Kia Sorento long-term test review

The Kia Sorento fought off some prestigious rivals to be voted Large SUV of the Year at the 2021 What Car? Awards, but does it continue to impress when you live with it every day?...

Kia Sorento hybrid long termer

The car Kia Sorento 1.6 HEV T-GDi Auto AWD 2 Run by Claire Evans, consumer editor

Why it’s here The Sorento impressed our road testers so much that we voted it our Large SUV of the Year, but what’s it like for an extended family to live with? 

Needs to Be a relaxing cruiser for occasional motorway commute, have good access for my octogenarian parents and be economical on frequent short local trips


Mileage 2114 List price £39,110 Target price £37,489 Price as tested £39,505 Test economy 35.9mpg Official economy 40.9mpg Options fitted Premium Paint £660


9 June 2021 – Getting to know the Sorento

As we move to a hybrid and electric future, we’ll all have to get used to driving cars with automatic gearboxes. And while I'm a bit old fashioned, so am not looking forward to waving a final goodbye to manuals, I've got to admit that a slick auto 'box like the one in my Kia Sorento does make life easier when you’re driving around town.

Kia Sorento 2021 interior detail

I'm enjoying playing with the Sorento's different driving modes, too. Eco is laid back and ideal for motorway cruising; Sport doesn’t suit the car as well, because it makes the engine thrashy and the performance jerky; but Smart is a nice compromise between the two.

It works by using data from the accelerator, brakes and steering to create a bespoke setup that should suit the driver and the driving conditions. It’s not perfect, but it provides punchier performance overall than Eco mode and quicker responses when pulling away, while still keeping the engine pretty quiet.

Kia Sorento long termer

I’ve also been finding out how useful the Sorento is for trips to the garden centre and recycling depot. Its hybrid batteries sit beneath the boot floor, so there’s no underfloor storage, but there’s still enough room for a couple of carry-on suitcases with all three rows of seats in place.

Start folding the seats down, meanwhile, and the back of the car starts to look more like a van. As well as levers on each side of the second-row bench to fold the two halves of the seat back flat, there are a couple of buttons in the boot, so it’s really easy to create a massive load bay. 

Kia Sorento long termer

With the second and third seat rows down I got a 6ft by 2ft trellis in the Sorento with space to spare. And, on another day it swallowed an unwanted armchair without a struggle.

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