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Kia Sorento (2015-)

Overall Rating

5 stars

The Sorento is more pleasurable to drive than some considerably more expensive SUVs. A 2,500 kg towing limit and adaptive all-wheel-drive add to the Sorento's abilities and the latest visual changes plus easy-to-use technology make this a very attractive alternative to a number of premium brands' models.

For
  • Practicality
  • Driving dynamics
  • Towing ability
Against
  • Sombre interior
  • Busy instruments
Road Test

The Sorento is Kia's flagship, seven-seat SUV. The previous version was a complete redesign from the ground up, bringing in a full monocoque shell and countless dynamic and interior improvements. While all-new, the 2015 revision feels more evolution than revolution but brings some notable changes to this desirable truck: it is longer, lower and wider than the last model, and there are some welcome updates to its engine and technology.

Outside, the corporate grill is bolder and the nose manages to be striking without looking brash. Smart LED tail lamps and Xenon headlamps grace the KX-3 trim level and above; elsewhere there have been gentle changes to the panel sculpting. Unless old and new models sit together, it is hard to spot the differences side-on but the overall look is fresher.

Inside, the main speedo dial has grown to accommodate additional driver-controlled menus. It is a little busy but all the functionality is there. Importantly, the array of information in the centre of the dashboard is now consolidated into a single media interface with touch screen. Some of the buttons are still shiny and a little low-rent (notably those on the steering wheel) but on the facia, they are matte finished with neat icons.

The Sorento is available with the flexible and efficient 2.2 litre diesel engine. It retains its low first gear ratio - perfect for towing or crawling in traffic - and pulls evenly across the rev range. Sixth gear is tall and well suited for the motorway slog. Performance is perfectly respectable, bringing 0-62 mph in just 9 seconds (9.6 for the automatic).Brakes are still a little keen when the vehicle is empty but controls are otherwise slick and easy to use.

The ride and handling are extremely good for a vehicle of the Sorento's size. Roll is minimal through the corners and the suspension is well set up for the speed humps and potholes so prevalent on our roads. Deep tyre walls on the standard fit 235/60 R18 Hankook tyres (KX2, KX-3 models) balance good road grip with the suppleness needed for rough tracks. All models come with all-wheel-drive, ordinarily powering just the front wheels but able to send up to 40 percent to the rear automatically if needed. There is an electronic differential lock activated by the touch of a button for when the going gets really tough.

Despite its size, the Sorento is an easy SUV to manoeuvre. The waist line is not too high (so windows offer good visibility), turning circle is good and the rear-facing camera (fitted to KX-2 and above) is excellent. The camera is almost essential for anyone considering towing, allowing accurate reversing to the trailer's hitch without risking the Sorento's paint.

The Sorento is more pleasurable to drive than some considerably more expensive SUVs. A 2,500 kg towing limit and adaptive all-wheel-drive add to the Sorento's abilities and the latest visual changes plus easy-to-use technology make this a very attractive alternative to a number of premium brands' models.

Model tested: Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDI KX-3 Manual

Need To Know

Kia Sorento (2015-)
Star Ratings

Handling

4 stars

Comfort

4 stars

Quality & Reliability

5 stars

Performance

4 stars

Roominess

5 stars

Running Costs

4 stars

Value for Money

5 stars

Stereo/Sat Nav

4 stars
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