Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sorento Takes Smoother Ride Than Durango

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sorento Takes Smoother Ride Than Durango

Article excerpt

2014 Kia Sorento SX Limited AWD vs. 2014 Dodge Durango Citadel AWD, Part 2: Three rows of clear choices.

Prices: Sorento, $41,600 as tested (starts at $24,100); Durango, $47,280 as tested (starts at $29,795).

Catching up: Last week we examined the interiors of the two four- wheel-drive crossovers, and deemed both "snug," though the Sorento was "snugger." This week, we take them out on the road.

Warming up: When firing up a $40-grand-plus vehicle in the cold, a driver's fancy turns to the seat heater. Dodge has incorporated the Durango's seat control into the touchscreen, which is fairly obnoxious because the screens take a while to warm up. The seat heating option does flash on the screen immediately upon startup, but grab it fast because it disappears again until the screen is ready to go. The Sorento has nice little buttons under the heater controls that allow the freezing operator to control the seat heating and cooling anytime.

Play some tunes: One possible improvement for Dodge's touchscreen system would be a staggered frame around the screen. If I knew, for instance, that the seat controls were along the first high notch on the left and the radio was the middle low notch, I could probably learn to operate it without taking my eyes off the road.

The Sorento smartly offers buttons to control audio source and map. But I have to make special mention of the UVO stereo system's sound. It was truly stellar and brought out all the various parts of my test songs clearly. And I think I finally got a Kia with UVO that did not cut off the opening notes of the songs.

Getting in gear: Dodge has long been known for creativity in the transmission selector department, all the way back to the days of push-button transmissions in the 1950s and '60s.

The Durango follows the trail blazed by Great-Great-Grandpa Dart, but instead of buttons it has a knob controlling the transmission. I found it difficult for turning around in the tight Sturgis driveway.

The Sorento has a gear shift and +/-.

Many choices: Dodge has made much of the eight-speed transmission offered for the first time in the 2014 Durango. …

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