Peter Hitchener road tests and reviews the 2015 Kia Sorento SUV.
The new 2015 Kia Sorento might well be Behind the Wheel’s Car of the Year, if not, certainly one of the surprise packages of the year so far.
I found the Kia Sorento, in mid-range SLi trim and with a V6 engine under the bonnet, so good that there was a little reluctance to return it!
The Kia Sorento SLi comes with the choice of 2.2 litre turbo-diesel (147kW) or 3.3 litre V6 petrol engine developing 199kW and 318Nm, front wheel drive. It’s a seven-seater, with two fold-flat seats in the back. It’s a thoroughly composed package and great value from $45,990.
But if your budget extends to the diesel-only Kia Sorento Platinum model from $49,490 standard features include 4X4 on demand, an electric sunroof and a whopping 441Nm of torque.
There’s a quality feel throughout – doors close with a reassuring ‘thunk’, reminiscent of the Volkswagen Touareg; and you could be forgiven for thinking you were in an upmarket Japanese model when the Sorento plays you a merry tune when you get in and once the engine is switched off!
The bold new Kia face, shared with the latest Kia Carnival people-mover, is good-looking and the interior has received a make-over too. The cabin as a result is a delight, and it feels and looks upmarket.
Check out the Audi A7 inspired trim, running forward from the door handles round under the windscreen, a nice touch. There’s plenty of legroom front and back, and the high riding setup makes for comfortable and enjoyable motoring.
The information system works a treat, and took me all of 30 second to navigate. Bluetooth pairing for my mobile phone was similarly fast and efficient. There’s a reversing camera, sat-nav, leather trim and electric tailgate.
There are of course one or two complaints with the 2015 Kia Sorento… a member of my family says she would have preferred to be able to make more adjustments to the head restraint, and felt a bit hemmed-in by the sides of the front seats.
No deal breaker though, nor was the slight understeer induced when pushed hard through corners.
The entire Kia Sorento range in 2015 boasts a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.
On the whole this seven-seat SUV does everything well. It’s handsome even stylish to look at, the cabin is an enjoyable space and it is nice to drive… there’s room a plenty in the boot, reduced of course when the two rear seats are in use.
There’s also storage space beneath the floor at the rear, and good news, it comes with a full size spare tyre as well.
The build quality looks to be excellent, and of course, the Kia Sorento comes with a full 7 year warranty, transferrable if sold within that time. Kia’s warranty leads the industry.
With this model, Kia is moving further upmarket continuing its push to become an aspirational brand.
Take it for a test drive if it meets your budget and motoring needs. Who knows, it might be Behind the Wheel’s 2015 Car of the Year!
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Kia Sorento SLi
Engine: 3.3 litre V6 petrol producing 199kW and 318Nm or 2.2 litre diesel producing 147kW and 441Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic (only)
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Seven years
Origin: South Korea
Price: Kia Sorento SLi from $45,990