The previous generation Kia Sorento was an impressive product however, as I discovered, the new Sorento is more adept at satisfying consumer demand and competing with ever-improving competition.
We have seen that people will buy a car if it looks good and is priced well so suffice to say in this segment, design is important. I feel that Kia has done a great job on this model. As the design team suggests, it’s more evolutionary in terms of aesthetics, yet the final product is a more imposing vehicle.
The vehicle looks more in tune with the brand’s corporate identity with the big front grille and sleek headlamps while front and rear skid plates allude to a degree of off-road ability. The car is now longer and lower, so from the side profile it has a sportier look. The rear section of the car is fairly bland apart from the more sculpted number plate surround.
Upmarket attempt inside
The interior designers had a goal with the Sorento – they wanted to make it feel more, premium, not only with the design but also with the materials used. The design of the interior is very functional with familiar Kia switchgear, although the small 3.8 or 4.3-inch (model dependant) infotainment screens look dated in this package. There is an optional 10-inch screen with all the infotainment essentials, which I believe is a worthwhile addition and should be standard.
There is a tangible improvement in the quality of many materials while in certain areas there are still a few iffy surfaces. The use of different shades such a black, silver and grey along with a broader dashboard means the interior feels as capacious as it is. There is the option of either a five, or seven-seater version, the former benefiting from a massive 660-litre boot and the latter, a 605-litre boot with the third row of seats upright.
What’s it like to drive?
It’s rather nice actually. The improvements made to the refinement can really be felt on the road as cabin noise and ride quality are very impressive. Don’t expect a sports car when pushing it through some twisty stuff but at the same time, don’t expect a slouch, either.
The engines on offer are familiar with the 127kW/225Nm 2.4-litre naturally aspirated unit and the tried-and-tested 147kW/440Nm 2.2-litre turbo diesel, which is certainly the pick of the two as the petrol feels slightly gutless.
Depending on which model you go for, there are things such as:
Blind Spot Detection,
Lane Change Assist function,
Smart Power Tailgate,
Kia’s Dynamax all-wheel-drive system with 4WD Lock mode, which, coupled with 185mm of ground clearance, provides reasonable off-road ability.
There’s also Advanced Traction Cornering Control (ATCC),
Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
There are four models in the Sorento range with the base-spec front-wheel-drive five-seater 2.4 LS kicking things off; the only model with a six-speed manual gearbox and which comes with Bluetooth, USB/AUX/iPod connectivity, multifunction steering wheel, 17-inch wheels and two airbags. The front-wheel-drive five-seater Sorento 2.2 CRDi LX is next in the line-up and benefits from six airbags, Hill-start assist and LED tail lamps
The Sorento 2.2 CRDi EX gains the Dynamax AWD system, the 4.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, rear ventilation and two additional seats. The Sorento 2.2 CRDi SX AWD is the flagship model and gets the aforementioned features plus Blind Spot Detection, the Smart Power Tailgate and a full glass panoramic sunroof.
Warranty and service
All models come with a five-year/150 000km warranty while the base 2.4 LS gets a four-year/90 000km service plan and the LX, EX and SX models, a five-year/100 000km maintenance plan.
|KIA Sorento 2.4 LS||R 379 995|
|KIA Sorento 2.2 CRDi LX||R 499 995|
|KIA Sorento 2.2 CRDi EX AWD||R 599 995|
|KIA Sorento 2.2 CRDi SX AWD||R 634 995|