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by George Skentzos

CarAdvice recently attended the launch of the new Kia Sorento and we are pleased to report the Sorento is only improving.

The Sorento range has achieved tremendous global success since its launch in 2002, with Kia celebrating the 700,000th Sorento sold worldwide in January 2007.

“In Australia, the Kia Sorento continues to appeal to buyers who want an SUV that delivers 4WD capability, strong towing capacity and a comprehensive specification, while still offering outstanding value” said Bill Gillespie, Director of Sales and Marketing at Kia Motors Australia.

The range has been upgraded with two new engines – a powerful 3.3-litre V6 with 180kW and a torquey 2.5-litre turbo-diesel with common rail direct injection (CRDi). The new diesel offers 125kW and a very impressive 392Nm of torque at 2,000rpm, delivering a class-leading towing capacity of 2,800kg with genuine 4WD capabilities.

Kia Sorento DieselKia Sorento V6

The launch of the new Sorento introduces three new grades of specification to the Sorento range, all of which offer either the new petrol or diesel engine.

Kia Sorento

The entry level Sorento LX model features a limited slip differential for greater security on boat ramps and off-road. The Sorento is mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or five-speed tiptronic-style automatic transmission.

Next up the range is the Sorento EX, with important extra features including 17 alloy wheels, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with traction control for added safety and traction in all driving conditions.

Kia Sorento

Topping the range is the Sorento EX Limited (known as the EX-L), which adds side curtain SRS airbags, leather trim, electric tilt/slide sunroof, rear spoiler, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning and black woodgrain finish to the comprehensive equipment list of the whole Sorento range.

Kia Sorento Interior

ABS brakes, driver and front passenger SRS airbags, active front headrests to reduce the risk of whiplash injuries in collisions, and front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters are all standard across the entire Sorento range.

However ESP is not available as standard in the base model LX, and SRS side curtain airbags are only offered in the range topping EX-L. Expect a review of the Kia Sorento soon.


Sorento CRDi LX manual $34,990
Sorento CRDi LX auto $36,990
Sorento CRDi EX auto $39,490
Sorento CRDi EX-L auto $44,490
Sorento 3.3 LX auto $33,990
Sorento 3.3 EX auto $36,490
Sorento 3.3 EX-L auto $41,490

  • Matthew

    Fantastic. Another car with blinding fog lights to dazzle oncoming drivers.

    I have a mate who owns one of these and loves it but it chews the petrol like it is water. Like all heavy wagons of this size, probably.

  • Grumps

    I have always liked the look of the Sorento but never read anything real positive about it.

    I will be interested to read a road test review on the new 3.3.

  • Steve V

    Well they’ve made one good move. DIESEL. It has got to improve their fuel economy and the torque and power figures are impressive. The fact that it offers a dual transfer case will be the big draw card for those looking for a little bit extra in their SUV. With their previous reputation however, I won’t be one of the first to buy.

  • Steve

    The interior looks better then the “(freddy)Kluger”. And I think the Hyundai looks better on the outside.


  • Reckless1

    Worldwide they have sold 700,000 of these.

    Steve V, if you buy one, you have no chance of being the first!

    I am taking the diesel for a test drive when it becomes available.

    There is nothing else available with Low Range in the price bracket other than Jeep (yuck). A Pajero (not ladder frame) diesel with Sunroof and Leather is $75000+, same with Prado. If I could afford to pay $75000+, I would buy a Touareg.

  • matt


  • Duggy

    Have read favourable reviews from around the world since it’s release. The only issue seams to come from an underdone suspension. I drove one about a fortnight ago & was impressed. It’s quiet & refined with a comfortable interior to wry the km’s away with pleasant road manners. For the money it’s terrific value. Log onto youtube.com & do a search for Sorento & you’ll soon see that they are certainly capable off road, though not as capable as my Disco it will take you most places. With 700000 around the world the aftermarket crowd is bound to cotton on sooner or later & supply some decent equipment, such as a bullbar & difflock. ARB supply a suspension upgrade with a 2″ lift & would be recommended for off road use. My only gripe is the rear end rake on the “D” pillar, designed for styling, it’s too steep & eats into valuable storage space. The build quality is above it’s price tag.

  • http://www.alchester.com.au/pers/gaz/towing_vehicles.html Gary Pope

    We’ve been comparing mid-range 4WD versus SUV’s. Having driven Pajero for 12 years followed by two Subaru Outback’s for last 10 years, we’ve discovered we’re lacking the ability to tow 1300-1500kg and do any off-road (only medium level), and so we have been looking at what is on offer for good towing (low down grunt), good economy when towing and a reasonable compromise for using the same vehicle around town 50% of the time. Now that the Sorento Diesel EX with ESP and traction control on all four wheels has become available, there is little else on the market that compares for the price and capability. We’re putting our name down to buy the EX, and foudn it to be an excellent all rounder compared to anything from Mitsubishi, Nissan or Toyota.


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  • Tads

    Put a decent Stereo in it. I know a bloke who has had 5 fitted in less than a year. I’m on my second. I have had a Sorento for 4 years and had nothing but trouble with it. keep looking…

  • Tads

    I should also say the engines suck in sand thru the timing cover and derail the timing belt in off road conditions, beach driving. My engine now rattles on start up and is out of warranty (valve hit top piston, bodgy repair work)…

  • Max

    Well…….I bought a CDRi Sorento Manual and must say: It has grunt, takes off like any fast car, plenty of space and most important has the spare wheel not in the way for towing connection. It does tow my rather heavy trailer sailer out of the water with ease and trail it at high speed with safety. It has excellent fuel consumption and when driven carefully (with no trailer) will master around 8 l / 100km. To summaries, it’s hard to beat: Value for money, yes it even has a genuine chassis. I am glad I bought what I bought and am happy with it.

  • Mark

    Put some AT tyres on and aftermarket suspension as with any 4WD and you’ll be surprised where it will take you.

    Tads, the sand in the timing cover issue has been addressed with a revised timing cover. Mine (3.5L) had that problem but was fixed under warranty. Besides, the new engines are totally different.

    • felix


      Hope you’ll get that after 2 years of posting your last message. I just had to pay 900$ to get the timing belt in position cus of sand contamination in the timing belt area. You are talking about a revised timing cover. Where can I get that? I can’t stand to not go back on the beach knowing that I bought this car as a 4×4. I am a beach man, not a bush man. Any help will be more than welcome.

  • Shah

    Purchased a new EX-L Diesel Sorento 3 months ago now. To sum it up….If it was only half as good as what it is, I’d be more than happy. Engine not only has heaps of grunt, but fuel economy to match. Smooth 5 speed auto, fantastic climate control, well appointed and ergonomically designed interior. Ride is stiff, but I prefer to drive a 4WD and want it to feel feel like a 4WD, not some spongy car ride. Overall quality of vehicle is surprisingly exceptional. Price is unbeatable for features compared to other SUV’s. Would highly reccommend this latest model Sorento if a mid sized SUV is what anyone is chasing.

  • James

    This is my second Sorrento and have loved both, the new diesel is fantastic, my other car 2003 Prado is gathering dust at home.

    Never had an issue, servicing costs reasonable, quality is good. You can’t beat it at the price.

  • David

    I just bought an LX manual diesel Sorento for $34990 drive away. I had a Hyundai Santa Fe for nearly a year and liked it but couldn’t get along with out low range. Did a clutch in it at 7k….doubt if they will give me another on warranty. It also had steering issues. I haven’t driven the Sorento yet but I hope it rides as well as the Santa Fe and steers better with the low range. I wonder if I will miss the center diff lock off road???

  • David

    Anybody know where to get the aftermarket bolt on suspension kit that is supposed to improve the handling as well as the ride and the clearance on the new Sorento??

  • Dwayne

    Pedders do an $800.00 50mm lift kit. My 2007 Sorento has clearance of a mates Prado. But I out corner him by 50%, my Sorento handles like an SS.

  • Neil

    Max what was the fuel economy when towing that boat?

  • max in Oz

    Sorry Neil, saw your question only today:

    The towing fuel consumption while towing a boat with 2300 kg total towing mass is approx. 13 l/100km at around 100km/h speed

  • Ron Anderson

    I have a 2005 KIA Sorrento and the first time I took it on the Beach sand got in the timing cover and caused the valve timing to jump. It has since been a bitumen only car as I am not game to take it off road again. from above comments other people have had this problem, and claim to have had them fixed. Can you please tell me the name of the Kia dealers that fixed the problem. None of the dealers I have called acknowledged there is a problem or know of a new timing cover available.Ron.

  • Geoff Stephens

    Hi I just bought a 2008 Sorento CRDI 2.5 it’s a manual, I bought it as a tow car for my caravan, only had it a week. Does anybody have any waranty issues I should know about.

  • Sorento Philippines

    I have a 2009 sorento EX crdi, automatic and but i’m all the way in the Philippines (Manila).

    Roads are very bumpy here (i mean they really are) its almost a must to have a car here with very sturdy built underchasis.

    Driving the Sorento, i feel all the imperfections on the road, i do get quite a beating. My wife’s sportage feels a bit better on this aspect.

    I will not however trade it in for anything else, I have owned Toyota Land cruisers, Nissan patrol and the Pajeros, I still think this is the best SUV in its price range. The fuel economy and the power is unbeatable.

    I think the suspension bottoms out and the rebound is to quick. I am thinking of looking for replacement suspension (struts and shocks) perhaps progressive and firmer and with longer travel, hopefully it helps soak up all the uneven concrete roads and bumps on the asphalt the size of moon craters.

    Any thoughts on how to help me make my sorento soak the bumps here in Manila better?

  • Peter

    I bought a 2nd hand 2008 kia Sorrento Diesel with 29K on it and I am very sorry……..that I didn’t buy it earler. It is unbelievable. I had a 3 litre Pajero before and every time we saw a hill coming we would say Ohh boy, another hill. In the Sorrento…what hill. I just did a 300K trip with a 1600kg odd caravan on the back and we sat on 110 KPH all the way there and back and we did not notice one hill. The revs changed only about 300 revs up steep hills and we couldn’t even feel the gearbox change down Feul consumption was a tad higher than I would like at 15 litres per 100K, but it hardly has been run in yet. Don’t think about buying one, just do it.