There’s more to Kia than its unrivalled seven-year warranty scheme – and the all-new Sorento is positive proof.
Somewhere between an SUV and a people carrier, it offers the best of both worlds – topping an increasingly impressive range.
The first thing that strikes you about the Sorento is its size. It’s big. Weirdly though, most of the time it doesn’t feel its size when you’re behind the wheel and it’s very easy to drive. It’s also a handsome beast with real presence.
But what sets the Kia Sorento apart from much of the opposition is that it’s a true seven-seater. Unlike some so-called seven seaters I had no trouble sitting in the third row AND it was both simple to pop the seats and straightforward to get in.
I tested the Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDI KX-2 with a lively 197bhp diesel engine capable of 46.3mpg. I managed closer to 35 thanks to some spirited driving, but that’s still pretty impressive for a car of its size.
It made light work of the variety of roads and motorways I tried and could even be hustled through the gears if necessary.
You wouldn’t expect a car of this size to handle like a sports car – and it doesn’t. However, it’s composed and surprisingly agile for its size and there are three driving modes – Sport, Eco and Normal.
The only area where a degree of caution is needed is when it comes to parking. However, choose a large space and it’s relatively easy, especially with the aid of assorted beeps and a rear-view camera.
Other features fitted as standard on the KX-2 include a refreshingly intuitive infotainment system, ABS, Hill-start assist control, Electronic Stability Control
Inside, there’s ample space for the front and second row passengers, though obviously it’s slightly tighter in seats six and seven. Luggage space is impressive – 142 litres with the third row of seats in use, but 605 with the extra seats down and a cavernous 1,662 litres with the second and third rows down. There’s also plenty of storage space and cubbyholes.
Up front, there’s naturally a commanding view of the road, it’s well laid out, there’s a quality feel and it’s very comfortable.
The Sorento is safe too, achieving a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP’s crash tests.
And if you need a tow car, it’s also worth considering because the 2.2-litre diesel has some serious pulling power – 2,500kg (manual) and 2,000kg (auto).
It’s also four-wheel-drive, so it had some off-road capability for those few weeks of the year when the roads are subject to extreme weather conditions. It also offers great traction in everyday driving.
And it’s just as well that the Sorento is good, because it’s up against some strong opposition in the shape of the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Volvo XC90, Ford Galaxy and BMW X5.
The new Kia Sorento is a practical, superbly packaged, genuine seven-seater that’s rewarding to drive. And don’t forget, there’s that unique seven-year warranty for extra piece of mind. The Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDI KX-2 I tested cost £31,995 – and that’s a lot of car for your money.