Kia’s third generation of its flagship 4x4, the Sorento, might lack badge-appeal but it more than makes up for it with its price and kit levels. Geoff Ashcroft reports.
There are four different trim levels for the new Sorento, ranging from KX1 to KX-4, but only one engine option across the board - a 197hp 2.2-litre four pot. You can choose from six-speed manual or six-speed auto, and there is flexibility from its seven-seat format.
But the four-pot motor does need to be pushed hard if you want to make progress. Our KX-3 with manual gearbox felt over-geared, which did blunt the car’s performance and show up its two-tonnes kerb weight. Another £1,755 would get you into the auto.
Interior remains plasticky, but feels robust and hard-wearing.
Ride though, is where the Sorento shines. Its suspension is clearly set-up for comfort, and it soaks up bumps with ease - and this is becoming increasingly more important on our pot-hole ridden roads.
There is refinement from this latest Korean mud-plugger, and when it comes to wind noise, door and window seals have got it covered. You can still hear the diesel engine doing its bit.
An elevated driving position helps you to manage the Sorento’s size - this is wider, longer and lower than the previous Sorento, and it gets an 80mm increase in wheelbase too.
We found the driving position is good. Most of the buttons and switches are close at hand, and this KX-3 was not short of specification. Among the goodies are a panoramic sunroof, xenon headlights, 8in touchscreen navigation system, electric tailgate, lane departure warning and speed limit display.
Sorento is seven-seat only, offering plenty of space for people or luggage.
Kia doesn’t offer a long list of optional extras - you choose the trim level that suits.
Going for the KX-4 adds 19in alloys, ventilated front seats, 360-degree around view monitor, adaptive cruise control and even more adjustment for the driver’s seat. It is only available with an autobox too and lifts the price by £3,400 over the KX-3 auto.
When you consider that the Sorento range is priced from £28,795 to £41,575 and includes a seven year, 100,000 mile warranty, it becomes a value for money concept that simply can’t be over-looked.