2020 KIA Sorento SX V6 AWD Conquers Prince Edward County

The 3rd generation 2020 KIA Sorento SX V6 is in its final model year as a fully-loaded mature SUV

2020 KIA Sorento SX V6 AWD, the range-topping model of KIA’s popular SUV is in its final model year. The current Sorento is the 3rd generation and thus is a mature product. With the arrival of the full-size and award-winning Telluride, the fourth generation Sorento will be repositioned and remain a big-selling model within the range.

Our fully-loaded tester, SX V6 AWD, had the 3.3L V6 engine with 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque. Mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, this vehicle provides sufficient power of torque for a smooth ride in the city as well as in long-distance highway trips.

With an MSRP of C$ 46,595, the Korean brand offers good value for money. Furthermore, as an outgoing model, you will very likely find attractive campaigns and deals. The fully loaded SX V6 has AWD as standard, but also a 360-degree camera, lane-keep assist, forward-collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert, smart-power liftgate, premium leather seats, panoramic sunroof, 10-speaker Harman Cardon audio system, 8-inch infotainment system with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, among others.

Next to Telluride which is a full-size 7-seater SUV, the Sorento is not the biggest SUV anymore in the KIA Family. The third row is more for kids or shorter rides if the occupants are adults. So, some distance to its bigger brother is necessary.

Unfortunately, we could not test the winter-driving and bad-weather characteristics of Sorento. However, based on the feedback of the last four years, this is a reliable vehicle you can drive throughout the year in Canada.

The interior may seem a bit outdated, but the cockpit is ergonomically designed and the infotainment system is easy to use

For a day trip, I and Serdar, my friend chose Prince Edward County to the east of Toronto. Approximately halfway between Toronto and Ottawa, the beautiful coastal region around the Bay of Quinte is an attractive destination not only for a day-trip but also for a weekend escape or a vacation at the cottage.

        We took a photo stop at a horse ranch between Napanee and Adolphustown

In the aftermath of the American Revolution, in 1780s tens of thousands of loyalists (aka United Empire Loyalists),  moved to Canada and around 2000 of them settled in regions between the Cataraqui River and the east end of the Isle of Quinte and took up land grants. The British Government established the Province of Upper Canada (today’s Ontario) in 1791 as a response to the increased number of loyalist settlements.

 

The loyalist settlements of Prince Edward County gave birth to the Province of Upper Canada, the former name of Ontario

We left the EB 401 in Napanee and drove towards Glenora Ferry. On this 38 kilometer-stretch of driving, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery of Hay-Bay, watched the beautiful horses at ranches, and pictures some well-looked-after loyalist houses. The Sorento provided a comfortable and relaxed drive with good sound insulation and nice music from the 10-speaker Harman-Cardon sound system.

Driving along the Hay Bay

Immediately after Adolphustown, a loyalist settlement which expresses its identity and heritage with union-jack flags at many houses, we took a short photo stop before crossing Bay of Quinte to Glenora. The ferry is free and the “journey” lasts about 10 minutes. You have to stay in your vehicle.

The ferry ride between Adolphustown and Glenora is short but was the very sweet part of our trip

 

Glenora, across Quinte Bay towards Picton

 

In Glenora, across the bay, we had a very memorable stop at Diamond J Ranch, which is famous for its scenic tours by horseback.

We did not have time for this experience but enjoyed the ranch and its beautiful horses. We were thankful to the owner-family for their hospitality and highly recommend a stop with a horseback tour at this place.

Shortly after getting off the ferry in Glenora, prepare to stop at Diamond J Ranch for a scenic horseback tour

Diamond J Ranch, Prince Edward County

Diamond J Ranch, Prince Edward County

Diamond J Ranch, Prince Edward County

For more information please visit http://www.diamondjranch.ca

Picton, the largest community of Prince Edward County with nearly 5,000 inhabitants is only 10 kilometers from of Glenora is located at the southwest end of Bay of Picton, a branch of Bay of Quinte. The town is named for Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Picton, who served in the British Army during the Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal. He also saw action at the Battle of Waterloo, where he was killed.

Due to Covid-19 limitations, the town was quieter and less crowded than usual. The beautiful lakefront houses and a number of new constructions this town is another cottage country for residents of big cities like Toronto and Ottawa and seems to have a bright future as a vacation destination. We had a one-hour stop at the patio of 555 Brewing Company to have pizza and drinks.

Downtown Picton

Our next stop was Wellington, 18 kilometers southwest of Picton. It has a population of less than 2.000 but is highly recommended when you visit Prince Edward County. Being on the shore of both Lake Ontario and West Lake in the southwest of the county, Wellington is conveniently placed when you discover this part of Ontario. We stopped and took a walk in the North Docks area and the Rotary Beach. The weather was fantastic and we were glad to see people were lining up to be seated in the patio of a waterfront restaurant.

Leaving Wellington we decided to delay our merge to Highway-401 and followed the Loyalist Parkway (aka Hwy-33). This section is also the wine route of the county. Sadly, tasting visits to most wineries were by appointment only due to coronavirus restrictions.

Wellington, PEC

PEC Wine Country

Along with this 45-kilometer stretch of land we passed by Norman Hardie, Trayner Family, Hillier Creek Estates among others.

The partially winding and narrower roads of the wine country gave us more driving pleasure than the somewhat boring of Highway 401. So, we decided to continue for another 40 kilometers along the Highway-2 until Cobourg.

I felt sad navigating in the heart of Cobourg and see the town so silent, which would otherwise be packed with visitors at this time of the year. The famous beach was closed too.

2020 KIA Sorento SX V6 AWD

Our one-week test drive with the left a very good impression: The ride was comfortable with sufficient torque and power all the time and the average consumption of about 12 liters are good.  A fully-loaded, well-built SUV that can seat 7 under circumstances for a price of mid 40 Grand is an alternative that deserves a closer look at least.

At the latest results of JD Power’s quality survey ranks KIA at the top. This is the outcome of a long and passionate work by the Koreans with international top talents like Peter Schreyer and Albert Biermann on board.

We may probably state that “Buying a KIA may not be a wrong decision”

Article: Varol Mc Kars

Photos: Serdar Yilgoren & Varol McKars

For more and most of-to-date information, please visit http://kia.ca