Used Kia Sorento 4x4 2003 - 2010 review

Category: Large SUV

A satisfying, capable and economical 4x4

Kia Sorento 4x4 (03 - 10)
  • Kia Sorento 4x4 (03 - 10)
  • Kia Sorento 4x4 (03 - 10)
Used Kia Sorento 4x4 2003 - 2010 review
Star rating

What's the used Kia Sorento 4x4 like?

The Kia 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.


A satisfying, capable and economical 4x4

  • The Sorento is roomy, good off-road and safe
  • It's also good value for money and reliable
  • It has a firm, fidgety ride and vague steering

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 Kia 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.

Ownership cost

What used Kia Sorento 4x4 will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Kia Sorento 4x4?

The Kia 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.

Our recommendations

Which used Kia Sorento 4x4 should I buy?

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 Kia 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 beworth a look, too.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Kia Sorento 4x4?