Kia Sorento is worth the price
The biggest mistake that any car reviewer can make before hitting the road with a new set of wheels - that is relatively new to the market - is to Google the vehicle in question.
Of course, rather than follow my own good advice, I typed 'Kia Sorento' and hit enter. The first two results could not have been a greater contrast: a YouTube offering that was so bland, it was a complete waste of bandwidth; and 1,000-plus words from Jeremy Clarkson that was highly critical.
So it was with mixed feelings that I got into the said Sorento, which costs slightly more than HK$250,000 for the full package: that is, the four-wheel drive with panorama sunroof (quite the best bit), leather upholstery, powered drivers' seat, alloy wheels, and a parking camera which I can never quite bring myself to trust.
Even if you don't want to pay this much, you're still getting a chunky seven-seater, and the two-wheel drive is probably sufficient when you consider the amount of off-road driving that the average Hongkonger tackles on a daily basis.
So much for the extras: how about the main task in hand? The Sorento's six-speed automatic transmission handles smoothly, there's obviously a fair bit of power under the bonnet, and the ride is more than comfortable.
Stack the machine with people, or a load of shopping, and you are still not going to feel you're crammed in. And riding above the rest of the traffic, on the level of smaller goods lorries, is a good way of offsetting the sort of claustrophobia induced by being stuck at yet another set of traffic lights in downtown Kowloon.
If you are going to get something this big, then the Kia Sorento would certainly be nudging the top of the short list.
A final, and perhaps slightly unusual word on colour. Sure you can get your car sprayed, but it's surprising that car manufacturers always seem to play it safe.
Of the 11 schemes on offer with the Sorento, including Java Brown, Inky Blue and Clear White, none really seem to be attractive. And that includes the puzzlingly named Muscle Beige.