The original Kia Sorento was a budget family workhorse. However, the modern car is now considered a premium large SUV and itís priced in a bracket which means it competes against the likes of the Skoda Kodiaq, Peugeot 5008 and even the Land Rover Discovery Sport. So, is the Sorento up to the task?
The engine line up to the Kia Sorento is very simple because thereís just one, the 2.2 litre diesel. This engine provides 197 break horse power (bhp) and although itís not very flexible by modern standards itís punchy enough especially if you keep it between two thousand and three and a half thousand pm (revs per minute). Itís also faster than both the Nissan X-Trail and Land Rover Discovery Sport. The good news is that unless youíre revving the engine really hard youíll barely notice itís there. Likewise, you only really get steering wheel and pedal vibrations if youíre really pushing hard on the pedal. Thereís some wind and road noise to contend with and if you find yourself out on a rainy day that then you might find the constant patter of raindrops on the window slightly annoying too.
Four-wheel-drive and a six speed manual gearbox come as standard on the Sorento. However, the gear changes are long and notchy. Therefore, we much prefer the eight speed automatic as it suits the Sorentoís relaxed nature a lot better. Rather than trying to make the Sorento feel sporty Kia has instead focussed on giving the car a comfortable ride and it has to be said that the results are generally impressive. Its soft suspension soaks up larger obstacles such as speed-bumps and it lopes along the motorway very well. Things get a bit more unsettled around town especially if you opt for the GT Line or GT Line S model as they both ride on chunky 19-inch alloy wheels. However, the Sorentoís stiff body helps to stop most shudders being felt inside. To achieve the comfortable ride this car does sacrifice agility and is nowhere near as nimble as rivals from Skoda and Land Rover. The steering is vague and itís unevenly weighted which means that youíre never really sure what the front wheels are doing.
The driverís seat offers a good amount of sideways support and all but the cheapest KX-1 and KX-2 models get adjustable lumbar support. Thereís also plenty of adjustment in the seat so itís easy to find a comfortable driving position. Youíre also sitting very high up so you get a great commanding view of the road and excellent sideways visibility. Unfortunately, due to the sloping roofline, the rear visibility is compromised. However, you do get front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera as standard. If you opt for the GT Line S then youíll get an all-around visibility camera and even a self-parking system. We have to say that the Sorento has one of the best interiors for build quality among non-premium SUVs. Everything in the cabin looks well put together and built to last. Aside from some flimsy switches on the steering wheel most of the buttons are well damped. Ok, itís not quite as good as what youíd find in an Audi but itís at least as well-built as the Discovery Sport. Even the entry level KX-1 models come with a seven inch touchscreen and gets you Bluetooth, DAB radio, USB in and also Apple Car Play or Android Auto. If you upgrade to KX-2 then youíll gain an inch on the touchscreen and youíll also get satellite navigation. If you take it one stage further and opt for the KX-3 or GT line S models then you get an upgraded stereo system which is great if you love your music.
A large SUV should be spacious and the Kia Sorento certainly doesnít disappoint. Thereís plenty of room for tall adults in the front and thereís also lots of storage. The doors also open very wide which makes getting in and out very easy. Step into the middle row and youíll find that thereís plenty of room even if you need to fit three adults side-by-side. You have to be aware that if you opt for KX-3 or GT Line S then you get a panoramic sunroof. Itís a nice feature but if youíre passengers are on the taller side then they may find that their headroom is slightly compromised. The seats situated right at the back are fine if theyíre going to be used for small children but will be a little too cramped if youíre an adult. Itís a shame that you can only access the very rear seats from one side of the car. Saying this, there is actually more room in the Sorento than youíd find in a Skoda Kodiaq or Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Boot space is another of the Sorentoís strong points because in five-seat mode thereís more space for your luggage than youíll find either the Discovery Sport or Volvo XC60. Even with all seven seats in place youíll still be able to fit in a couple of suitcases or a weekly shop. The boot is a practical shape too and thereís no annoying load lip to have to lift your items over.
The Kia Sorento does have a fairly hefty price tag though you do get a lot of car for your money. Even the entry level KX-1 has everything that youíre likely to need including air conditioning, bluethooth, DAB radio, seven inch touchscreen including Apply Car Play and Android Auto. However, we think that it would be a smart upgrade to opt to KX-2 where you get some added luxuries including heated seats, dual zone climate control, automatic wipers and self-levelling suspension. The Sorento certainly isnít the most fuel efficient large SUV around and it will cost you more in company car tax than a lot of its rivals. Also, itís more likely to perform less well when compared against the Skoda Kodiaq and Land Rover Discovery Sport in terms of fuel efficiency. The Sorento will also lose more of its value over three years than both of those cars. There is peace of mind that all Kias come with a seven year warranty and thereís a whole host of driver aides and six airbags thrown in too. Unfortunately, Automatic Emergency Braking can only be specced on high-end models and you canít spec it on the options list on lower models.
The Kia Sorento makes a lot of sense if you regularly need to fill all seven seats and itís also a very capable towing car. Itís not a class leader but you canít not love its big practical interior and generous equipment. Head to DesperateSeller.co.uk today to find great deals on used Kia Sorento cars for sale.