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First drive: Kia Sorento 2.2D AWD

New  third-generation Kia Sorento SUV

New third-generation Kia Sorento SUV

The new third generation Kia Sorento is a much more polished and refined SUV writes Geraldine Herbert

What is it? Kia’s third generation Sorento has just arrived sporting a sharper look outside and more premium feel inside. Rivals include the  Hyundai Santa Fe and the Mitsubishi Outlander but Kia reckon it might just lure buyers away from BMW’s X5, Land Rover’s Discovery and  the Volvo XC90.

First impressions of the new Kia Sorento? The new SUV’s  face has supposedly been based on a wolf’s appearance  but while the similarities are lost on us the long, wrap-around headlamps and more prominent fog-lamps along with the more upright ‘tiger-nose’ grille do certainly improve the overall look and it is a lot smarter looking.

What about the interior?  Inside are where the biggest changes are to be found and everything is well finished and the logical layout for all the controls plus plenty of seat and wheel adjustment makes it a very pleasant cabin. Space is good throughout and the Sorento comes with an optional seven-seat format.

And on the road?  Much more refined than before the diesel engine can barely be heard while the changes to the suppression has improved the  handling and ride. While it feels neat and fairly nimble around corners on the road it does feel like a big car.  All wheels drive is standard and  it is an “on demand” system which means that up to 50 per cent of the power is transferred to the rear wheels if you start to slide or loss grip.

The increased exterior dimensions and the extended wheelbase means a lot more space in the cabin

The increased exterior dimensions and the extended wheelbase means a lot more space in the cabin

How much? The Sorento’s EX entry level model costs from €38,995  and the Platinum model from €43,995.  The EX is a 5 seater and standard items includes 17” alloys, rear privacy glass ,super vision instrument cluster and 7” Sat Nav with reversing camera. Opt for the seven seater Platinum version and extras include a panoramic sunroof, Xenon lights leather and heated (front and 2nd row  rear ) seats, heated steering wheel  and an 8 way power adjustable driver’s seat.

How safe? The five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating is reassuring and the Sorento scored highly in all four areas (90% Adult Occupant Protection, 83% Child Occupant Protection, 67% Pedestrian Protection and 71% Safety Assist).

What about my options? Available with five seats and a vast boot or you can opt for the seven-seat model that offers two rear seats that are fine for children or adults on short trips – as long as nobody wants to bring any luggage.

3 words to describe the Kia Sorento?  Stylish; Reliable; Rugged

 

Check out the Video below to see the Kia Sorento on the road

 

 

For more information check out Kia Ireland or the Kia Ireland Facebook page.

 Geraldine Herbert

13th March, 2015

 

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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