Kia's snappy TV spot for its Sorento crossover serves as a great driving song to have in your head as you tool around in the vehicle (see video)—despite the legal problems about the sampling issues with the song ("How You Like Me Now?" by the UK band The Heavy).
A short stint I logged in a Sorento wheeling about in Boston's Metrowest reveals a well-crafted vehicle.
I'm not usually a fan of crossovers because they don't have the room of a wagon or a van, nor the drivability of a sedan. But driving, like life, is a series of compromises and they do give you lots of personal space in the cabin without the bulk and expense of an SUV.
Slipping into the Sorento EX model's cabin revealed a leather-outfit interior comparable to the best in the field. Other noticeable touches were the rearview mirror containing the backup camera imaging and a useful audio system display. Outstanding on the latter were radio station frequencies displayed at the bottom of the screen above their respective pushbuttons.
On the road, the 4-cylinder engine (175 hp with 169 ft-lb torque) was coupled with a 6-speed automatic for fuel economy. In suburban driving, I logged in the mid-20 mpg range, while EPA numbers for the Sorento are 21 mpg (city) and 29 mpg (hwy). For aid in saving gas, an "ECO" icon in the instrument cluster can be activated to tell the driver when an economical light touch is being applied to the gas pedal or when engine braking is occurring.
The Sorento rode pleasant enough (with a touch of torque steer) for a higher standing vehicle, but at highway speeds, noise is a bit noticeable and the engine/transmission combination is not all that quick for a vehicle this size.
But for overall impression, the Sorento (starting at $22,395), like all the latest Kia vehicles, is worth a look at for its value for money.
Here's a live performance of "How You Like Me Now?"
And here's the song by Dyke and the Blazers that is at the heart of the legal controversy.