2008 Kia Sorento EX 4X4

This week we’re looking at the 2008 Kia Sorento EX 4X4 SUV. I could find no real difference between cars in this class. The only drawback is the badge, and then only a problem for some. It’s a Kia and some folks are anxious to spend more money to impress their friends. I mean like really, why do we need a BMW, or a Lexus badge? Does it make us more important or more successful? And if I were on the hunt for chicks I wouldn’t stop with a BMW – I would go back to the Porsche or Lamborghini I drove in my younger days. Brother John made a statement with his Daytona Ferrari.

Moral of the story is drive the car that fits your need, want, wish or dream. Live it! And if you don’t care about all that – buy the Kia and go on a European cruise with the money you save. Venice is nice this time of year. Take a friend or your wife/husband if you friend can’t make it.

General Info:

Parts –  US/Canadian 4%, Korea 86%

Assembly – Korea

Class:  – SUV

Cars: – Amanti, Borego, Optima, Rio, Rondo, Sedona, Sorento, Spectra & Sportage.

Handling & Performance:

Estimated fuel cost is not stellar at an average annual cost of $2,470 based on 15,000 miles at $2.80 per gallon. I suspect gas prices are going back there, so now’s the time to take that into consideration.


Pretty standard… yeah but that’s the point. This is a Kia from Korea! Why don’t they look like Asian cars? Why do they look so American? Are we really the last word in design? Should we be? I for one would like to see some original thoughts and ideas and not just a clone of what American car companies think cars should look like. These are just “Knock-Offs” of what the US invented. Isn’t that illegal like my friends Rolex watch for $100 that looks and feels “EXACTLY” like the real thing for over $5,000?

Fit and Finish:

Not too bad for the money and better than some at much more money.


Competitively priced in this class.

Conveniences and comfort:

Kia has included all the things I would expect for the money.

Consumer Recommendation:

You can’t ignore the cost savings of a product built in such a favorable labor market. Take a look – it will be worth your time and consideration.

Recognized Competition:

Kia Sorento $21-27,000, Isuzu Ascender $27-29,000, Hummer H3 $33-43,000, Saturn Vue $23-31,000, Saturn Outlook $31-36,000, Mercury Mariner $23-28,000, Mercury Mountaineer $29-35,000, Toyota RAV4 $22-28,000, Chevrolet Equinox $24-31,000, Mazda CX-7 $24-28,000, Mazda Tribute $20-28,000, Honda CR-V $21-29,000, Ford Escape $20-28,000, Ford Edge $27-36,000, Mitsubishi Outlander $20-26,000, Jeep Liberty $23-27,000, Dodge Durango $28-40,000, Dodge Nitro $22-29,000.

Good News:

Looks like, feels like, and drives like the competition and for less money. If you can get past the badge it will service your need for less.

Bad News:

Image may be a problem for some.

Standard Equipment:

3.8 liter 262 hp V6 engine, 5-speed auto trans, 4-wheel drive, 4-wheel ABS power disc brakes, power rack & pinion steering, front airbags with driver knee airbag and full length side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, tire pressure monitoring system, air conditioning, power windows locks and mirrors, audio with steering wheel controls & CD/MP3, 8-way power driver seat with lumbar support, 60/40 split folding rear seats with armrest, remote keyless entry, leather steering wheel with tilt, trip computer with compass & temperature, rear cargo cover & tie downs and under floor storage, lift gate with flip up glass, defroster, wiper washer, roof rails, fog lights, privacy glass, underbody skid plates, full size alloy spare, trailer hitch wiring with sub-harness connector.

Options:Body cladding & wheel arches, machined 16” alloy wheels, sunroof, leather seating, heated front seats, dual zone climate control, auto headlights, upgraded audio with 6-disc in-dash CD/MP3, full time torque on demand 4WD and rear spoiler – $3,200.

Gas Stats:

$1.99/ Gal avg. Jan 31, ‘09


for more information.

15 City and 20 Highway MPG


MSRP $26,195. With Options $29,395.

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