2.2 CRDi KX-2 SatNav AWD
a BMW X5 or Land Rover
Discovery but want to pay between
£27K and £35K instead of £40-£64K?
just lose the badge.
Settle for a different label and you
can buy an SUV that seats seven and
comes with a host of kit and a no-
nonsense seven-year warranty
unmatched for its level of cover and
peace of mind...
FRESH FROM AN INTENSE MAKEOVER that goes deep under the skin, the Kia Sorento
has been re-engineered from nose-to-tail and top-to-bottom. Basically, thanks
to a lightweight all-new platform with a revised suspension,
steering and brakes and a lower ride height driving dynamics
and refinement are all improved.
Additionally, a major interior upgrade has raised quality and standard equipment
and every model is powered by a revised version of Kia's 2.2-litre CRDi turbodiesel
and comes with seven seats and all-wheel drive. Now that's what you call a makeover!
hasn't changed is the Sorento's footprint: still a road-friendly smidgen under
4.7 metres long and 1.9 metres wide. Plus, thanks to some internal stretching,
those riding in rows two and three now enjoy extra legroom.
aboard through the deep, wide-opening, car park-friendly doors and you immediately
feel safe and secure the Sorento feels big, sturdy, and substantial.
The cabin looks smart and feels decidedly 'clubby' thanks to seriously well
padded seats that are as comfy as any you'll find in a car costing twice as
much, smooth leather upholstery, soft-touch trim, ambient lighting, and aluminium
sill scuff plates.
Climb aboard through
car park-friendly doors
and immediately you feel
safe and secure
the Sorento feels sturdy
Even the sun-visors (they extend inwards to block the sun from that irritatingly
often-missed area between the rear-view mirror and the visors) are cloth-lined
for a more tactile experience. Another well-considered touch the
centre boss of the grippy multifunction wheel (audio, phone, driver's computer,
cruise, and voice) is finished in satin black and titanium so no distracting
glare off the wheel on sunny days.
Predominantly black themed, the cabin ambience is nonetheless airy, lifted by
plenty of chrome and satin aluminium highlights and glossy black wood grain
finishes to the doors, centre console and the fascia.
Instrumentation and controls are spot-on; traditional analogue dials cover speed,
revs and the usual temp and fuel bright white figures on black
faces with glowing red pointers make them easy to read night and day.
Other kit making life easy for those travelling in the Sorento's front seats
include height adjustable front seatbelts, easy door pulls with wide outer armrests,
one-shot power windows, bottle-holding door bins, cupholders, a large glovebox,
centre lidded armrest with plenty of room for sharing and a deep bin below that's
big enough to store most bottles, two 12V power and USB and Aux sockets, three-stage
heated seats, headrests that also adjust for neck angle, and decent built-in
That's in addition to the driver's equipment which includes a crystal clear
touchscreen inset high on the centre stack where it's easy to see with 3D navigation
and a reversing camera with a helpful 'grid' display for easier parking, an
'ever-popular' traditional handbrake, auto lights 'n' wipes, and automatic climate
control that serves the rear cabin too. And it goes without saying that setting
a perfect driving position can be done in seconds. Helped by good-size door
mirrors, visibility out is fine although you'll still be glad of the rear-view
like Porsche with its 911, the new Sorento's looks are of the 'evolutionary'
kind: while much has changed under the skin, outwardly the latest Sorento still
majors on the no-nonsense yet rugged 'upright' design of its predecessor (and
there's nothing wrong with that, either). The most obvious external change,
if you really must know, are the new LED running lights. More importantly, and
excellent news for third row passengers, is that the 'squared-off' tail ensures
they enjoy plenty of headroom.
The latest Sorento still
majors on the no-
nonsense yet rugged
upright design of its
Excellent news for third
row passengers is that
the squared-off' tail
ensures they enjoy plenty
the Sorento's bonnet beats a four-pot 2.2-litre turbodiesel that kicks out a
smooth 194bhp and 311lb ft between 1,800 and 2,500rpm and the
hefty torque makes light work of towing a caravan, speedboat or horsebox (upto
a braked 2,500kg).
A six-speed manual 'box is standard (an auto is available should you prefer
not to change gears yourself) and top speed is 118mph with 0-60mph in 9.4 seconds.
Long journeys are stress free thanks to the cabin remaining satisfyingly peaceful.
For many buyers the figures of interest are those relating to economy: officially,
38.2, 56.5, and 47.9mpg respectively for the urban, extra-urban, and combined
cycles. Real-world driving saw an average 40.1mpg registered at the end of our
week behind the wheel. PDG (Pretty Damn Good) for a large all-wheel drive SUV.
Another agreeable trait the six-speed manual gearbox comes with
a sweet, foolproof change action; especially welcome if you're towing.
KX-1 might be the £26,495 range-starter trim level, but it comes with plenty
of equipment including dual-zone automatic AirCon with rear-seat air ventilation
(allowing all seven occupants to fine-tune the temperature in their own personal
space), aero-blade front wipers with front wiper de-icer system, projection
headlamps with cornering lights, powerfold electrically-adjustable and heated
door mirrors with LED indicator lights, LED daytime running lights, ambient
cabin lighting, cloth-wrapped extendable sun-visors (with illuminated vanity
mirrors and ticket holder), Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming,
cruise control, reversing sensors, power steering, intelligent all-wheel drive,
self-levelling suspension, Electronic Stability Control, Hill-Start Assist,
plenty of airbags, active front headrests, alloy wheels and, that rarity, a
full-size matching alloy spare wheel!
versions (£29,995) add rain-sensing front wipers, black leather upholstery,
one-shot up/down electric windows all round, auto-dimming rear-view mirror,
reversing camera system, tinted and privacy glass, heated front seats, USB and
Aux ports with iPod cable, drive-away auto door locking, leather-trimmed instrument
panel, luggage net, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
KX-2 SatNav version adds a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system with European
Mapping and Traffic Messaging Channel. The navigation feature is combined with
an upgraded 10-speaker premium hi-fi delivering 495 watts of power; it includes
a central speaker, sub-woofer and an 11-channel DSP external amplifier for maximum
the figures of real interest
are those relating to
driving saw an average
of 40.1mpg recorded. Pretty damn good for a
large all-wheel drive
in and out of the second row is easy, and once there you sit about six inches
higher than those in the front so views out are good. Seats are well padded
and it's roomy in all directions, with a fist of headroom, decent knee room
and loads of foot room no central tunnel means plenty of room
for not just two but three pairs of feet. An adjustable backrest that goes from
upright to semi-reclined and decent legroom ensures your rear passengers can
lounge back and truly enjoy the journey.
And it's even comfy sitting in the middle. If there's just two using the second
row then they get to share the large centre armrest while making good use of
the outer armrests on the doors; twin cupholders in the centre armrest, magazine
nets on the front seatbacks, bottle-holding door pockets and dedicated second
row AirCon air vents in the B-pillars all add to the pleasure of being a rear
seat passenger in the Sorento in fact, falling asleep is a distinct possibility!
You might not need seven seats very often but it's nevertheless handy to have
them available should you need them, which is why Kia no longer offers a five-seater.
Seats 6 and 7 in row three are proper seats that adults can fit in, although
teens and youngsters will be better off travelling there. Access is helped by
the second row's 60:40 split seats that double fold to make it easier to enter
and exit the third row. Third row travellers also get their own AirCon with
Fold down all row two and row three seats (split 50:50 with both halves folding
fully flat to give a level cargo bay) and you create a 1,530-litre flat-floored
load area; going the other way, use all the five rear seats for passengers and
you'll still have 116 litres left for luggage. Loading and unloading is no hassle
thanks to a light-to-lift tailgate with a generous opening and a mid-thigh load
sill. A luggage net keeps items where you placed them, plus there's additional
storage space in a deep, full-width locker under the boot floor.
the Sorento's new chassis are MacPherson struts with coil springs and gas-filled
dampers at the front and a fully independent multi-link set-up with gas-filled
dampers bringing up the rear. Combined with standard-fit self-levelling suspension
it makes the Sorento very comfortable to travel in. Press on and, yes, there's
a touch of body lean as you'll find in just about any tallish
4x4. But nothing to worry about. And, the acid test: nothing to trouble your
The 2.2-litre turbodiesel
kicks out a smooth
194bhp and 311lb ft of
1,800 and 2,500rpm
and makes light
work of towing a caravan,
at the legal limit on any UK motorway even in poor weather and the Sorento feels
stable and secure; the electric motor-assisted rack and pinion steering is fine
and the brakes' vented front and rear discs deliver powerful and well-judged
stopping power. And it's doubly reassuring to know that between you and the
tarmac is four-wheel grip and traction.
Kia's all-wheel drive system defaults to front-wheel drive during routine driving
conditions but the instant a front wheel loses grip more torque is diverted
to the rear wheels to maintain traction. And at any time the driver can press
a switch to manually select 'lock' mode this splits torque evenly
between the front and rear axles for superior stability.
Kia is the go-to brand for family drivers who want the four-wheel drive versatility
and practicality of an X5 or Discovery along with seven seats but whose budgets
(self imposed or of necessity) top out at £35K, not £64K. Whichever Sorento
model you buy, you won't be, and most certainly won't feel, short-changed by
choosing the Kia.
Sorento 2.2 CRDi KX-2 SatNav AWD | £29,995
Maximum speed: 118mph | 0-60mph: 9.4 seconds | Test Average: 40.1mpg
Power: 194bhp | Torque: 311lb ft | CO2 155g/km