The new Sorento is proof that Kia takes refinement very seriously with a high quality interior and smart styling writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? The seven-seat SUV is one of the most popular family car choices on the road and Kia’s third generation seven seat Sorento is their most refined to date.
Who is it aimed at? You don’t have to spend all your spare time contemplating fordable rivers, scalable peaks and crossable tundras to want to look the part! The new Sorento is a capable, comfortable and a very stylish family car, that just happens to be just as competent off road.
Styling? Longer and lower than before the new Sorento may carry over much from the last version but this time Kia has given it a look that is both sophisticated and hard wearing.
Under the Bonnet? The 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine is good for strength, speed and fuel economy and the clever four-wheel drive system, that comes as standard, shifts power to different wheels depending on the conditions.
What about inside? It’s the interior quality that sets it apart from the previous version with soft touch materials and an excellent quality feel throughout. It’s easy to get comfy in the driver’s seat and there is plenty of room front and back.
On the Road? On the motorway it is impressively quiet but the engine can get a little raucous under hard acceleration. It soaks out most lumps and speed bumps with a firm but comfortable ride and it handles reasonably well; while it is not by any means sporty to drive it is stable at speed and corners without rolling too much.
And Safety? There is no reason to fret about safety as the Kia Sorento has been awarded the maximum five-star crash safety rating by Euro NCAP. It scored highly in all four areas ( Adult , Child , Pedestrian and Safety Assist and comes equipped with a wealth of safety technologies.
What about fuel economy? Kia has worked hard to keep fuel consumption and emissions down in the new model and the results are impressive. Manual models have combined economy of 5.7 litres per 100 (49.5mpg) with CO2 emissions of only 149g/km, while the corresponding figures for the automatic are 6.5 litres per 100 (43.4mpg) and 172g/km.
Options? If five seats is all you need then the entry level EX Sorento is the one to choose at €38,995. However, the one most likely to be the best seller of the range is the Platinum version with seven seats at €43,995. It’s generously equipped for the price trumping many rivals with 17” alloys, rear privacy glass ,super vision instrument cluster and 7” Sat Nav with reversing camera all as standard. Plump for the Platinum version and you get extras such as panoramic sunroof, Xenon lights, leather and heated (front and 2nd row rear ) seats, heated steering wheel, 8 way power adjustable driver’s seat.
Will it break the bank? You shouldn’t have to worry about breaking down or it needing costly repairs, as Kia is known to build reliable cars backed by their reassuring seven year warranty.
Verdict? The new Sorento strikes a really good balance between comfort, functionality and style. It’s easy to drive and very well equipped plus when you factor in Kia’s seven-year warranty it should be very hard to overlook it.
Why you’ll buy one? Well equipped; Stylish looks; Practical
Why you won’t? Engine Noise; no front wheel drive option
Hyundai Santa Fe – prices from €39,245
Jeep Cherokee – prices from €36,000
SsangYong Rexton W – prices from €44,474
Kia Sorento Platinum 2.2
Engine: 2,199 cc, 147 kW @ 3,800 rpm, 441 Nm @ 1,750-2,750 rpm
Max speed: 203km/h
0-100 kph: 9.0 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 149 g/km (€390)
Model price range: Price from €38,995
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 5.7 (49.6)
Boot Capacity Seats up(down): 600 litres (1732)
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
8th July, 2015