Added: 18 January 2018
Kia’s stylish seven-seat Sorento has a subtly sportier look for 2018 with the introduction of ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ variants and the availability of a new eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The eight-speed auto replaces the previous six-speed unit and is standard with ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ and optional with ‘KX-2’ and ‘KX-3’ versions. The economy with the new auto gearbox improves to 43.5mpg compared with the previous automatic, while CO2 emissions are cut from 174g/km to 170. Drivers can leave the car to shift for itself, or change gears with steering wheel-mounted paddles in ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’.
All versions of the Sorento are seven-seat SUVs powered by a 197bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine able to drive all four wheels through an intelligent four-wheel-drive system. Depending on model features include state-of-the-art safety and convenience technologies.
A sportier twist through GT-Line and GT-Line S
The Kia portfolio has recently been given a subtly sportier look with the introduction of ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’ versions. Both feature 19-inch double five-spoke alloy wheels with 235/55 R19 tyres, stainless steel side steps, ice cube-style front foglights, red brake calipers and twin exhaust pipes. ‘GT-Line’ has projection headlights while ‘GT-Line S’ has LED headlights with a dynamic bending function. Inside, there are black leather seats with light grey stitching, a perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel and a bespoke ‘GT-Line’ design leather gearshifter.
As Kia’s flagship SUV in the UK, the Sorento has executive-class space and versatility to match its executive-class style, quality and refinement.
The phrase the product planners and designers use is “Elegant but practical”. And the car immediately began reaping design awards in 2015. It received the prestigious IF Design Award in Germany, with the international jury recognising not only its aesthetics but also its finish, innovation, environmental impact and safety. The Sorento thus became the seventh Kia to receive an IF Design Award.
Familiar Sorento design cues like the shape of the D-pillar are still in evidence, but the third-generation Sorento has a sleeker, swept-back profile, and more sculpted surfaces. The low roof, rising belt line and sweeping profile give the car a bold, muscular appearance, and there are pronounced rear shoulders which create a three-dimensional look.
Clean, efficient diesel engine
The 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine fitted to all seven models features a fourth-generation common-rail fuel injection system. Manual models accelerate from 0-60mph in 8.7 seconds, with the auto taking 9.1 seconds, and all versions have a top speed of 127mph.
All models have Kia's Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system to ensure that no fuel is used and no emissions are released when the car comes to a halt. This helps to improve both air quality and noise levels in urban areas.
Superior traction, comfort and refinement
The Sorento features a Dynamax intelligent electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system from Magna Powertrain. It continuously monitors driving conditions and anticipates when all-wheel drive will be needed. It is paired with Advanced Traction Cornering Control (ATCC) which automatically and instantaneously transfers torque to those wheels which still have grip, even before the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system intervenes. This is linked with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) which prevents roll-back when setting off uphill.
All versions have Trailer Stability Assist to make towing safer. It works through the ESC system, and continuously monitors vehicle stability, gently applying some front braking force to the relevant side of the vehicle if it detects a potential loss of control.
Kia engineers have also striven to ensure the new model delivers a luxury-car ride and engaging and precise on-road handling. To this end, the Sorento has all-independent suspension and rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS).
Five trim levels and a host of advanced technologies
The five luxuriously appointed trim grades are, in ascending order, ‘KX-1’, ‘KX-2’, ‘GT-Line’, KX-3 and GT-Line S. All have seven seats with a 40:20:40 split in the middle row and a 50:50 split in the rear.
Depending on model, the Sorento features a number of highly advanced safety and convenience technologies including Adaptive Smart Cruise Control to maintain a gap to the vehicle ahead, Speed Limit Information Function, a 360-degree Around View Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert to prevent the owner from backing out of a parking space into the path of an approaching vehicle, Smart Park Assist with reverse and parallel parking functions, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Autonomous Emergency Braking and a roll-over sensor, which triggers the side curtain airbags if the car is at risk of turning over. The Sorento has been awarded five stars in Euro NCAP safety tests.
Highlights of the extensive standard features include alloy wheels (17, 18 or 19 inches in diameter, depending on grade), black side sill and wheel-arch mouldings, roof rails, LED daytime running lights, a front wiper de-icer, electrically adjustable folding and heated door mirrors with LED indicators, door sill scuff plates (aluminium on ‘KX-3’, ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’), steering wheel-mounted controls, all-round electric windows and reversing sensors, while safety is taken care of by Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Trailer Assist and ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist. There are six airbags, front seat belt pre-tensioners and load limiters and an Active Bonnet to protect pedestrians.
All versions have a digital DAB radio compatible with MP3 players and Bluetooth with music streaming, and now feature Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™. A reversing camera is available on all grades.
The Sorento is built at Kia’s largest factory, at Hwasung in Korea, and is covered by the company’s industry-leading seven-year or 100,000-mile transferable warranty, subject to the exclusion of routine wear-and-tear items.
The standard body colour is Rich Espresso, but all versions can also be ordered in Midnight Black, Platinum Silver and Graphite, while all but the entry-level ‘KX-1’ offer White Pearl and Gravity Blue paint finishes.