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Sunraysia Daily Saturday, February 13, 2016
LMOST a third of vehicles sold in
Australia in 2015 were crossovers or
SUVs and Kia is keen to get a big share
of the action. As part of this plan the
Korean company’s big all-new Sorento has
gone ultra stylish, something that will do it
no end of good in the rapidly changing sales
market in Australia.
All-new Kia Sorento is offered in Si, SLi and
Platinum grades. Prices begin at a reasonable
$40,990 for a petrol two-wheel-drive Si and run
up to $55,990 if you chose a Platinum with the
turbo-diesel and all-wheel-drive.
Even the Sorento Si is well equipped, with
17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, power
windows and mirrors and wood-look interior
trim. The SLi has 18-inch alloys, the wood-look
is extended to the steering wheel and centre
console and there are sporty looking alloy
pedals. Topping off the range is the Sorento
Platinum, with a huge sunroof, 19-inch alloy
wheels, a heated steering wheel and a more
A feature we particularly liked in the Sorento
Platinum is the choice of two-tone interior
trim. It really makes a pleasant change from the
endless all-black interiors in most current cars
and SUVs these days. There’s even better news
on the two-tone look – it comes at no extra
charge. Kia spoiled us by providing a Sorento
Platinum with attractive light grey and off white
trim for our week’s road test.
Gone are the days when SUVs pretend to
be tough, angular 4WDs, it’s well known that
most owners are buying station wagons and
like a bit of flair in their shapes (the wagon’s
shape, not the owners ... or is it both?!). The
third generation look-at-me style certainly drew
more than its fair share of looks during our test
Sorento’s front end is big and bold, the
bonnet is high and the grille has the familiar
new-Kia design. Large cutouts for the foglights
add to the effect and give it a bold wide look.
The side profile also takes the big ‘n ’ bold
look with a deep window line that continues
all the way to the rear. A current fad amongst
stylists is a sharp kick up in the rear-side
windows. Okay, it can look sleek, but often
ruins the view for the children in the rearmost
seats. Sorento is a seven-seater, indeed almost
a people mover, so it’s important that the kids
can see what’s happening out there.
Sorento Si has an AM/FM audio system with
six speakers. There’s MP3, Bluetooth streaming,
USB and Aux. Sportage SLi and the Platinum
we tested used an Infinity Premium 10-speaker
system with sub-woofer and external amplifier.
The system is operated through Kia’s audio-
video navigation (AVN) system using a 7.0 -inch
TFT LCD touchscreen.
New Kia Sorento comes with a choice of
petrol or diesel engines. The Sorento’s four-
cylinder 2.2 -litre turbo-diesel is a unit already
familiar to us from other Kia models, but has
had significant changes. In its latest iteration it
produces 147 kW of power and a big 441 Nm to
torque, the latter from 1750 rpm to 2750 revs.
The 3.3 -litre V6 petrol is an all-new design
and puts out 199 kilowatts of power and 318
Nm of torque. The petrol powerplant is only
offered in 2WD models. As befits its heavier
duty use the diesel is used in Sorentos with
All Sorento models have a six-speed
automatic as manuals are rapidly becoming a
thing of the past in Australia.
Sorento has a five-star safety rating from
Australasian NCAP. There are six airbags,
including front-to-rear curtain coverage.
All models have ABS with brake assist, ESC,
VSM (vehicle stability management), a rear
view camera, front and rear parking sensors and
a tyre pressure monitoring system.
The Platinum as tested added Lane
Departure Warning, Smart Cruise Control,
Blind-spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic
Alert to the driver safety aids.
The front seats are large, comfortable and
support well. The second row pews can slide
back and forward to let you juggle space. In
their rearmost position they provide a huge
amount of legroom for their occupants,
meaning four large adults can travel in comfort
if the back seats aren’t in use. The rearmost
pair of seats and the centre seat in the second
row are best left for children on anything other
than short trips.
The practical squared-off tail lets you carry
a decent amount of luggage even when all
seven seats are in use. With the seats down it’s
positively cavernous. The centre-row seat has a
60 / 40 split, with a central panel that can fold
down to become an armrest, or opened all the
way to allow for through loading of long items.
The body of the gen-three Kia Sorento has
significantly increased rigidity over the previous
model and also uses a lot of sound dampening
materials. On the road we found the big Kia
SUV to be smooth, quiet and comfortable.
Perhaps not quite the standard of the best
large sedans, but a lot closer than you might
Sorento’s suspension and steering have a lot
of Australian input. This firms it up in road grip
without any great loss of comfort. It handled
dirt sections with some big potholes without
missing a beat. The Sorento can be set to Sport
or Eco modes – as keen drivers we preferred
the Sport setting.
Handling is competent, though don’t expect
it to compete with the big name German
SUVs in this class. Sorento is a large vehicle
tuned for family comfort ahead of sporting
pretensions. The variable settings do make it
better than average for the Asian class, but if
you’re looking for driving excitement forget it.
During our test period fuel consumption of
the turbo-diesel was in the nine to ten litres
per hundred kilometres range in around town
driving, dropping to six to eight litres when on
the open road or motorways. Pretty impressive
figures for a large seven-seat people mover.
Kia’s all-new Sorento offers a nice
combination of style, carrying capacity and
sophistication and is already making a name
for itself on the new-car sales charts.
For more information on the Kia Sportage
contact Hutchinson Motors LMCT 6390 on
the corner of Ninth Street and Deakin Avenue,
phone 5021 6300 or visit www.davisonmg.com.
bold and practical
- Kia Sorento Platinum
- Kia Sorento Platinum
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