8 / 10
It is with mixed emotions that the CarAdvice WA team says goodbye to the 2016 Kia Sorento Platinum – the first official long-term tow car for BoatAdvice.
The past four months with the seven-seat all-wheel-drive Kia Sorento Platinum diesel have, for the most part, been a joy. But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
Despite the Kia SUV’s 2000kg maximum braked towing capacity, due to its 100kg maximum tow ball weight – highlighted in our long-term report two – there were boats the big South Korean could pull but not legally be hitched up to.
After two months of trouble-free motoring, the last couple of months have also been slightly tainted by a minor electrical gremlin. The fuel gauge broke.
A visit to our nearest Kia dealership revealed the cause was a faulty sender unit. The faulty component was replaced within the week, and while the issue did not create any major issues for us, other than not knowing how much fuel was in the tank, Kia Australia said only a small number of cars were affected locally.
Regardless, the minor setbacks experienced with our Sorento have not been enough to dampen our enthusiasm for the car as a whole. And given all new Kias are covered by a seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty – Australia’s longest currently offered – owners should feel confident that any potential problems encountered should be easily rectified.
In its final months in the garage we also got to test the Sorento’s 1662-litre load-carrying capacity. With the BoatAdvice crew cramming the near-4.8m-long Kia full of gear, the Sorento impressed with the third row and two of the second row’s 40:20:40 split-fold sections folded down, we were able to stow plenty of ‘stuff’, plus still comfortably carry three passengers.
As we’ve mentioned in previous reports, it’s the Kia Sorento’s blend of features, both safety and comfort, and drivetrain sophistication that make it stand out from its competitors.
The interior is roomy, well-built, well thought out and exudes a certain level of sophistication and elegance, with additions such as third-row air vents with their own controls and a second USB plug in the second row making a big difference.
The 147kW/441Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel is a refined engine with virtually no sign of diesel clatter once under way. The six-speed automatic transmission too is well matched to the engine, changing ratios seamlessly, while keeping the engine spinning right in its sweet spot.
Rolling on standard 19-inch alloy wheels, ride comfort is also good with a well-sorted suspension setup that is ideal for relaxed urban driving. You don’t have to put too much weight on the back to start to see the rear suspension drop, however.
We didn’t get a chance to properly test the new four-wheel-drive Sorento off-road, however, as mentioned in long-term report two, the latest generation is far more urban focussed than the more ‘rugged’ previous iterations. If going off-road is your thing, it’s perhaps worth having a look at more suitable seven-seat alternatives, such as the Ford Everest, Isuzu MU-X, or Toyota Fortuner.
Over our time with the Kia Sorento Platinum we travelled 3196km and averaged 8.5 litres per 100km – up 0.7L/100km on its 7.8L/100km claim. Given the reasonable mix of towing we put the car through, and mostly over short distances, it was still a pleasing result.
If you are looking for a comfortable family hauler that offers seven-seat flexibility, good towing capacity (providing you can stay within the tow-ball weight limit), and class-leading safety and features, all at a competitive price, the 2016 Kia Sorento Platinum is certainly hard to look past.
Click on the Photos tab for more 2016 Kia Sorento Platinum AWD images by Glen Sullivan.
Kia Sorento Platinum
Date acquired: November 2015
Odometer reading: 8332km
Overall distance travelled: 3196km
Overall fuel consumption: 8.5L/100km