2018 saw the enhanced Kia Sorento hit out shores and I was lucky enough to drive it for a month over the holidays. I say lucky, because not only is Kia one of the most underrated brands in this country, but also, because it is a seven-seater and so there is oodles of space. The perfect car for a road trip!
The enhanced Sorento sports a new look upfront with new headlights and a revised grille. The rear has also received a nip and tuck and it now rides on 18-inch alloy wheels. The previous model was available in five- and seven-seater guises, but this updated version is now exclusively available with seven-seats and leather as standard.
This extra row of seats came in very handy this holiday as we transported the whole family around from place to place. And when there were no bodies in the back, we folded the third row of seats flat so that we could make use of the 605-litre luggage bay. There is no lack of storage space either with a centre bin upfront, cupholders aplenty and areas all over the place ensuring your keys, chewing gum, extra change, phone and wallet all have a spot.
The model line-up has also seen a change which involves saying goodbye to the base LS derivative as well as to the high-spec SX and SXL. You can now opt for a mid-range LX or a mid-to-high spec EX model. Either way, you will not be left disappointed when it comes to the standard spec on offer. From dual-zone climate control, auto-folding and heated side mirrors, electric windows all round, rear USB ports to the new eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with integrated satellite navigation, USB and Aux inputs and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. The EX derivative adds features such as rear sunshade blinds, integrated roof rails and a wireless smartphone charger.
You will find the same 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine under the bonnet for both models. It has more than enough power on the open road to overtake, even on an incline, thanks to the 147 kW of power and 440 Nm of torque. What impresses more than anything is the frugal fuel consumption. I managed an average of just 6.5L/100 km with a fully loaded car.
I mentioned Kia being an underrated brand and I believe it even more so now having spent a month in the Sorento. It is an excellent product and I don’t think it gets enough credit. As Gary Scott, CEO of Kia Motors South Africa, points out, “The Sorento SUV has been a proud flagbearer for Kia’s design and quality credentials since the 1st-generation model debuted in 2002. It has not only won red dot and iF Design Awards, but is also a consistent segment leader in the annual JD Power Initial Quality Study.”
The new Kia Sorento comes with a 5-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, as well as a 5-year/100 000 km service plan and 3 years’ roadside assistance:
KIA SORENTO PRICING
Sorento 2.2 CRDI LX R569 995
Sorento 2.2 CRDI LX AWD R609 995
Sorento 2.2 CRDI EX R599 995
Sorento 2.2 CRDI EX AWD R639 995