On paper, the 2015 Kia Sorento presents all the right ingredients to make the perfect seven-seater family SUV, but how does that translate to real world ability?
The third-generation Kia Sorento is the accumulation of all the knowledge and technical knowhow that the South Korean brand has gathered in the last few years. It delivers unbeatable value for money in a highly competitive segment, but as is the case these days, value for money isn’t all that matters.
The interior has also undergone significant improvement compared to not only the previous Sorento but any other Kia (bar the similar Carnival) before it. Gone are the days of base models equipped with bugger-all features, as even the entry point petrol Si (priced from $40,990) gets a decent 7-inch touchscreen with full satellite navigation functionality and decent interior trim.
Kia Australia will offer the Sorento range in either a front-wheel drive petrol, or all-wheel drive diesel. The decision not to offer the petrol as an all-wheel drive may seem peculiar, but the 2.2-litre diesel is by and large the pick of the range when compared to the underwhelming 3.3-litre V6 and Kia freely admits that half of all buyers will opt for the top-sec $55,990 platinum version offered exclusively in a diesel AWD configuration.
The petrol model delivers 199kW of power and 318Nm of torque. Not utilising a direct injection system (as seen in the new carnival) means it misses out on 7kW and 16Nm. It’s certainly not lacking in power but torque could be better and that deficit is certainly felt when encountering a hill. Kia claims fuel usage of 9.9L/100km.
The diesel has 147kW of power and 447Nm of torque and considering the weight of the diesel Sorento, the high torque output is a godsend. Kia claims fuel usage of 7.8L/100km and after 500km of driving we easily achieved that figure.