Kia Sorento 4x4 full 9 point review
Despite being no lightweight, the Sorento weighs usefully less than some similarly sized rivals; add the diesel engine’s healthy 197bhp and 325lb ft, and performance is pretty brisk. You rarely have to work the engine hard to make decent progress, too. Versions with the automatic gearbox are slower than those with the manual, but they’re still quick enough in most situations.
Ride & Handling
Kia has set up the Sorento’s suspension for comfort first and foremost. It has succeeded, because the ride is impressively supple (versions with the biggest wheels pick up on too many bumps around town, though). The steering is pretty accurate, too. True, many rival SUVs have sharper handling, but the Sorento handles tidily enough.
Refinement has been made a priority – and it shows. There’s little wind noise, partly thanks to the effective door seals, and although you can hear the typical diesel sounds coming from the engine, they’re in the background. Road and suspension noise are also well suppressed. The result is an SUV that’s quiet on almost every road and at every speed. The manual gearbox has a notchy shift action, whereas the auto generally shifts smoothly between gears.
Buying & Owning
The Sorento is far from cheap to buy, but it shouldn’t cost you too much to run, helped by favourable pre-paid servicing packages that are available when you buy the car. Resale values are pretty good, although many rivals have superior fuel economy and CO2 emission figures. All in, though, this big Kia looks like a relatively solid long-term ownership proposition.
Quality & Reliability
Kia has an impressive reputation for reliability, but what really marks this Sorento out is the quality of its cabin materials. The plastics are suitably robust, and top-end models feel genuinely plush thanks to leather upholstery that covers a lot of the interior. Of course, Kia’s standard seven-year warranty provides further peace of mind.
Safety & Security
Safety equipment includes six airbags, stability control and a bonnet that springs up to help minimise pedestrian injuries in an impact. High-tech aids such as a blindspot warning system and rear cross-traffic alert (which warns you if vehicles are driving behind the car while you’re manouevring) are fitted to range-topping KX-4 versions. All this helped the Sorento score the maximum five stars in its Euro NCAP crash test. Security experts Thatcham are yet to test the Sorento.
Behind The Wheel
The elevated driving position helps give a good view of your surroundings, and the driver’s seat is comfortable on long journeys. It’s easy to get the ideal driving position, too. Most of the buttons and switches are close to hand and are simple to use.
Space & Practicality
There’s no shortage of legroom – even in the two standard rear-most seats – and headroom is also good. You’ll get a few small cases in the boot with all seven seats in place; with the two third-row seats folded down, there’s loads of space for luggage, or you can also fold down the middle row for a cavernous load bay.
You can certainly have lots of gadgets with your Sorento, but you’ll have to shop at the top of the model range to get them. Kia doesn’t offer a long list of individual optional extras, so if you want a specific bit of equipment, you'll have to go for a pricier version. Having said that, the mid-spec KX-2 version comes with a perfectly acceptable amount of equipment, including dual-zone climate control, heated leather seats, a reversing camera and sat-nav.