The Sorento is no longer the bargain it once was, but KX-1 and KX-2 versions still make reasonable financial sense.
The KX-1 is certainly the most attractive to company car drivers. It emits considerably less CO2 than other versions thanks to its 17in alloys (other Sorentos have 18 and 19in rims), although it’s still nowhere near as efficient as an equivalent BMW X3 or Nissan X-Trail. This entry-level Sorento is available only with a manual gearbox, too.
If you’re buying privately, you should also consider the KX-2. It’s a fair bit pricier, but it is available with an automatic gearbox – something most large SUV buyers value. Even the KX-3 is worth a look if you really value your luxuries, although the KX-4, while seriously well equipped, is too pricey to recommend.
The Sorento isn’t the most efficient car in its class. It’ll cost you more in company car tax than many similarly priced rivals, and it drinks more diesel in real-world driving than an equivalent Skoda Kodiaq or Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Depreciation isn't horrendous, but expect to lose more of your money over three years than you would with a Skoda Kodiaq or a Land Rover Discovery Sport. Service intervals are long at every year or 20,000 miles, and you can take out a good-value pre-paid plan that covers the cost of the first three or five services.
Kia Sorento equipment
Entry-level trims are often short of luxuries, but the KX-1 Sorento is well equipped. You get air-conditioning, 17in alloy wheels, reversing sensors, cruise control and electrically folding door mirrors thrown in with the price, so far from being a stripped-out, low-cost option, this is actually our top recommendation if you’re a company car driver.
You do miss out on self-levelling rear suspension, though, as well as a touchscreen sat-nav system, which the KX-2 – our favourite version for private buyers – comes with as standard. This mid-spec trim also gets a more advanced automatic air-conditioning system, leather upholstery and heated front seats.
KX-3 and KX-4 models are seriously well equipped; you get luxuries including a powered tailgate, xenon headlights, a panoramic glass roof and an electrically adjustable driver’s seat on both. However, these top-end versions are far from cheap, so we’d recommend thinking carefully before being seduced by all those creature comforts.
Kia Sorento reliability
This generation of Kia Sorento was too new to feature in our most recent ownership satisfaction survey, but Kia as a brand was included and finished near the top for mechanical dependability. What’s more, this Sorento’s engine and gearbox have been tried and tested in other cars, including the previous-generation Sorento and the Hyundai Santa Fe, so should prove largely trouble free.
You also get the peace of mind of a seven-year warranty, assuming you don’t cover more than 100,000 miles during that time. Roadside assistance is provided free of charge for the first 12 months, and is a reasonably priced option each year thereafter. It covers you for any breakdowns at your home address, as well as any problems when you’re driving in the UK or in mainland Europe.
Kia Sorento safety & security
All Sorentos come with six airbags and a host of electronic driver aids, including stability control, hill-start assist and trailer stability assist. Tyre pressure monitoring is also fitted to every model.
However, more advanced safety aids, such as blindspot warning and cross-traffic alert (which warns you of passing cars when you’re reversing), are standard only on the range-topping KX-4; they can’t be added to lower-spec versions. Automatic emergency braking isn’t available at all, whereas it's fitted as standard to many rivals.
Still. the Sorento was awarded five stars in its Euro NCAP crash test in 2014, with scores of 90% for adult protection, 83% for child protection and 67% for pedestrian protection. The rival Land Rover Discovery Sport scored identical marks for child safety, but slightly better ones for adult and pedestrian protection.
Security kit includes an alarm, engine immobiliser and a visible vehicle identification number (VIN). Security experts Thatcham awarded the Sorento five stars for guarding against being stolen and four stars for resisting being broken in to.
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This entry-level trim isn’t as sparsely equipped as you might imagine. You get 17in alloys, air-conditioning, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and cruise control. It’s worth remembering, though, that metallic paint is the only optional extra, so if you want sat-nav, heated seats or an automatic gearbox, you’ll need to upgrade to KX-2 trim.
Our pick KX-2
Our favourite trim gets 18in alloys, leather seats, a reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, automatic lights and wipers, and self-levelling suspension. You also get a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav.
Worth a look if you really like your luxuries. This trim gets everything that’s standard on the KX-2, plus a powered tailgate, panoramic sunroof, a bigger touchscreen, a more powerful sound system, keyless entry and engine starting, and adaptive xenon headlights.
This trim is overflowing with luxuries. As well as all the stuff you get with KX-3, this range-topper adds 19in alloys, an electrically adjustable passenger seat, a 360-degree camera system, heated and cooled front seats and a self-parking system. It’s too pricey to recommend, though.