Kia Sorento makes mom's life easier.

Kia Cinderella Coach.

Kia Sorento made my road trip bearable.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided I'd go to SeaWorld ALONE. Yes, you heard me. ALONE. Which along with the immediately attractive and noticeable proposition of "no children to be responsible for" meant also that I'd have to drive myself there. Not so attractive. I hate driving.

I'm really a Driving Miss Daisy kind of girl. It's just that driving can be so, well, tedious. Unending. Nerve-racking. Boring. And there's all that turning left, merging, truckers, and ridiculous country-western-only-music in the middle of nowhere and whatnot.

I'd just rather not.

But, I decided to suck it up and give it a shot. What made it bearable, dare I say even enjoyable, was being loaned a Kia Sorento to drive to San Antonio. Cinderella in her magical pumpkin coach was more like it, as I had finally been given the wheels for a Pretty Princess road trip.

Why is the Kia Sorento a Pretty Princess car?
I am someone who loathes driving. So for you to make me actually enjoy driving a 5-hour road trip by myself takes some level of thoughtfulness. Kia, you are thoughtful. These things make driving better:

The Dashboard Nav/Radio:
Since I can't get even back from the Galleria Mall in North Dallas and all without getting lost, a dashboard NAV system is critical when a Pretty Princess is driving somewhere for five hours, alone. Somewhere that takes her thru Nowheresville, down a brand new TollRoad with same-named exits 100 miles apart (that was not a brilliant idea), three different highways and loops, and a moderate fear of pumping my own gas on a highway in the middle of aforementioned Nowheresville.

The user interface on the touch screen was very easy to understand.

The NAV system in the Sorento was very user-friendly (kind of like how a Mac makes sense and a PC does not). I didn't even have to read the owner's manual to figure out where SeaWorld was and how to get there. It told me when and where to get on and get off which road. Genius.

The Radio was equally as lovely...much like a fairy godmother of music. Surprisingly, the interface for the radio was way more intuitive to use than the one in my current car. (And now I am wishing for the Sorento's radio again). I sailed thru Carl's Corner and West without a hitch, grooving to Erasure and T'Pau on Sirius XM 33 First Wave. Time flies when you're singing art school music from the 80s at the top of your lungs.

Plus, there's a USB port, so I could plug-in my iPhone to play particular songs off my iTunes when I wanted to. Since it was a "hot" port, the iTunes interface from my iPhone showed up on the dashboard screen, and I could select music from there.

The Green ECO light comes on when you are optimizing the engine.

The Eco Engine:
A Pretty princess can feel good about reducing her carbon footprint, saving fuel, and helping the environment, when the ECO light comes on once the Sorento gets to optimum driving condition. You'd never guess that engine is relatively small, because it's powerful. And quiet. Gosh, but I miss that too, now that I'm back in my regular louder car. This crossover SUV gets up 32 MPG. I actually didn't stop for gas at all on the way from Dallas to San Antonio. Not once.

Techno Gizmos that actual make you a better driver.
Back up Camera:
When you are in reverse, you can see on your dashboard screen everything behind you. Raise your hand if you've hit those short cement pylons in parking garages. *raising hand*

Auto Tuck-In Side Mirrors:
This is nothing short of genius. Again, for thwarting those cement pylons in parking garages, and, ok, the sides of your own garage attached to your house. *raising hand again* There is a button you push and your side mirrors actually tuck in to the car. OMG is all I have to say about that.

Push Button Start:
Seriously, it's like driving a computer. It takes a few times to get used to this oddity, but I grew to appreciate not having to hold one more thing in my hand (the keys) when I got into the car with my purse, bag, and coffee. As long as the keys are in the vicinity, you just push the button to start the car. No more annoying CLINK CLINK CLINK of your Saks Fifth Avenue keychain whacking against the steering column for 500 miles. It's the little things, people.

3 Rows of Seats:
Yep. You heard correctly. This IS the "little" SUV of the Kia family, but yes, there is this handy flip-up third row of seats in the back so you can put your loudmouth 6-yr-old way in the back so he cannot chuck french fries at your head with such exquisite aim. Thank you Kia for recognizing that separation of mother and child is a beautiful and necessary thing.

It feels BIG inside the Sorento, even though it's their little SUV.

Tushie Warmers and Seat Adjusters:
If you are driving for five hours, it is so lovely to turn on that tushie warmer and soothe your lower back as you drive. I don't care if it is 106 outside, you want this.

You also want to be tall enough to see over the dashboard, lean a bit back so you don't feel like you're in an airplane seat, tilt the lumbar section of the back of the seat so it ever so gently supports your lower back, and move that seat far enough forward to reach the pedals no matter how short your legs are.

You can do all that with the fancy technology in the Kia Sorento seats. You feel like you are on top of it all. Again, I am missing the settings now that I'm back in my regular car. I feel like I'm not tall enough in the seat now. *sigh*

I have not mentioned that the 2012 Kia Sorento is an IIHS Top Safety pick, have I? It is. You can see all the other fancy features on the Kia Sorento here. Because although I think tushie warmers and tuck-in side mirrors are THE BOMB, there are probably things that boys would deem important like transmission specifications and towing capacity. Haul kids. Haul boats. Haul yourself to SeaWorld. Starting at $23,150, with all those bells and whistles, I'd call it a perfect Pretty Princess mobile.

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Mommy's Wish List Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kia.
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