trip (each way, total 2400miles) over Christmas, and plan to use the carrier for luggage. I ordered a lighter one, but we will have 5 adults and a large dog + luggage for a week long trip, and I really worry about loading it to the point of bottoming out. That would make for 1200 sincerely unpleasant miles.

Any war stories or pictures would be even better.
 
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