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Kia Sorento

Motoring Review

KIA’S catchphrase for the past few years has been “the power to surprise.”

Pretty soon, it’s going to have to change to something different, because the fact that it builds quality vehicles is no longer a surprise, it’s a given.

One of the vehicles responsible for this massive change in public perception is the Sorento. First launched nearly 10 years ago, it was one of the first Korean products that made consumers sit up and take notice. It also made its competitors shift uncomfortably in their seats.

If the very first Sorento had them shifting uncomfortably, the new model will have them jumping up and down in fury.

Actually, the new part is not entirely new. The Sorento you see on this page is the result of an extensive facelift. An all-new Sorento is only set to arrive 18 months from now.

Exterior-wise, there are only a few subtle tweaks, but they make a big difference. These few changes have moved the Sorento up another step, so that it now competes not only with the more traditional fare in its segment, but also with products from the luxurious German brands.

On the inside, the changes are more noticeable. Kia is on a mission to elevate the quality of its interiors and if the Sorento is anything to go by, it’s definitely on the right path. Quality levels are very high for a model in its segment and Kia has been extremely generous in terms of standard specification.

On the base 2WD model you get - among many other things - climate control, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, leather trim, power driver seat, radio/CD player with MP3/AUX/USB compatibility, Bluetooth, six airbags, Isofix anchors and a host of safety acronyms designed to keep you on the road.

The top-of-the-range AWD seven seater takes luxury to another level, with a few extra niceties like a smart entry system, Flex Steer, TFT LCD instrument cluster display, heated and ventilated front seats and 50/50-split third row of seats.
Powering the Sorento is the well-known 2.2-litre turbo-diesel developing 150kW and 436Nm, mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. It does a marvellous job of powering the car and is never left wanting. Kia claims a brisk 0-100km/h acceleration time of 9.9 seconds (9.7 for the 2WD) and a top speed of 190km/h.

A 5-year/150 000km warranty and a 5-year/100 000km maintenance plan as standard.

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