Florida Guide > Travelling
The Kia Sorento
For the first leg of our summer vacation last year we flew into Miami having pre-ordered a mid/standard sized SUV(4x4) vehicle from Alamo car rental. We were collected at the airport by a new bus system that all of the major rental companies now share which took us to the impressive new car rental centre just off airport.
After a short queue we were directed to a suite of elevators that took us to the car park. Alamo have a great system at their larger locations which allows you to actually select the vehicle that you want to spend the next week or two in. This has certainly worked for us many times as you can generally avoid those vehicles that have higher mileage or look like they' ve been on safari.
The SUV is a popular car rental choice in the US as vehicles offer height providing good visibility and plenty of room for luggage. Many vehicles had already been taken but our eye was caught by a very shiny stylish looking KIA, called the Sorento.
This was a new second generation model that only arrived in the US in early 2010, which explained why it looked so new and had a very low mileage. The vehicle provided was an attractive metallic silver with blackened rear glass to both tailgate and rear doors, set off by stylish allow wheels and a sleek body line. We were supplied with the 3. 5 litre V6 which came with a very slick 6 speed automatic gear box that helped return around 22 mpg on average, not bad for an engine of this size.
On the road the Sorento felt capable, comfortable and amazingly quiet, helping greatly on our drive up from Miami to Bonita Springs and then on to Orlando. Sometimes when stationery I wondered if the engines was running at all! Much of this is of course attributable to a smooth delivery from the 3. 5 litre V6 engines coupled with what seemed to be very effective insulation. This certainly made driving longer distances very easy.
Inside the Sorento came with thought out styling with everything in a logical place. (I often judge the effectiveness of interior design from rental vehicles as they are generally vehicles that you have no prior knowledge of, and if things feel logical from the outset then you know the design is good. There is nothing worse than fumbling around for the light switch in the dark in an unfamiliar car). A multi functional steering wheel provided control of everything from cruise control to the hi-fi system and I particularly liked the centre position speedometer. Air conditioning was dual zone allowing the front and rear cabins to be independently controlled. My teenage daughters of course were most impressed by the quality of the sound system and the fact that they could attached their iPods to it to play music. Luggage space in the boot (trunk) housed our 4 suitcases and 4 pieces of hand luggage without any problem.
Renting the Kia Sportage was an enjoyable experience so if you see one available when you next rent a car then give it a try.
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