We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The Sedona is roomy, good off-road and safe. It's also good value for money and reliable

Against It has a firm, fidgety ride and vague steering

Verdict A satisfying, capable and economical 4x4

Go for… 2.5 diesel XE

Avoid… 3.5 petrol

Kia Sorento 4x4
  • 1. It's a competent tow car and a reasonably quiet cruiser
  • 2. A few owners complain of rattles from the dashboard, but such problems tend to be sorted quickly by Kia dealers
  • 3. Inspect the undersides, suspension and bodywork closely for damage sustained off-road
  • 4. Ensure any recall work has been done - there was one for the potential seizing of the alternator pulley
  • 5. The fine 486-litre boot will expand to 1849 litres if you put the rear seats down
advertisement

Kia Sorento 4x4 full review with expert trade views

The Sorento is a lot of 4x4 for the money. You get a spacious cabin that will fit five - and it’s packed with creature comforts and safety equipment. There’s also a 486-litre boot, which swells to 1849 litres if you fold all the rear seats out of the way.

However, the sheer height of the vehicle makes clambering into the back seats or loading the boot a bit of a problem. By the same token, though, the driver sits in a commanding, reasonably comfortable position with a good view all round, and there's plenty of storage.

This is a traditional off-roader, which means a separate chassis and tough (by which we mean unsophisticated) suspension that creates a firm, unsettled ride.

The Sorento also leans too much in corners, even by 4x4 standards, and has vague steering. However, the pay-off is that it's very capable off-road, as well as a competent tow car and a reasonably quiet cruiser.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Good value but lacking image. Values hold strong - especially early-reg examples

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

There are only two engines - one petrol, one diesel - and two trims to consider, which makes things easy.

The 192bhp 3.5-litre petrol (a 237bhp 3.3 from mid-2006) comes with a nice smooth automatic gearbox. It’s cheaper to buy than the diesels, but it’s very thirsty.

So, overall, the 2.5 turbodiesel is a better bet. Its 138bhp is modest, but it's backed up by a solid 232lb ft of pull which gives it decent performance in everyday conditions. It’s also fairly refined and far more economical than the petrol. The engine was uprated to 168bhp and 289lb ft from mid-2006, and if your budget will stretch, this version is worth tracking down.

Every Sorento has twin front, side and curtain airbags as standard, as well as air-con, four electric windows, CD player, alloy wheels and alarm. So the basic XE will do you. For the record, XS trim upgrades you to climate and cruise control, but it's not worth the the extra.

Kia keeps used Sorentos within the dealer network wherever possible, so look there first, but 4x4 specialists can be worth a look, too.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Good value 4x4 but needs to be 2.5 CRDi XE to sell easily

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The Sorento was rated very highly for its low ownership costs in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey. Chief among those was how little owners had to pay to buy it in the first place - and, once depreciation has taken its toll, a used Sorento is even better value.

More than that, service costs are also very good for a 4x4. The Sorento should be cheaper to maintain than a Hyundai Santa Fe or Jeep Cherokee, and about the same as a Nissan X-Trail.

The diesels won’t bite chunks out of your credit card to keep in fuel, either. Reckon on getting low to mid-30s to the gallon in normal driving and maybe even 40mpg on a run. However, the 3.5 petrol will drain your finances. You can expect to average in the low-20s, and that will drop into the teens around town.

Renewing the insurance should hold no concerns. Even the 3.5 is a fairly palatable group 12, while the 2.5 diesel models fall into a decidedly modest group 9.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Good value but lacking image. Values hold strong - especially early-reg examples

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

Reports of problems with the Sorento are few and far between. It’s a very robust, reliable 4x4. A few owners complain of rattles from the dashboard when the vehicle is quite new, but such problems tend to be sorted quickly under the manufacturer’s three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.

The stereo may sound weedy, but that's normal, unfortunately. So, if you can find one, track down a car with an upgraded system.

And, while you're looking around, because the Sorento is so capable off-road, you should also inspect the undersides, suspension and bodywork closely for damage sustained away from Tarmac.

Likewise, check the door mirrors, bumpers and alloy wheels for signs of a hard life in the urban jungle, and look along the sides for dings from neighbours' car doors.

A full service history is essential, too, and ensure any recall work has been done - there was one for the potential seizing of the alternator pulley.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Good value 4x4 but needs to be 2.5 CRDi XE to sell easily

James Ruppert
Used car guru
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014