The sole engine available is a 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel. It isn’t especially flexible by modern standards, but it's punchy enough as long as you keep the revs between 2000rpm and 3500rpm; do this and the Sorento is comfortable climbing steep inclines and overtaking on fast country roads. Performance is a bit flat at low revs, but the Sorento is faster than rivals such as the Nissan X-Trail and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
In addition to four-wheel drive, a six-speed manual gearbox is standard on every version. This has well-spaced ratios, but the shift is rather long and notchy, so we prefer the optional eight-speed automatic, which better suits the Sorento’s relaxed nature. It can be a bit unresponsive when you want to accelerate quickly from a standstill, however.
Manual versions have a quoted towing limit of 2500kg, while autos are still good at 2000kg.