2016 Kia Sorento Platinum Diesel Review

2016 Kia Sorento Platinum Diesel with caravan hooked up.

2016 Kia Sorento diesel road test and review.

Right, so you know that we judged the Kia Sorento as our Car of the Year in 2015. What more can I tell you about the new Kia seven-seat SUV other than it is a very impressive offering.

But how does it go towing a caravan? Or off-road? Well I thought I would concentrate specifically on those situations in this Kia Sorento review.

Having the Sorento over the Christmas break I decided to load up the kids and take them out of town, this allowed me to take the Sorento on some relatively rough ground.

Sure, this vehicle isn’t a full-on off-roader, there’s no low range gearing or the like and ground clearance is well short of what you would get on more serious 4×4 models. But I can attest to the model being more than capable and confident on the dirt.

2016 Kia Sorento Platinum Diesel Review.

The tracks that I took the Sorento on featured quite deep ruts and so long as you took your time there were no under body scrapes or thuds.

On corrugated roads it also did really well. No, it’s not my vehicle of choice to tackle the Canning Stock Route in, but the Kia Sorento is going to be able to handle everything the average Australian family is going to want to do when the asphalt stops.

Now to the best bit of the review – towing with the Kia Sorento.

I had the 147kW/441Nm diesel version and was keen to give it a real test. My father needed his fifteen-foot single axle caravan towed across Sydney and I thought I would spare his V8 Toyota LandCruiser the trouble and test out the Kia instead.

2016 Kia Sorento Platinum Diesel Review.

We hooked up the caravan with absolutely no fuss at all – the Kia reverse camera is a god-send for lining up the tow ball with the caravan hitch!

The caravan weight pushed down the rear of the Sorento around a centimetre or so.

After fitting some wing-mirror extenders, checking the lights and setting the trailer brakes system (which was fitted aftermarket by Kia for towing tests) I switched the Sorento out of the Eco drive mode into Normal mode and headed off.

Around the corner from my father’s place is a nasty hill that I knew would be a real test of the Kia SUV, especially as there is essentially no chance of getting any kind of run up. I was delighted and a bit relieved when the Kia chewed up the hill, I won’t say like the caravan wasn’t there, but without any complaints.

2016 Kia Sorento Platinum Diesel Review.

In Sydney traffic the Sorento got the caravan moving just as easily. This is where I thought the relatively minimal 147kW might be an issue, not at all though as the powerful diesel engine took it all in its stride.

Being followed by my father, who was rather cynical about towing with “just a four-cylinder” I thought I would show him just how capable that little 2.2 litre engine is and floored it from a set of traffic lights.

To say he was stunned at how well it got moving is an understatement.

Fuel economy, for the record, lifted from a very impressive 7.6L/100km average to 8.0L/100km with the caravan hooked up, amazing!

Seriously, the new Kia Sorento, especially with the diesel engine under the bonnet, is a vehicle that must be test driven. Great for families, capable off-road (in all but the really serious stuff), seven-seats, five-star safety, seven-year warranty, and a very competent tow vehicle, it really does do everything!

2016 Kia Sorento Platinum Diesel Review.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Kia Sorento Diesel

Engine: 2.2 litre turbo-diesel producing 147kW and 441Nm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic (only)

Safety: Five stars

Warranty: Seven years

Origin: South Korea

Price: diesel from $44,490

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