Kia Sorento review

Category: Large SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:diesel, hybrid
Available colours:
Kia Sorento 2021 interior infotainment
Add to shortlist
  • Kia Sorento 2021 COTY
  • Kia Sorento 2021 rear tracking
  • Kia Sorento 2021 interior dashboard
  • Kia Sorento 2021 interior rear seats
  • Kia Sorento 2021 interior infotainment
  • Kia Sorento 2021 front static
  • Kia Sorento 2021 interior rear seats
  • Kia Sorento 2021 interior steering wheel detail
  • Kia Sorento 2021 interior detail
  • Kia Sorento 2021 boot open
  • Kia Sorento 2021 COTY
  • Kia Sorento 2021 rear tracking
  • Kia Sorento 2021 interior dashboard
  • Kia Sorento 2021 interior rear seats
  • Kia Sorento 2021 interior infotainment
  • Kia Sorento 2021 front static
  • Kia Sorento 2021 interior rear seats
  • Kia Sorento 2021 interior steering wheel detail
  • Kia Sorento 2021 interior detail
  • Kia Sorento 2021 boot open
RRP £39,100What Car? Target Price from£37,489
Share review

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Kia Sorento has a higher starting price than the Peugeot 5008, Skoda Kodiaq and even the Land Rover Discovery Sport. That's largely because there are no low-powered petrol engines on offer. Unsurprisingly, pricing of the Sorento is closely aligned with the Hyundai Santa Fe, and both cars are predicted to hold on to their value similarly well.

Among four-wheel drive large SUVs, the Sorento HEV's CO2 emissions are relatively low – although the Santa Fe is available in lighter two-wheel drive form, so pumps out even less. Of course, if you're looking to pay as little company car tax as possible, you will be best served by a plug-in hybrid PHEV Sorento, which emits just 38g/km and has a respectable pure electric range (both help to reduce benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax massively). The PHEV takes around 3.5 hours to charge from 0-100% using a home wallbox. 

The HEV model managed a very respectable 37.1mpg in our real-world True MPG tests, with the diesel model averaging 42,3mpg. That's far from amazing compared with the Honda CR-V hybrid, but not at all bad for such a hefty car, and way better than the petrol-powered Discovery Sport P200. 

Equipment, options and extras

No Kia Sorento is badly equipped. Even entry-level 2 trim gets you 17in alloy wheels (19in on the PHEV), dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and adaptive cruise control, plus all the infotainment goodies we mentioned earlier. It’s a shame you can’t add any options apart from metallic paint, but it’s still our pick of the range.

Jumping up to 3 trim brings 19in wheels, ambient interior lighting, leather seats, keyless entry, a powered tailgate and heating for the outer seats on the second row. It’s the only trim available with the diesel engine.

Top-of-the-range 4 trim adds window blinds for the second row, a head-up display, a panoramic sunroof and ventilated front seats, but it’s rather pricey. If you want a fuller breakdown on the trims, takes a look at our specs and versions page.

Kia Sorento 2021 interior infotainment

Reliability

We don’t yet have any specific reliability data on the latest-generation Sorento, but Kia as a brand finished a strong seventh (out of 31 manufacturers) in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey overall league table. That was still below Toyota, Skoda and Hyundai, but one place above Honda and miles ahead of Citroen, Peugeot, Seat and Volkswagen. Land Rover finished bottom. 

Even if you do have problems, the Sorento comes with Kia’s industry-leading seven-year (or 100,000-mile) warranty to fall back on.

Safety and security

Euro NCAP awarded the Sorento five stars (out of five) for safety, and it scored reasonably well for both adult and child crash protection. Chest protection for the driver in a frontal impact could be better, though.

All models come with active safety gizmos designed to prevent you from having an accident in the first place, including lane-keeping assistance and automatic city emergency braking, which can detect pedestrians and cyclists as well as other vehicles.

Move up to 4 trim and you also get parking collision avoidance – in effect, very low-speed automatic emergency braking (AEB) that aims to avoid silly parking mishaps – as well as blind-spot monitoring.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Overview

The Kia Sorento is a brilliant seven-seat SUV for those without the wherewithal or inclination to shell out for a premium-badged alternative. With that in mind, we reckon entry-level 2 trim makes the most sense, although 3 trim is also worth a look. Most buyers will be best served by the hybrid (HEV) model, although the plug-in (PHEV) will appeal to company car drivers.

  • Seven seats fit for adults
  • A massive boot
  • Well equipped
  • High trim levels are pricet
  • Hybrid engine isn't as fuel efficient as a Honda CR-V's
  • No lumbar adjustment with '2' trim

Also consider

Mercedes GLB

(2019 - 2021)

More practical than most premium-badged rivals, but...

Hyundai Santa Fe

2018 - present

A brilliant seven-seat SUV, particularly in its cheaper f...

Ssangyong Rexton

2017 - present

Worth considering if you need a muscular tow car that seats se...

Jaguar F-Pace

2020 - present

Brilliant to drive and surprisingly practical, plus you get lo...