We’re a big fan of Kia – they turn out some pretty nice cars at a tempting looking price. We also have a soft spot for crossover SUVs. They don’t have the off road performance of a full-on bush monster like a Land Cruiser but they still let you get off the beaten track and spend your weekends in some of Australia’s nicest scenery – plus they can act like proper cars during the week. Let’s face it; no matter how much you love a battered old Land Rover it’s not going to look too great parked beside the boss’s BMW. A crossover can hold its head up in any car park without being stuck on the road.
Anyway, one of the nicest crossovers around at the moment is Kia’s Sorento. It’s a nicely put together machine with plenty space for four people and all their camping gear, plus the power to haul it around off road. It wouldn’t be our first choice for rock crawling but you can easily get down some pretty rough trails in it, and it’s perfect for hitting the beach too. Like most of the more refined 4wds it does benefit from some aftermarket accessories, though – because most owners never go anywhere interesting the toolkit isn’t really built for the bush, and a few other bits and pieces will help keep your Sorento in good shape.
Firstly, tools. The standard jack is great on a hard surface, but it won’t be much fun trying to use it on loose sand. Get one of our exhaust jacks; that will lift you straight out of the softest ground. To make sure you stay out throw a couple of pairs of sand channels in the back as well. We have a great selection, from the affordable Sand Trax to the awesome Treds.
Nobody should ever go off road without a good snatch strap and a couple of decent shackles; if you don’t get bogged yourself at some point (and you will) you’ll meet someone who did. Forget cheap tow ropes – a snatch strap will give you the extra bit needed to haul a heavy vehicle out of trouble.
One of the big selling points of crossovers is their car-level comfort, and you don’t want to spoil that by getting the interior messed up with ground-in mud. Deep dish floor mats will protect your carpets and catch any dirt that falls off your boots, making it easy to clean up when you get home.
Finally, make use of your roof fittings – get a set of decent bars and mount one of our Tough awnings on there. That way you can have a big shelter set up within minutes of stopping. Our awnings are some of the biggest on the market and now come with ultra-efficient LED lighting.
Get the right accessories and your Sorento will be ready for all sorts of off-road adventures. At Tough Toys we’re all about helping you do that.