Long-Term Review:  Dog Day

2017 Kia Sorento: Dog Gone It

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author photo by Rob Nestora August 2017

Crossovers tend to make good vehicles for dog lovers due to their more rugged build quality, open cargo area and rear tailgate. Being a dog lover myself, I decided to give our 2017 Kia Sorento a little canine companionship to see how well it fared with my four-legged friend, Titan, as a passenger. So with a pocket full of treats and a leash in hand, we began the adventure that is our regular trip to the vet.

Smart Cookie

While some dogs love car rides, others do not. Titan belongs to the latter group. In fact, he would be content running around the living room or snoring on the couch and never leaving his 2,000 square feet of known territory other than to use the bathroom; so getting him out of the house and coaxing him into a vehicle is another animal altogether. The smart power tailgate on the Sorento was a huge help, as it let me focus on keeping Titan calm instead of fumbling with my keys and trying to open the rear hatch manually while an overexcited 80-lb puppy jerked his leash from side to side.

Warning

The situation wouldn't get any easier, though, as the audible warnings from the Kia Sorento's proximity-triggered smart power tailgate created an unintended headache. The three warning beeps are usually a great heads-up that the tailgate is about to open, but this time they only served to startle the already pumped-up pooch, so getting him to jump into the rear cargo area became an effort in futility. And while I had managed to get the tailgate open without having to free up my hands, I now had a reluctant canine who was not getting in the Kia on his own accord.

Tall Order

Usually, a bag of treats is all I need to get Titan to do what I want, but he wasn't very interested in anything other than running back into the house at the moment. The process was taking much longer than I expected, when I realized that I needed to get him in the Sorento as soon as possible and off to our appointment. With this in mind, I reached down and picked up the hefty pup, then placed him in the rear cargo area of the Kia. Being 6'2", lifting Titan into the back was no problem, as the Sorento's rear cargo floor is only 30 inches high. However, shorter dog owners with larger pups might have a little more of a struggle plopping their pooch into the back of the crossover.

Pup-approved

Despite a little bit of awkwardness due to the beeping of the smart power tailgate, the 2017 Kia Sorento managed to handle a neurotic canine in a fashion that would make Cesar Milan proud. And while Titan can certainly be a handful, the dog-friendliness of the Sorento is making me consider bringing my bestie on a road trip in the near future -- even if it means we have to make a stop to see the world's biggest chew toy.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2017 Kia Sorento: Dog Gone It - Autotrader