We really are spoiled in 2017 with some terrific cars available and one that continues to be a standout for families is the Kia Sorento.
Our 2015 Behind the Wheel Car of the Year continues to be a standout among the seven-seat SUV crowd.
The big difference between the Kia and the Japanese rivals is the availability of a turbo-diesel engine.
Featuring 147kW and 441kW of torque, the Sorento diesel returns better fuel economy numbers than the petrol alternatives and delivers good acceleration around town too.
It’s also a capable towing vehicle (from personal experience) with a 2,000kg braked towing capacity, and is a great tourer with a full load of people on-board.
If you don’t want a diesel engine then there’s always the V6 petrol version of the Kia Sorento available as well - though my preference is the diesel.
All-wheel drive and a seven-speed auto transmission come as standard with the diesel.
Aside from the pleasant drive, Kia’s seven-seat SUV also brings a nice ride and better than you might expect handling.
Visibility is good all-round, although the rear 3/4 vision is affected a little by the chunky c-pillar design.
There’s plenty of legroom in the first two rows, and adequate access and space in the third-row.
Those sitting in that last row get climate controls and vents, though there are no power outlets back there - the closest power source is at the back of the centre console.
The seats are a real highlight in the Sorento. They have a relatively flat base, but good side bolstering on the back rest.
Very good cabin storage areas and nice fit and finish are also highlights.
Like what I found in the Kia Carnival, I’m not a fan of the ‘wood’ insert on the top of the steering wheel in this grade of the Kia SUV.
It looks good, but I prefer a grippier surface here, especially when making a u-turn or when parking.
Simple controls and easy to read gauges (including a full-digital speedometer) are also nice touches.
While safety is extremely well covered with a five-star ANCAP safety rating, while the Platinum grade of the Sorento boasts things like Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and front and rear parking sensors.
Summing it up; the Kia Sorento is right at the top of the family vehicle pack and is a MUST drive proposition for anyone seeking a well-rounded seven-seat SUV.
The seven year warranty is the icing on the cake.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2017 Kia Sorento Platinum
- Engine: 2.2 litre turbo-diesel producing 147kW/441Nm or 3.3 litre V6 petrol producing 199kW/318Nm
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic (only)
- Safety: Five stars
- Warranty: Seven years
- Origin: South Korea
- Price: from $40,490, Platinum diesel from$56,590