The fourth-generation Kia Sorento is an all-new model, built on a new platform and wearing a design that is big and bold, more like SUVs typically seen in North America.
At launch, the Sorento features a 2.2-litre diesel engine that produces 202hp and 440Nm. It fits in with the theme of the big SUV well, but the lack of four-wheel drive, even as an option, may deter some who live in more rural settings. That engine fares better on the motor tax front in comparison to its predecessor, but the even better news is that Kia have a plug-in hybrid version of the Sorento coming in early 2021. That plug-in hybrid will also better suit those with short urban commutes. Engines aside, the Sorento looks and feels every bit the upmarket SUV, offering plenty of passenger space that includes a third row of seats. Fold those down and you gain a massive boot, while the middle row seats offer adjustment in many ways.
But it’s up in the front seats where you can best appreciate how far Kia has come with this model. The look of the dashboard and quality of the switchgear are top rate. Its large touchscreen display looks sharp and is excellent to use, while the digital instruments are a match for any other premium SUV’s.
How is it to drive?
Despite the somewhat limited offering and front-wheel-drive layout, the Kia Sorento diesel still manages to deliver an impressive driving experience. It excels over longer distances where the interior comfort and genuine economy of the diesel engine get a chance to shine. It devours endless motorway miles with aplomb. In urban environments its size and weight go against it and moving quickly out of junctions and away from traffic lights can sometimes overwhelm the from tyres, especially in the wet. That aside, the cabin is nicely insulated from exterior din, including the diesel engine. For the most part, its dual-clutch automatic gearbox changes gear smoothly, though its rotary controller is a bit tardy when switching between forward and reverse gears.
The steering has a fair amount of feel to it and isn’t artificially light, so you always feel in control. An elevated driving position provides a commanding view and visibility is aided by generously-sized mirrors and a nifty blind spot camera system on the higher-spec K4 version.
When is it coming to Ireland?
The Kia Sorento is now in dealers nationwide, but if you’re keener on the plug-in hybrid version, you’ll have to wait until 2021 for that version to arrive.
Any juicy technology?
Kia is offering its best and latest technology in the Sorento, befitting of its flagship SUV status, but there are some more straightforward and practical features too. USB ports on the inner side of the front seats put them in a useful position for those in the rear to charge devices or to serve as a power supply for mounting a tablet on the back of the front seat, for example. On higher-spec models, when you activate the indicator, a rear-facing camera displays a live feed of the your blind spot within the digital instrument cluster to help give the driver a better view and mitigate the risk of a collision.
Carzone rating: 4/5
If you like your SUVs big and bold then you’ll be enticed by what the Kia Sorento has to offer. Beyond its looks, the Sorento is spacious and it oozes quality throughout.