KIA Sorento SUV Review | SLi 7 Seater | V6 Petrol | 2014
Recently, when reviewing the KIA Cerato Hatch, I talked about how KIA have been coming up with some cracking new designs, this 7 seater SUV is no exception…
I got back just in time to pick up the boys from school and true to form the first questions were “Has it got a DVD player?” and “Is it fast?” The answers were No and Yes! I’ll let you know how fast it was a little later.
Let’s start on the outside…
Having not long gone through a good dose of plastic surgery with one of Germany’s finest at the scalpel (Peter Schreyer), this Sorento, which I might add is at the Premium end of the KIA range, has for me a bold and strong look about it without being aggressive. The distinctive Tiger Nose grille which is now synonymous with most if not all KIA’s nowadays is present and correct and helping keeping the beast of a V6 engine cool when your pressing the loud pedal for all of the 204kw to surge into action.
The lines are clean and straight forwards and for a large SUV it feels remarkably small when your behind the wheel. This in part is down to the bonnet styling, with 2 big shoulders that narrow towards the front edge, giving it a narrow feel. Clever.
It’s got strong features, not unlike the Fast Cat (he’s american Burmese) and doesn’t look out of place when you’re parking next to much more expensive opposition such as the BMW X5, Audi Q7 to name a couple.
Mirrors are large and useful, the roof has mounting rails for anything that won’t fit inside. Doors make a nice noise when closing and the chrome isn’t OTT. It’s not 50cents Chrome Lambo, that’s for sure.
It’s nice and comfortable in the hot seat with both front seats giving great support without being over firm, there’s no heating or cooling options in the car we tested but they have some electrics to assist adjustment for the lazy ones amongst us ;)
Dash and dials layout is simple and easy to navigate. It has an edge of quality about it with some nice leather touches like stitching on the dash top. There’s the huge touchscreen SatNav screen in the middle of the centre console, which would look right at home on the Starship Enterprise. “Beam me up Scottie!” It’s got all the things you need, Bluetooth, CD player, radio, USB, AUX in, and until I knew how to save the radio stations, it was a a bit like my first bra encounter… baffling! It’s easy after that.
With the 3rd row of seats in the boot there’s room for 7 in here. The seats fold flat into the boot easily and when up provide enough leg room for kids and adults. That said, the adults in the boot wouldn’t want to travel far! Obviously the boot space is compromised with the 3rd row up but their’s the ability to fold one or both seats down to give a huge, flat, boot that will easily swallow up a monthly trip to the supermarket with plenty of room to spare.
There’s good room for all on the second row with plenty of head room for me and i’m 6ft tall, 6ft 2″ with my heels on! Meaning plenty of room for the growing boys. Water bottle holders adorn all the door pockets and with 2 in the centre console and 2 in the rear centre armrest there’s plenty to go round.
The one thing that I do love more than a cup of Hot Dandelion tea, are the sunvisor extensions. So simple yet hugely effective when the retina piercing sun breaks ranks from behind the mirror, or passenger visor and renders you temporarily blind. You may not use them often but believe me, you’ll be glad that they exist when you do.
We took the Sorento on many a trip during our time together, having the pleasure of it’s V6 throaty roar! *Insert Deep Vrooommm Noise* We went to football (Like Soccer, only English) and it handled the kids and kit easily, even my big, ball, sack. We also went on lots of ‘errand runs’, you know, shops, school, shops, shops, bank, school, shops, music lesson, shops… and it dealt with them all admirably. With it feeling and handling like a small car, it’s really easy to forget that it is actually a big car. We went on one fairly long run and it was so easy, i’d actually say that it was a pleasure. It’s easy to over look the ‘suspension tuning’ that KIA Australia undertake to make all of their range more suited to our quite unique driving conditions here in Aus, but if it wasn’t for that, I would be saying something like “It’s a bit of a soft ride, but that’s what you’d expect from a big SUV” or “The handling’s about as responsive as one of the kids on a school morning!”. Thankfully i’m not, i’m saying “It’s a great drive, firm but not overly so and it soaks up the miles in all the conditions we encountered”.
It has electric power steering with the 3 different modes like the Cerato, which I left in Sport mode. It’s light, easy and direct, what more do you need.
I was particularly impressed with the brakes. They’re large old discs and inspire confidence and unlike your deck in the summer, their’s no hint of fading. I always feel more comfortable and confident when handing the keys over to Fast Lane Mum if the brakes are good.
It has this EcoActive button that makes it more frugal, to be honest I only pressed it after 4 days so didn’t really see a huge benefit. I think that even if i’d had it on for the whole week it wouldn’t have made a massive difference to me personally as I enjoyed keeping the sweet and tuneful V6 singing in the higher revs :) The diesel will be far better on economy but it won’t sound like this one does!
It’s got everything you need, ABS, airbags, traction control, hill assist, park assist, Isofix in the rear, all seatbelts are shoulder with no lapbelts which is good. Their’s a reversing camera too and probably more that I haven’t mentioned! You can head on over to the Sorento page on the KIA site to have a proper look at the specs if that’s your thing :)
The model we tested was the 2wd SLi V6 petrol weighing in at a sniff over $43,000 with the Temptation red metallic paintwork, which for a large SUV is well below what you’d pay for that Audi Q7 or BMW you parked next to.
The V6 petrol, it has to be said, isn’t the most economical so if you’re after frugal then look at the diesel. It does sound great though and would pull (the preverbial) tree stumps out with all it’s torque. Don’t forget that this is the 2wd model (Front wheel drive) and the diesel is only available in 4wd which they may (Allegedly) look at changing in the future.
Would I buy one? Yep. The diesel would be my preferred choice but the 2wd petrol is such a good handling and driving car that it would be down to budget and preference.
Should you buy one? You SHOULD go and test drive both the petrol and the diesel, then make your decision regardless of whether your budget is large or small…
With it’s small car feel and handling (That’s good BTW!), strong features, clever design, good list of options and brilliant engine. I’m giving the KIA Sorento SLi V6 Petrol….
A solid performer that’s punching above it’s weight.
So their you have my KIA Sorento SUV review. What did you think? Helpful? Got a Sorento? Let me know in the comments box down below :)
Until next time guys and thanks for reading.
Price: from $37,490
Warranty: 5 years/unlimited km
Service interval: 15,000km/12 months
Safety rating: 5 star ANCAP
Spare: full size
Engine: 3.5-litre 204kW/335Nm V6 petrol; 2.2-litre 145kW/421Nm (436Nm auto) 4-cylinder diesel
Transmission: 6-speed auto, 6-speed manual, FWD/4WD
Body: 4.6m (L); 1.8m (w); 1.5m (h)
Thirst: 9.8L/100km (diesel 6.6 man, 7.3 auto); CO2 235g/km (diesel man 174, auto 192)
Tank: 64 litres