2.2 CRDi GT-Line S Auto AWD
Sorento covers all the
numbers that matter to SUV fans:
it has four-wheel drive; five doors;
and sixth and seventh seats.
Better still, the numbers making up
its price are much more affordable
than many of its competitors...
WITH PRICES KICKING OFF from £29K, Kia's flagship sports utility makes
prestige rivals seem overpriced and for those with a big family or the
need for a cavernous hold, it's impossible to ignore. Further boosting appeal
are two new range-topping 'GT' versions; the GT-Line and GT-Line S. Sharper
looking, they come with cosmetic enhancements including 19-inch alloys, red
brake callipers, 'ice cube' fog lights, twin tailpipes, and stainless-steel
side steps, plus a new smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission.
Whichever spec Sorento you're planning to splash the cash on (you could spend
as little as £29K or splurge £42K for the top GT-Line S) your money will buy
you the same muscular engine a 197bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel with
a stump-pulling 325lb ft of torque. The real surprise with this unit is its
near-40mpg real-life average fuel economy with all-wheel drive,
automatic transmission and a two-tonne 4.8-metre long, generously kitted-out
seven-seater body, that's pretty damn good.
Kia doesn't ask you to pay a premium price for a Sorento they still give you
premium looks at no extra cost. Fronted by a striking 'hot-stamped' upright
version of the brand's trademark tiger-nose grille and slim swept back headlamp
units cut into a profiled bonnet and a lower grille bookended by clustered 'ice-cube'
LED fog lights, and topped off by a long, elegant glasshouse, the Sorento has
real physical presence you certainly won't have any trouble spotting
it in a car park.
Sorentos cabin is
big on space, big on
quality and big on
The chairs, with plenty
of surrounding space,
are first-rate; deeply-
padded with cosseting
supportive wherever they
touch your body...
Getting on for five metres long, the Sorento is a bit of a behemoth
in the nicest possible way! and stands purposefully high off the
ground, but it is incredibility easy to get in to and get out again; the seat
bases are the perfect height off the ground to simply perch on and swing in
your legs with minimal physical exertion.
The Sorento's cabin is big on space, big on quality and big on equipment. The
chairs, with plenty of surrounding space, are first-rate; deeply-padded with
cosseting bolstering and ventilated leather trimmed with contrasting piping,
they're supportive wherever they touch your body.
Three-stage seat heating and three-stage cooling is standard, and it's fast
and effective, and both front seats are power-operated: 10-way for the driver
(includes 4-way lumbar and a two-setting seat/mirror memory recall); 8-way for
the front passenger (with 2-way lumbar). The comfort shouldn't be underestimated
even stocky six-foot adults will feel they're sitting in first
The driving position is as commanding as they come and making life even smoother
is the easy-entry feature that power-slides the driver's seat forward to your
personalised position after you initially settle in and back a ways when you
turn off the engine for an easier exit. Visibility is first class; from behind
the heated, four-spoke multifunction wheel with perforated leather-wrapped rim,
the Sorento is satisfyingly easy to place accurately whether you're in packed
town traffic or driving down narrow country lanes.
of the roomiest cars in its class, the Sorento's airy cabin ambiance is satisfyingly
upscale with plenty of soft-touch trim materials and everything in its proper
place; lots of storage means a place for everything too.
eight-inch infotainment touchscreen sits top dead centre of the dash; navigation
(with full postcode destination input) is foolproof thanks to utterly reliable
spoken directions that, importantly, are given in good time for the driver to
process and act upon. Also much appreciated are the pin-sharp 3D maps and crystal
clear motorway junction graphics. True to say that U-turns hardly ever happen
in a Kia!
droves of drivers have adapted to pure fingertip control, many still
prefer to use their digits to operate physical rather than virtual controls
for the climate and its they who will be delighted to find
that, immediately below the touchscreen, is the control panel for the
automatic dual-zone climate system...
Tapping screen icons is not always easy on the go so there are 'hard' jump keys
either side of the display that will take you direct to specific menus in less
time. Views from the parking camera are seen on the infotainment screen and
you can also take for granted a 10-speaker harman/kardon premium sound system,
DAB digital radio, Bluetooth with music streaming, and USB and AUX connections,
as well as smartphone mirroring via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with voice
While droves of drivers have adapted to pure fingertip control, many still prefer
to use their digits to operate physical rather than virtual controls for the
climate system and it's they who will be delighted to find, immediately
below the touchscreen (and high enough to require only the briefest glance whilst
driving) a three-dimensional control panel for the automatic dual-zone climate
Switchgear is tactile, the main dials are traditional über-clear white-on-black
items separated by a seven-inch LCD driver's information panel (a large digital
road speed figure is one of many readouts), and it's an easy glance to your
left to take in the touchscreen which, conveniently, is set at the same height.
The flagship GT-Line S comes with all the trimmings it's a very
long list and includes: WiFi smartphone charging, electric park brake with auto
hold function, auto-dimming rearview mirror, powerfolding heated door mirrors
(on demand and automatically on locking and leaving), drive-away auto door locking,
one-shot powered windows (all four), ambient lighting, auto lights, rain-sensing
wipers, extendable sun visors, reversing/surround-view camera with multi views,
automatic parking (perpendicular and parallel), keyless entry and start, panoramic
glass sunroof (sliding front section with one-touch operation plus powered blackout
sunblind), tinted solar and privacy glass, stainless steel side-steps, and 19-inch
technologies are comprehensive and start with a five-star EuroNCAP rating along
with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection, Hill-start Assist,
Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management, Downhill Brake
Control, Adaptive Smart Cruise Control and speed limiter, Rear Cross Traffic
Alert, Speed Limit Information, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Alert Warning, a full
set of airbags, height-adjustable front belts, active front headrests, LED dynamic
bending headlights, automatic dip/main beam switching, and a pedestrian-friendly
never really notice
the eight-speed autobox
shifting gears and driving
the Sorento is quietly
when loping along at
motorway speeds when
youll barely hear the
even when pushed
(something you rarely
need to do), it sings
with a likeable gravel-
Kia's 2.2-litre turbodiesel is a fine choice for a full-size SUV
not so big that it guzzles fuel, and lively enough to ensure wafting through
rush-hour traffic is always a breeze. Hooked up to the eight-speed torque converter-based
autobox (also used in Kia's hard-charging Stinger sport GT models), there's
always plenty of 'surge' on call from the 325lb ft reservoir of torque without
hitting the high revs; put the pedal to the metal and this beefy seven-seater
will readily post a 9.1-second 0-60mph time. Along with paddle-shifters for
some DIY shifting, Kia's Drive Mode Select system lets you switch between four
different driving programmes whenever you wish: choose from Smart, Sport, Comfort,
You never really notice the eight-speed autobox shifting gears and driving the
Sorento is quietly gratifying, particularly when loping along at motorway speeds
when you'll barely hear the turbodiesel working even when pushed
(something you rarely need to do), it sings with a likeable gravel-throated
warble. Also operating virtually unnoticed in the background is an economy-boosting
A demanding week's driving on a mix of roads including traffic-choked towns
and time-tight cross-country runs saw an overall average of 37.1mpg recorded
officially the combined figure is 43.5mpg, with 47.1mpg for what,
before the EU had its say, was more accurately know as 'touring'. Exercise a
lighter right foot than our testers and you could see closer to 50mpg.
overwhelming sensation you get riding in the Sorento is a feeling of security.
It feels big and tough and even on windy motorways and driving through torrential
rain it feels totally planted. The handling is reassuring and predictable, the
all-disc brakes quick to take down your speed, it rides level, and the steering
is adequately weighted and precise. The result is a hassle-free drive whether
you're chauffeuring the family to their summer staycation, commuting solo or
towing a boat.
4WD drive system is paired with Kia's Advanced Traction Cornering Control and
in general use the intelligent electronically-controlled all-wheel drive delivers
maximum driving torque to the front wheels but the moment road conditions deteriorate,
or to enhance cornering stability, it can adjust this up to a maximum 60:40
sensation you get riding
in the Sorento is
a feeling of security.
It feels big and tough and
even on windy
motorways and driving
through torrential rain
it feels totally planted.
It serves up a hassle-free
drive whether youre
chauffeuring the family to
their summer staycation,
commuting solo or
towing a boat...
And it's not just tough in the city off-road it's more than ready
to rumble in the jungle thanks to 185 millimetres of ground clearance and a
suspension set-up man enough to tackle demanding cross-country terrain aided
by approach and departure angles of, respectively, 16.9 and 21 degrees, plus
a ramp angle of 18 degrees, and a driver- selectable Lock mode that maintains
the torque-split at 50:50 to maximise traction on especially slippery surfaces
until you decide otherwise.
Unlike some SUVs, the Sorento is one of the big boys and made for much more
than just bumping up city kerbs to park. Incidentally, running over blacktop,
the suspension smoothes out ripples and potholes to serve up a compliant ride;
bumps really don't trouble it or its passengers, and usually tiresome long-haul
journeys are something to look forward to courtesy of the laid-back ride.
The other major benefit of the Sorento's torquey engine and autobox paired with
all-wheel drive is, of course, towing ability it's more than capable
of hauling a braked 2,000kg, all made more predictable, and safer, by the standard-fit
self-levelling suspension and Trailer Stability Assist.
If you're not travelling up front you've got it made because the second-row
offers limo-like seating, a fist of air above your head and room to truly stretch
those shanks. If you're sharing with one other you can totally lounge, arms
supported by a wide, comfy central armrest and an equally soft outer one on
the door. Depending on how chilled you wish to be, you can tilt your backrest
by as much as 45-degrees.
you'll benefit from a heated seat, dedicated air vents, and 12v and USB charging
ports, and can store your drinks bottle in the door bin or park your espresso
takeout in the cupholder. And if the sun's too bright or there are paparazzi
about, you can raise your side window blind. If you must share with two others,
the completely flat floor and no central tunnel means decent room for both yours
and your neighbour's feet.
six and seven pull up out of the boot floor and lock into place whenever needed
head and leg room are okay for adults but it's younger bloods
who seem to rate travelling at the back most highly. And why not
the third row gets its own AirCon, storage and cupholders. Important too is
the fact that the third row seats can be accessed from either back door
commendable if you need to embark or disembark passengers on a busy road.
of the time
Sorento drivers will be
using their SUV in five-
seater mode with the
third-row seats folded
away under the floor
that means a generous
605 litres for luggage.
And when heavy-duty
hauling calls, dropping
the second-row seats will
hand you a 1,662-litre
loadbay with a seamless
and totally flat and level
cargo bay floor easily
accessed via a high-
Much of the time Sorento drivers will be using their SUV in five-seater mode
with the third-row seats folded away under the floor that means
a generous 605 litres for luggage. And when heavy-duty hauling calls, it takes
just a quick pull on the remote folding controls at the rear of the boot to
drop the second-row seats which will hand you a 1,662-litre loadbay
with a seamless and totally flat and level cargo bay floor easily accessed via
a high-opening tailgate. For the record, even with seats six and seven is use,
there's still 142 litres left over for a few squishy bags.
Also strongly appreciated is the power-operated tailgate which can be opened
and closed again from inside the cabin as well as outside using the key fob.
And good, too, to find that the boot's cassette roller blind cover can be stowed
away in its own customised slot below the boot floor. Also down there is a very
large storage bin along with a full-size alloy spare wheel. Other appreciated
touches include the lip-free load sill and a boot floor height that makes loading
and unloading a back-friendly task. And any driver who's ever had to mess with
a tyre repair kit will be further cheered to discover the Sorento's full-size
Should you wish to mix 'n' match cargo and passengers, rejigging the layout
couldn't be easier thanks to the 40:20:40-split (and individually-sliding) centre-row
seats that move fore/aft by 270mm giving you the choice of varying the boot
length or adjusting leg room for those sitting in the second or third rows.
what won't, or can't, go in the boot can always be towed the 2.2
turbodiesel is more than up for a spot of hardcore hauling; it's happy to pull
a braked 2,000kg. Oh, and don't forget you can carry a useful 100kg on the roof
bars. Not only is the Sorento designed to accommodate all manner of tasks, from
cargo-carrying to transporting people of all shapes and sizes and their luggage,
it does it all with a smile.
£42K is a very persuasive figure for a comfortable and spacious seven-seater
SUV, especially one equipped with all the bells and whistles. Add to that its
seven-year, 100,000-mile transferable warranty and you can understand why some
Audi Q5 and BMW X5 owners have been quick to trade them in for a new Sorento.
Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi GT-Line S Auto AWD
Maximum speed: 127mph | 0-60mph: 9.1 seconds | Test Average: 37.1mpg
Power: 197bhp | Torque: 325lb ft | CO2: 170g/km