- Popular and reliable
- Transforming brand image
- Plenty of versions to choose from
- Thoughtful design
- 7-year warranty
Kia launched its four-wheel drive Kia Sorento SUV back in 2002 and it proved a popular and reliable model. Now, the third-generation version is available, offering major strides in engineering, refinement and quality.
The Sorento is Kia’s flagship, with top spec models costs £41,000 and offering executive class and style. The current high-quality TV advertisements for Sorento underline Kia is serious about transforming its brand image.
The new Sorento is longer, lower, wider and more spacious than its predecessor. It has a lot of extra safety and convenience features and there are six versions available in the UK, priced from £27,000.
All models are powered by a revised 197 hp 2.2 litre diesel engine with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic. All have permanent 4WD and all are seven-seaters. And all have Kia’s industry-leading seven-year warranty.
New Sorento is large and imposing, and has classy, elegant styling. The cabin is thoughtfully designed, offering an excellent driving position with great visibility, and very comfortable seating.
The instrument and switchgear layout is user-friendly and you immediately feel at home behind the wheel. Trim materials are high quality and the cabin has a plush premium look and feel. Our only criticism is that the cabin is dull – it’s hard to find anything that isn’t grey! Some colour contrast would give the cabin a significant boost.
However, that is our only quibble – the Sorento scores highly on every other count.
It is roomy, with decent legroom even for those on the third row of seats. Boot capacity is 142 litres if all seats are used, a substantial 605 litres if five seats are used, and folded flat you get a van-like 1,662 litres.
When driving, you instantly notice the refinement – minimal wind and road noise, and superbly supple ride quality. The engine is exceptionally quiet, smooth, responsive, and we never had to work it hard to get brisk performance.
The 0-60 mph time of 9 seconds is nippy, top speed is 124 mph and the fuel figure 46.3 mpg combined.
Our test model was the KX-3 (one down from the flagship KX-4) and costing £35,845 in manual form.
Standard kit is extensive and includes 18-inch alloys, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, panoramic sunroof, auto lights and wipers, privacy glass, heated steering wheel, dual zone air-con, cruise control with speed limiter, smart entry, all-wheel drive, reversing camera, 10-speaker DAB radio, Bluetooth, sat-nav with 8-inch touch screen, and lane departure warning. And that really is the short-list!
The Sorento isn’t the cheapest SUV in its class but it has a package of style, build-quality, reliability, driving refinement and strong residual values that is hard to match.
FOR: High specification, excellent driving dynamics, outstanding warranty.
AGAINST: Dull cabin!No related links found