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Sorento EX3500V6, LC80, Mitsu Space Gr
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While many Sorento's in the PHilippines enjoy a glam life and keep to the roads, I've been driving my Sorento hard. If you plan to tow anything behind your vehicle, I can tell you that the Sorento is probably the best compact SUV for the job.

I've had a tow hitch attched to mine (not the Kia one, but an aftermarket rated at 5000 pounds -- Kia's is only rated at 3500lbs). It is bolted on the frame itself and fitted right under the rear bumper and extrudes about 6 inches. Other than my having to anticipate the add'l 6 inch length when relying on my backup sensor (so I don't crash the hitch to the wall), there's been no problem.

I tow a double trailer of jetskis to and from Batangass (4x already this March 05) and the Sorento can hardly feel the additional load. I think there's a bit of penalty on gas consumption, but it's negligible (I couldnt' even tell). Now I understand (and appreciate) the truck qualities of the Sorento; I used to think the suspension could be made softer. But a firm suspension is necesary when you tow so the vehicle does not bob and sway during acceleration and stopping.

What's great about the set up is that the 6-inch hitch hardly affected my departure angle. Going to my mountain hideaway, I drove through the usual access road which is really a trail for carabaos and bullocks, and it did not scrape mud at all.

Again, this is one of those characteristics that set it apart from other wanna-be hard core SUVs. 4X4Australia tells of an Aussie's exasperating experience with the X-Trail. He had hitched a trailer to his and at the first contact with loose gravel, his X-Trail just simply stopped moving forward. Apparently the X-Trail's automatic 4WD only started to distribute power to the rear (unless locked, it normally powers the front wheels) when it started to slip. The guy said that even with the lock, the 4WD system just couldn't pull.

On the Ford Everest, you couldn't attach a tow hitch even if you wanted to. Apparently, in force-fitting the SUV body to the Mazda B2500/Ford Ranger chassis, there is about a foot of body overhang over the ladder frame (you could chop off a foot off the rear of the verest and it wouldn't touch the frame), so there's no structural frame you could attach the hitch to.

RAV4s and CRVs are, obviously not meant to do this (yeah, they could tow light loads and on road only, if pushed)

I'm sharing this towing experience so other Sorento owners could better appreciate the true hard core offroading abilities of the Sorento. This ain't just a pretty face, it's a real hardworking brute.

One thing though, I wish it had better clearance than its standard 8+ inch.
 

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Hey Swim,

I've gone offroading with my Sorento a few times but I've always been wary about getting scratched and dented along the way. I've followed your other threads and you seem to have been doing a fair amount of offroading. Question: do you have any tips to avoid those ugly scrapes caused by sharp branches and bamboos we get to face in every Philippine outback? I mean, other than skillful driving, of course.

Regarding towing, I've heard it said that towing puts a lot of strain on the engine and wears it out prematurely. Your thoughts...

SorentoEX
 
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