The last year has seen a huge model offensive from Kia with a huge amount of upgrades and all-new models arriving on our shores. The most notable being the all-new Sportage, the all-new Optima, and the car we’re talking about now – the all-new Sorento. Kia didn’t do things by half with the new Sorento either. This is a completely new car. It’s bigger, better, more comfortable and more attractive than its predecessor. The Sorento has been turned from being an animal into a beast and the new body has a bulkiness that looks more at home on the roads of the USA than here in Ireland – but it’s a welcomed sight here.
The Sorento only offers one engine to the Irish market and it is available with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. The 2.2 litre diesel engine needs to be powerful to deal with the sheer size of the vehicle. It offers 197 bhp and will bring the vehicle from 0-100 km/h in 8.7 seconds (9.3 with the automatic transmission). All-wheel drive is another feature within the vehicle. For owners who live up mountains or off the beaten track, the Sorento should be fit for the job.
Like with most of Kia’s offerings, the Sorento seems to have been designed with physical comfort in mind instead of excellence in handling. This machine can be wobbly on corners and body roll is a feature. On occasion the vehicle can be van-like when it comes to ride. The steering is accurate but the ride can be a bit bumpy. This is very noticeable on ramps. The Nissan X-Trail and the Land Rover Discovery Sport would be better in these situations.
The 2.2 litre diesel engine can grumble a bit while getting to motorway speeds and there is a fair amount of wind noise that slips into the cabin. Our reckoning is that the wind noise is on account of the massive wing mirrors to either side of this massive machine.
The interior of the Sorento is of excellent quality. Kia really pulled out all of the stops in here. Everything is presented excellently and because there is only EX and Platinum trims available here you can expect this high quality across the range. The front seats are like armchairs and the same can be said about the seats in rows two and three. The dash is simple and looks great – no cheap plastics are visible at all. The infotainment system is easy to use too and there is no problems connecting to Bluetooth. Another nice touch is that the air conditioning can be controlled in each of the three rows.
The Sorento received a full five stars in the Euro NCAP. For adult occupancy they scored 90%. Child occupancy scored 83% and pedestrian protection scored 67%. The Sorento houses six airbags and has driver protection systems like Advanced Traction Cornering Control.
This is probably one of the few seven-seater on the Irish market that can actually accommodate for at least six adults. Seven could fit in comfortably enough but the middle seat in row two is not as big as the rest. Your knees will be slightly raised in row three, but still the space is good and it’s a nice touch that cup holders have been added in there too. Row two offers ample head and leg room, and the cockpit is plentiful.