I need to keep reminding myself that Korean vehicles are up there with the best of them. The new Sorento is really proof to that. I can’t believe how good this vehicle has actually turned out.
The Kia Sorento has really turned into a fine piece of motor since it was originally introduced. Back in the beginning the lines were definitely not as flattering as they are now and even though there is no more real four by four offered, this model is equipped with a decent all-wheel drive system and an option to lock the center diff.
The exterior is big, it’s bulky and it’s got some beautiful lines. From the sharply designed headlights, with auto leveling xenon headlamps, to the sporty rear integrated boot spoiler and rear fog lights situated in the bumper, this SUV is set to stun. The interior is no different either; you can, however, note that this vehicle has Asian written all over it, but it tries its best to compete with the Germans and does a very good job of it. The leather interior, with electronically adjustable heated and air condition seats for both front and rear works amazingly well and, over the last couple of cold weeks, I’m betting it was thoroughly tested. The multifunction steering wheel, which also features a 3 mode feedback setting to increase wheel weight, is a great size with buttons located on very ergonomical placements. The speedo, which is lit up in a full LCD panel, looks very futuristic. I keep thinking that this is a great idea to keep manufacturing costs down, but yet looks very upmarket; a place where this Sorento fits in very well.
The Multimedia center features Bluetooth hands free with USB and IPod support for your phone. The audio system plays loud and has good quality. If you like your music loud, you will not be disappointed.
At the heart of this beauty is a 2.2 CRD engine making a pretty impressive 147kw and a healthy 436nm of torque. This is mated to a 6 speed automatic transmission which puts power to the wheels needed most with a torque-on-demand type of system. Basically, the computer will determine when you need the added traction and within milliseconds, have those wheels turning with the others. A great system to really bring out economy.
Speaking of which; for such a big vehicle, I thought it would have been a little bit more thirsty on fuel. We averaged 8.2l/100km overall, but on an eco-run, could maintain figures as low as 6.3l/100km.
On the road, the Sorento is extremely well damped and this is due to the Macpherson strut and the Multi-link type rear suspension. This top of the range model also runs on very tasteful 19” rims with 235/55 tires. Not ideal for gravel and off road venturing, but pretty good looking!
Key-less entry on vehicles just makes things so much easier. Maybe we have become lazy, but getting to your car, grabbing the handle and it magically unlocks, is just the way of the future with more and more cars are following this trend, especially in this price bracket. The Sorento also has ABS , EBD, CBC (corner brake control), ESC, Roll over protection, Hill start assist, ISOFIX anchors and brake assist. There are also 6 airbars, driver, passenger, side and curtain bags.
The Sorento offers so much from a starting price of R399 000 for the 2wd and R479 000 for this top of the range 7 seater, it really is amazing value for money. Not only do you have an economical vehicle, you have something that has tons of space, with enough gadgets to make NASA proud. All Sorento’s come with a 5 year 150 000km Warranty, 5 year 100 000km Maintenance plan and a 3 year unlimited km Roadside assistance.
For more info, head over to kia.co.za