Review Of Kia Sorento 2016 - Kia is one of the finest examples of how a brand can reinvent itself and up its game dramatically in a very short period of time. Just take a look at the new third-generation Sorento 4x4. As it now sits longer and wider than before, it offers more practicality, but its improvements in build quality and driving dynamics are what stand out the most. And in terms of looks, its design may not be overly adventurous, but you can’t deny that its tiger-nose front-grille is eye-catching. So what’s it up against, well as it’s a large 4x4 it is looking to challenge anything from brand’s such as Land Rover and Volkswagen. The first thing you will probably notice in the cabin is this new dashboard topper which shouts premium saloon. And this up-market feel is met with loads of soft-touch materials scattered around. The infotainment set-up has been injected with some 21st century zest as well, with this silver trim neatly packing the touchscreen and buttons together. As with Kia’s other current infotainment systems this is brilliantly responsive and ridiculously easy to use. The only thing we are not of fan of though, is the way the climate control buttons below seem to bulge outwards.
Speaking of climate control, there is only one trim you are ever really going to want and need for that matter, the second trim-up, KX-2, which is what we have here. You get dual air-con, heated seats, a reversing camera and of course, this seven-inch touchscreen system, which comes with sat-nav. Increased dimensions means more passenger and storage space, not that it was a problem in the last model. As you can see there is plenty of space for passengers in the first row, and the second row is pretty good as well and average-sized adults should be happy enough. To be honest, with the ability to slide this middle row back and forth, you will find a combination that works for all passengers. If you have all seven seats in place then boot space is minimal at 140 litres. However, fold this back row away and there is a massive 605 litres. Fold the other row of seats away and there is 1,662 litres. It’s not class leading, but it is impressive. The Sorento is definitely a milestone for Kia when it comes to driving dynamics and refinement.
The steering for example feels much more connected to the front wheels than any other Kia, getting rid of that sometimes elasticy feel and replacing it with better feedback. This reassurance is particularly important when you consider the size of the Sorento and how narrow British roads are. As well as it being more engaging to drive, comfort is also top notch as its insulation from the likes of wind and road noise is excellent, visibility is good all-round and the cushioned suspension can easily handle unpredictably bumpy British roads. As with most cars this size, you will get body roll if you swerve it into corners at speed, but if that’s the kind of driving you are looking to do… then you shouldn’t be looking at a Sorento. The engine line-up couldn’t be simpler. There is just one on offer, a 2.2-litre turbodiesel with 197bhp. Sometimes cars of this size can feel a little lethargic regardless of how much horsepower is under the bonnet, but the Sorento certainly has a bit of personality and oomph about it, and it feels much nippier than its 0-62 sprint time of 9 seconds suggest. The only choice when it comes to powertrain se-up is whether you go for manual or automatic, with fuel economy being the key variables here.
In real-world driving, the manual will return around 40mpg, with the auto slightly lower at around 30 to 35mpg. Par for the course really. Its lowest CO2 figure of 149g/km is impressive though, compared to its 4x4 competition anyway. You hear the term game-changing quite a lot in the car industry, but it certainly applies to the Sorento. Whereas some of Kia’s models merely meet the threshold of the competition, the Sorento stands out as genuinely impressive and has carved itself a solid spot as an upmarket 4x4. And I haven’t even mentioned its price yet. It starts from just under £30,000, which is a couple of grand cheaper than the Land Rover Discovery Sport and almost 15 grand cheaper than a Volkswagen Touraeg. Thanks for read Review Of Kia Sorento 2016.