What’s more important than how well a car drives and rides? 'Nothing' would be the answer some would instantly field.
Keep asking around, however, and you might get some differing opinions. I reckon one area that some would covet in particular is technology. Specifically, infotainment and interior niceties.
With all of that in mind, let’s have a closer look at our long-termer 2019 Kia Sorento GT-Line. Our sample is powered by the 147kW/441Nm 2.2-litre turbo diesel, with an on-demand AWD system.
You can also get a FWD set-up with a 206kW/336Nm 3.5-litre petrol V6, but that doesn’t make a difference to the rest of the GT-Line specification.
The infotainment unit measures in at 8.0 inches. The operating system has a familiar look and feel to other Kia (and Hyundai) product.
Importantly, the vital ingredients are all present and accounted for: Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, digital radio and native navigation.
While it’s not as impressive in terms of size or presence, the infotainment system is a painless affair to navigate and get used to, with flanking buttons and touchscreen functionality.
One element I like is the ‘star’ button, which you can assign to whatever you like via settings. I used it as a shortcut to the Android Auto home screen, which let me flick between that and the native operating system easily.
Heated and ventilated seats are a nice touch, with good electric adjustment to dial yourself in behind the wheel.
Combined with dual-zone climate control, the Sorento is a comfortable and mostly painless operator around town.
One good way to improve the general liveability of a large SUV is through a good camera system, and the Sorento certainly falls in that category.
It’s a full 360-degree system, with nice definition and a variety of viewing modes.
Split mode, in particular, lets you focus on gutter clearance on the reverse-parallel park, for example, while also keeping an eye on the full gutter clearance.
Autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist are standard across the range.
During our driving so far, we haven’t had any false positives come through, and the lane-keep assist isn’t too ornery.
In GT-Line specification, there are a few additional safety credentials to cover off. Rear cross-traffic alert is one, and blind-spot detection is another. Handy things to have for life in and around the suburbs.
There is also a hands-free smart power tailgate with the GT-Line and SLi specifications, which will detect the smart key. And if you linger around the back for long enough, the boot will automatically open.
All of this gear leaves the Sorento feeling well rounded from a tech and infotainment point of view. All of the important points are covered, and there aren't any major weaknesses.