Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 02 July 2019

Ticking all of the right boxes, this is the new Kia Sorento. Packing sharper lines, more in the way of technology and features, and just true 7-seating practicality! Some time back I drove a Sorento and enjoyed the drive, now I am driving the updated model.

Quick Snap:

Price: R596 995 (as of July 2019)
Engine: 2.2-litre turbodiesel
Power/Torque: 147 kW/440 Nm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Fuel economy: 6.3 L/100km (claimed)
Load capacity: 142-605-1 662 litres

What is Sorento?

Sorento is a premium 7-seating people mover from the Korean brand Kia. It’s a vehicle which combines characteristics of both an MPV and an SUV. It’s the culmination of practicality done blended with luxury commuting.

This latest-generation builds on the Sorento’s reputation for superb build quality, while further adding sharper exterior elements and modern day-time-running lights, all of which give the new Sorento a more sculpted appearance.

Space Meets Luxury

 The previous-generation Sorento was available as either a 5-seater or 7-seater variant. With this latest-generation, Kia only offers the Sorento as a 7-seater. While normally more choice is a good thing, I find this new offering to make the most practical sense, now offering-up 7 seats if required or a very large cavernous 605-litres of luggage loading space even with the second row of seats in place.

At 5 metres in length, the Kia seats 7 in comfort with impressive legroom in both the front and second row, while two smaller occupants can make use of the third row of seating. Owing to clever design, the seats in both the second and third-row can be re-arranged, folded or lifted with the simple pull of a lever located near each specified seat.

The dashboard is a classy and well assembled piece of automotive craftsmanship, offering up many storage bins and compartments. Comfortable seating, arm-rests and easy reach of the well ergonomically placed controls are all part of the Sorento Interior.

The newly developed touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto works well, as does the overall easy to operate and intuitive touchscreen central media system. The Sorento also ticks many boxes in terms of standard specification and safety equipment (ESP, ABS, EBD and 6 airbags are standard), as well as all the usual creature comforts you can think of.

The Drive

The Sorento is powered by a 2.2-litre turbodiesel and new 8-speed automatic transmission, which provide a smooth and well-rounded power delivery. Though it feels more road comfortable in its front wheel drive LX variant, it does offer impressive ride height, and is offered in all-wheel-drive for an additional R40,000.

The average claimed fuel economy is 6.3 L/100 km, while I was able to average 7.8 L/100 km during my week of testing.

Conclusion & SA Pricing

While many buyers at this price point tend to opt for family SUV’s such as the Ford Everest, Hyundai Sante Fe and Toyota Fortuner, the Kia offers a somewhat different body style with the Sorento, and a vehicle which manages to package what is just such a practical, comfortable and premium ride. The well-built package, with further sharpened looks in this latest-guise all help make for what is great family vehicle.

The Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDI LX sells for R596,995. It also comes with Kia’s excellent 5-year/unlimited km warranty and 5-year/100 000 km service plan.

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