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2006 Kia Sorento 2.5CRDi XE

Nov 2007 - Fourth Report (24,300 miles)

2006 Kia Sorento XE 2006 Kia Sorento XE 2006 Kia Sorento XE 2006 Kia Sorento XE 2006 Kia Sorento XE 2006 Kia Sorento XE 2006 Kia Sorento XE

The Sorento has recently had its 20,000 mile service. This one, like the first at 10,000 miles, was carried out by Kia Bolton and everything was good. On both occasions I called the dealer and managed to book a slot within about a week. I was more than happy with this as I needed a courtesy car...past experience with VW has sometimes meant I had to make a reservation two or three weeks in advance to secure a loaner.

For the first service my ride for the day was a Kia Picanto. Ok, now I’m not totally against small cars, I’ve had my fair share of them in the past and my missus had a Mini Cooper (the BMW one) a couple of years ago and it was fantastic. Trouble is, the Mini is a quality car, the Picanto is not. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cheap, economical and looks pretty good but it feels small and flimsy, the exact opposite of the Sorento. Still, it was free. For the second service I specifically asked to not have a Picanto. This time I got a brand new Karens and this was much better. A big improvement over the Picanto in terms of quality and much more refined. One major problem though - a bloody stupid handbrake...sorry parking brake. You press a foot pedal to the left of the clutch to apply it and press an electronic switch on the dash to release it. I mean, why? What’s wrong with a normal handbrake? Picture this...you come up a hill to a t-junction, stop with the foot brake, into neutral, foot off clutch, apply foot-operated parking brake, foot back on the clutch, into first, gas, clutch, lean forward (unless you’re an orangutan) to press button on dash to release parking brake...oh bugger I missed my gap. I’m all for advances in design and technology but not at the expense of usability. If you buy a Karens get an auto ’box or avoid hill starts.

The Sorento sailed through both services with no additional work required and the costs were £174 and £274 respectively. To be honest, it has performed almost faultlessly since I bought it; apart from that incident with the ventilation controls on day two (see second report) and a couple of occasions when the rear wiper has failed to work requiring it to be switched off then on again (programmed by Microsoft perhaps?). That catch I was expecting has not materialised and the build quality is standing the test of time, still no rattles or creaks from the trim and nothing has broken or fallen off.

I have had a couple of punctures though, one of which required me to change the wheel, but only because I was an idiot. I heard the dreaded click click of the screw hitting the road as the wheel rotated so when I got home I examined the tyres. In the offside front I found, not a screw, but a rather large-headed nail. Then it was decision time (I’m sure you’ve all been there)...drive to the tyre place as is, or pull out said object...well, I might be lucky, it might only be quarter of an inch long. I pulled it out and ’hissssssssssssss’. Unlucky. It went completely flat in about 20 seconds. So, to the boot to find the jack.

Once all the bits were found, that’s a small bottle jack, long metal handle, wrench, and locking wheel nut adapter, the next thing was to release the spare wheel from its home underneath the car. This is quite clever. To release the wheel you insert the t-shaped end of the long jack handle into a small hole just above the rear bumper, stick the wrench through the hole in the other end and wind. This unwinds the cable holding the wheel in place thus lowering it to the floor. This is much easier than struggling to lift it in and out of the boot and I reckon anyone could manage it. Plus you don’t even get your hands dirty as Kia provide a pair of gloves in the tool kit. From there on it’s standard wheel-changing methodology so no need to bore you with it.

My next, almost idiotic decision, was to take the wheel to Kwik-Fit...well it was the nearest place, and how can you go wrong with a puncture? Nothing wrong with the speed of service, I was dealt with virtually straight away. The guy took the wheel, located the puncture and set about repairing it. "Great" I, thought, "I’ll be out of here in 20 minutes". After he’d finished his fixing he came back to me and said,

"Excuse me sir, there’s a bit of a problem".

Here we go - "What kind of problem?" says I.

"I can’t balance the wheel as we don’t the right sized adapter"

"Oh dear, did you know this before you started"

"Er...yes"

????@!!!!!??!?!!??!...the words that eventually came out were "Well that’s not very good is it?" (I am the master of understatement!). He shook his head. Very helpful.

"Wouldn’t it have been better to tell me this before starting the job?"

"Er...yeah, I guess"

"So what am I going to do now?"

"Well you could go to another branch and see if they have the right adapter".

????@!!!!!??!?!!??!...after carefully considering my words, and rejecting quite a few, I said

"You’re serious aren’t you?".

Bless him, he’s obviously never attended a customer care training course. I was about to ask for the manager when he said,

"Hold on, I’ll see what I can do" and off he trotted. After a bit of head scratching and rummaging around he eventually seemed to find a suitable adapter and completed the job. I was expecting lots of wheel wobble after this fiasco but, amazingly, he seems to have done a good job, it’s perfectly balanced.

Anyway, apart from this little episode, and after more than a year of trouble free motoring I am more than pleased. Sorento ownership is exceeding my expectations.

Gav.

Jul 06 - First Report (84 miles)...More

Aug 06 - Second Report (1,080 miles)...More

Sep 06 - Third Report (2,300 miles)...More

Feb 08 - Fifth Report (27,600 miles)...More

Apr 08 - Sixth Report (31,800 miles)...More

Feb 09 - Seventh Report (47,000 miles)...More

Aug 09 - Eighth Report (49,500 miles)...More

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