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Price start from £27,000 for the latest third generation Kia Sorento 4×4, available to buy from April 2015. The Sorento is a hugely popular car in the US and ideal for families, and the latest model sports a new design that’s very different from its predecessors. It may not be cutting-edge but it’s definitely easy to live with and clever too.
The UK version of the Sorento will only be available with a 2.2-litre diesel, four-wheel drive model offering 197bhp and 325lb ft of torque. Fuel economy is expected to be between 45 and 48mpg. The Sorento comes with an automatic gearbox that is easy to manoevre and precise and you benefit from three different driving modes – eco, sport and normal, although transmission becomes slightly more abrupt in sport mode.
The new Sorento sports a suspension that’s apparently 14 per cent stiffer than the old model, yet it does still wrattle over lumps and bumps in the road suggesting that Kia haven’t perhaps have further to go. Thanks to its 4×4 credentials, the car stands firmly planted on the road, however crawling ability is very limited because there’s no transfer box in the driveline, and there’s 21mm less ground clearance in the new model leading us to question how useful it is off-road. Steering is much improved from the old model and is accurate and weighted with some feedback. Body lean is well controlled and grip from the tyres is excellent in corners.
The Sorento uses the same chassis as the Kia Sedona MPV whilst sporting a more attractive SUV bodyshape, so if you’re looking to transport up to seven people with luggage too, the Sorento offers excellent value for money. Step inside the cabin to discover a well made dash that’s soft to touch and easy to navigate. The driving seat is positioned high but is easily adjustable for smaller drivers although the seats are not overly comfortable. Space in the front and second row is generous and five adults will be able to sit in comfort. Whilst the third row of seats is occupied, the second row can be slid forward or back to help create more space for occupants, although legroom remains limited. The boot is large with the third row seats folded down into the floor offering 605 litres of space or fold the second row down to increase capacity to a huge 1,662 litres.
Equipment is plentiful in the Sorento and there are four trim levels to choose from starting with the standard KX 1 up to the top trim KX 4 that includes a four-camera vision system to watch for pedestrians when manoeuvring, heated and cooled seats, a self-parking system and intelligent cruise control. An optional panoramic roof is also well worth considering as it floods the cabin with light and adds to the spacious look and feel.
A host of new safety systems are available with the latest Kia Sorento, to include a road sign detection camera capable of displaying the speed limit and other important signs as well as a lane departure warning system, a self-parking function, and adaptive cruise control.
Prices for the latest Kia Sorento will be much higher than before with the standard model available from around £28,000 with the top-of-the-range KX-4 likely to cost more than £40,000. Certainly, Kia has stepped up its game when it comes to performance, and if you want occasional seven seat capacity and 4×4 capability but you cannot afford pricier German or Swedish rivals, it’s certainly an admirable choice.