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Kia Sorento Test Drive Review

Date: 26 January 2015   |   Author: John Mahoney

Category: 4x4
P11D price: £32,000*
Key rival: Land Rover Discovery Sport
On sale: April 2015

Kia came so close to nailing it with the last Sorento. After the tough, but crude first attempt back in 2002 the second-gen big SUV was far easier on the eye, more car-like to drive and, importantly, affordable if you ran one for business. Now it's time for Kia to have another go, but it might not be quite as easy to impress us.
Welcome to the world of the £40,000 Kia - that's right, the whole Sorento range is expected, on average, to be at least 5% more expensive which means the most expensive KX4 model will sell for a serious amount of money.
Luckily for us the cars fleets will lease or buy will come with a far less intimidating P11D but even for the fleet favourite KX2 expect it to cost far more than £30,000 - so what do you get?
Not much choice. Unlike other markets there's now just one 200hp 2.2-litre diesel option that's available with either a six-speed manual or auto. Four trims will be available, all coming standard with both seven seats and all-wheel drive - that's right, they'll be no less-taxing 2WD version. Instead, the lowest polluting model (the manual version) emits 149g/km of CO2 slipping into the reasonable 25% tax bracket.
To help justify its price there will be more standard kit, says Kia, (prices and spec announced later) - and there's been a significant hike in the quality of materials used in the cabin. Ultimately, it can't match Audi in the feel-good stakes, but the welcome attention to detail and more expensive soft-touch plastics won't put you off.
Refinement and improving the way the Sorento drives have also been a priority. Ride quality is cosseting on the 18-inch wheels while at motorway speeds it's a quiet, comfortable place to spend time. Steering precision has also been improved and body roll reduced. It's good, but others in the class are still more involving.
Letting the side down is that diesel, combined with the manual gearbox, can get quite raucous when worked. It feels better combined with the smooth auto that offers far more relaxed progress.
Since this car has been made for families it's impressive how practical and spacious the Sorento is. It is a genuine MPV alternative thanks to its bigger dimensions. The boot too is biggest in class and the second- and third row seats drop and slide easily into the floor.
Let's hope when costs are available the Sorento's newfound attention to detail isn't overshadowed because it's worthy of comparison with rivals significantly more expensive, even at forty grand.

Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi KS3

Model price range                      £28,000-£40,000
Fuel consumption                      49.6mpg
CO2 (tax)                                  149g/km (25%)
BIK 20/40% per month               £138/£275*
Warranty                                     7yrs /100,000
Boot space                                  605/1662 litres
Engine size/power                      2199cc/200hp
On sale                                       April 2015


Kia has created a fine all-rounder that deserves comparison with more expensive rivals - so long as costs are right
  • Increase in quality
  • More refined
  • Better to drive
  • Should be well equipped
  • Increase in price
  • Auto-version is best
  • No low CO2 version