Kia Sorento review

The Kia Sorento is now in its third guise courtesy of the release of the all-new next generation model earlier this model and has come a long way since it first debuted.

Each new model brings with it a range of upgrades that has seen the Sorento climb from a bargain SUV to a bona-fide contender going up against the likes of the Land Rover Discovery Sport or Nissan Qashqai.

With that in mind, is the new third-generation Sorento is now the best-equipped and best-looking version yet, so how does it perform? Well, let’s find out!

Exterior

More visually striking and with a more mature appearance, the new Sorento features bolder swept-back styling and more refined surface detailing.

Bold and muscular, the new Sorento also comes with a larger tiger-nose grille, elongated and swept-back headlamps and a lowered roofline for a more dramatic appearance on the road. In short, it looks pretty good!

As well as looking a little different, it’s now longer, lower and wider than the previous second-generation model, with an extended wheelbase and more interior space

Interior

All that extra size on the outside naturally translates to a lot more space on the inside, and the Sorento now comes with seven seats, which makes it ideal for drivers with large families who don’t like the often frumpy styling of people carrier-style cars.

The rear seats are incredibly comfortable and come with a load of leg and headroom for passengers, while the first row of rear seats can recline backwards so occupants can relax on the move.

As well as being spacious for people, the new Sorento has an extra 90 litres of storage space in the rear over the last version, with boot capacity clocking in at 140 litres as standard, 605 with the furthest rear seats folded down and a massive 1,662 with all seats tucked away.

Far from being just a rough and rugged storage crate on wheels, however, Kia has outfitted the cabin with loads of soft-touch materials along with a revamped dashboard layout and a brand-new touchscreen.

Equipment is impressive across the range, with standard kit including Bluetooth, air conditioning and reversing sensors, along with all-round electric windows. Moving up the range, the mid-range KX-2 model gets a reversing camera, heated seats and sat-nav for the touchscreen system.

Finally, range-topping models get various neat gizmos like adaptive cruise control and Kia’s Around View Monitoring, which allows the driver to see all around the car via the screen to make manoeuvres and parking easier.

On the road

If you’re the sort of driver who’s turned off by too many engine options, you’ll find the Sorento refreshing; like other large SUVs in its sector, it comes with only one engine.

Despite choice being a little limited, the 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel produces 197bhp, enough to satisfy even power-hungry drivers, along with a choice of either six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes.

Unlike some of its rivals, the Sorento never feels underpowered, with an official 0-62mph sprint time of around nine seconds; not bad for a large car of its type.

On the road, it feels lightyears ahead of its predecessors, with balanced weighting and sharp, direct steering that’s reassuring on even the twistiest of B roads. It’s nicely refined as well, with supple suspension and a quiet cabin.

Running costs and emissions are also pretty good for a car of its kind, with the Sorento able to return up to 49.6mpg with CO2 emissions from just 149g/km, meaning that, for an SUV, it’s not too hard on the wallet at all.

Verdict

Kia has battled hard over the past few years to revamp its image and to transform itself from a brand that was once pretty basic to one that drivers genuinely want to drive. In that respect, the Sorento is a great reflection of this, with each new generation model standing head and shoulders above the last.

Not only does it look great and drive great, it’s certainly amped up the luxury appeal as well, with a range of great equipment, seven seats and a massive boot as well.


It still mightn’t have the same prestige as, say, a Land Rover, but with a price tag that starts from just £28,795, if you’re on the lookout for a stylish, capable and entertaining SUV, the Sorento won’t do you wrong.