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So, I just traded my black 2005 Lexus RX330 w/nav in for a 2005 black Kia Sorento EX with the LUX package. One of the salesmen said he'd heard that Lexus sold the RX300 body build to Kia. Upon comparing the Sorento to an RX300, I would be inclined to believe him, eventhough he is a car salesman (achem). Does anyone know if that's true? Or did Kia just use the RX300 as an influence?

Funny thing - I park in a big building in downtown Chicago, and some of the garage attendants were telling me how the first few days after I made the trade, when they saw it, they didn't even realize that it wasn't a Lexus anymore! They've all been asking me with wonder in their eyes why I would trade in my Lexus for a Kia, and if I like the Kia. To be honest, I've only seen two Sorentos on the road here in the last two weeks. One looked like it was a few years old, and the other new. Lots of Sportages around, but not many Sorentos. Odd, I think, especially given the great value, warranty and looks of the car.

Overall, I must say that I'm glad with my decision. The RX330 now seems like a vastly overpriced car in comparison to the Sorento, especially given the way that it guzzled gas and the much worse steering ratio. I only wish Kia offered nav as an option. Regardless, it all worked out great, and the Pioneer AVIC-D1 I just had installed looks factory-installed (as posted in the tech forum). My next project is to remove the rear labels on the car, and change the grille for the chrome Korean one, with the matching wheel labels. That KIA grille is an eyesore!

Anyway, glad to have found this forum! Thanks for all the great info.
 

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I've read several articles describing the Sorento feeling "less refined" than Toyota/Lexus, which isn't all that surprising given the price difference. What kinds of tradeoffs have you noticed?

Have you posted some pictures of your Pioneer nav install somewhere?
 

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Here is a link to the thread on my Pioneer nav system and the photos:

http://www.kia-forums.com/index.php?act=ST...st=0#entry17064

For the noticeable things I've lost by changing from the Lexus RX330 to a 2005 AWD Sorento EX (keep in mind that I'm *no* expert):

1) You notice slightly more noise from the road;
2) The ride isn't as cushioned;
3) There is no automatic trunk open/close function;
4) No automatic fuel door opener;
5) No nav option;
6) No automatic windshield wipers;
7) The rear seats went down without having to take the headrests off;
8) There were different settings to the level your seat would heat up;
9) More kick on acceleration;
10) An ego-fluffing emblem.

However, I'm happy with the change because:

1) 1 & 2 above aren't noticeable enough to bother me (however, I do notice that some of the little touches inside bother me because they look cheap: the red/green spedometer display and the fake woodgrain in particular (why couldn't the EX have come with brushed steel like the LX?), and the leather isn't as fine);
2) It's nice that you can pop the glass on the trunk to drop things in instead of opening the whole trunk door (which hits the pipes in the ceiling in the garage where I park);
3) Who really needs the automatic pop-up fuel door? You have to walk out there anyway to pump gas;
4) I've installed my own nav system, which I like better than the one I had in the Lexus;
5) The RX auto windshield wipers never worked right, so I don't miss them:
6) I don't put the back seats down often enough to be too inconvenienced by having to take the head rests off;
7) It's summer right now, so I can't say whether I'll miss the ability to set the heat temp for my seats;
8) The extra kick in the Lexus no doubt came from the V8 engine, which guzzled gas. In the city, I would get 8-9 mpg, and about 13-14 on the highway. I haven't had the Sorento long enough to compare yet, but it's GOT to be better than that. Also, I think the gas tank is actually bigger (it seemed to be about 18 gallons when I just refilled it for the first time last night). And, the lack of extra kick doesn't make me wish I'd spent almost $20,000 more on my car;
9) Personally, I don't care that I don't drive a Lexus anymore, and while a bunch of my friends have said "But isn't Kia a cheap Korean car?" it doesn't bother me. *I* think it's a great car, and expectations will slowly but surely change as Kia enters the US market with more force. However, I HATE the KIA emblem US grill and logo, and will be promptly pulling them off the rear, and substituting the Korean OEM chrome grill instead;
10) I've got a great warranty;
11) MUCH better steering radius than in the RX; and
12) I think the Sorento is equally as aesthetically pleasing as the RX.
 

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I have had so many ask me how I like my Lexus..then when I tell them that it is a Kia they are like.."What!".."No way!"

I love my Sorento...I just came off a horrible ownership of a VW Passat....VW sucks in the customer relations department..

They would not honor the warranty, and when they did they fought me tooth and nail for every repair.

So far, I have had a few niggling things that required me to goto the dealership, but they have been prompt, friendly and listened to me when I told them of the problems.

I would bet that Kia bought a Lexus and took that sucker apart... :banana:
 

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A Kia exec actually admitted that Kia copied Toyota (aka Lexus) in its design concept for the Sorento:

Originally posted by From article on motoring.co.za
Toyota top management, when first thinking about its outstanding Lexus sedans, told its technicians and designers to buy in cars from high-end manufacturers such as Rolls-Royce, Mercedes and BMW, tear them apart, find out how everything could be done better – then build a car to beat them all.

The result: the Lexus was once evaluated as the best car in the world.

Kia did the same exercise, apparently, with the Mercedes ML, BMW X5, Lexus and Nissan X-Trail. The Sorento, after a design phase that cost the equivalent of more than R2-billion and had a brief to focus on 4x4 use, was the result.
Complete Article
 
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