Kia South Africa is in a abundant amplitude with its SUV range. There is a huge appeal for the compact Kia Sonet, sales of the Kia Seltos are ticking over accurately and the Kia Sportage is affair its run-out target ahead of the accession of an all-new archetypal in a few months’ time, but the accountable of this beat is the 4th-generation of a archetypal that has alveolate up added than 3 actor sales back its debut in 2002.
Although it offered practicality, performance, economy and clarification in a articulation bedeviled by bakkie-based SUVs, the approachable Sorento wasn’t a looker. However, irrespective of which angle you appearance it from and the colour in which it is finished, the new Sorento is a bold, conspicuously styled ancestors SUV. It alike incorporates elements of the award-winning Telluride – Kia’s imposing, unique-to-the-‘States flagship SUV.
The sharp, fresh looks are aloof the start. The new 7-seater Sorento rides on a new platform, which agency it has a best wheelbase and, therefore, offers added interior space. Like its predecessor, the Kia is a unibody SUV, which agency it has a carapace instead of a anatomy army on a ladder-frame anatomy (as the Toyota Fortuner does), which allowances its active manners, addressee comfort, ride and handling.
Under the beanie is a new-generation engine. Dubbed “Smartstream”, the new turbodiesel motor is said to action above achievement to its predecessor, but not to the damage of ammunition economy.
Inside, the berth has received a abundant makeover – the Korean newcomer features a modern-looking autogenous that brims with connectivity, driver-assistance systems and infotainment technology.
Kia South Africa offers its new Sorento in 4 derivatives. Anniversary of them is powered by a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel Smartstream engine, which produces 148 kW/440 Nm and is akin with an 8-speed dual-clutch automated transmission. There is a best of 3 trim levels and all but the entry-level acquired appearance all-wheel drive. At the top of the accumulation is the SXL, which was the adaptation that we drove.
Kia offers 10 exterior acrylic finishes for the new Sorento and alike admitting the SXL flagship is luxuriously appointed, the EX and SX versions additionally action absorbing levels of accepted features.
For abundant specs and prices, amuse bang here.
We had an opportunity to drive the new Sorento twice – on the aboriginal leg of the appraisal avenue from Gqeberha to Plettenberg Bay and on the third and final leg from Mossel Bay to Cape Town. With head-turning looks and an autogenous that offers body affection and clarification that’s calmly on par with those of some exceptional brands’ controlling SUVs, Kia’s adversary makes a good impression straight away.
The Sorento’s berth has a spacious, adequate layout, but it’s additionally akin and accomplished in a way that creates a exceptional ambience. There are some absolutely air-conditioned appearance too, such as the agenda apparatus array that displays altered coloured dials depending on which drive approach you’ve selected. Another highlight is that back you indicate your ambition to change from one lane to another, for example, one of the dials in the affectation instantly relays a camera augment that shows a appearance to the larboard or appropriate abaft the vehicle. It’s a abundant way to analysis your dark spot, either on freeways or when parking.
Due to the 40°C-plus heatwave that absorbed the Western Cape recently, the aerial seats in the SXL put in a adamantine day’s assignment (in affiliation with the climate-control system, of course) to accumulate the Sorento’s occupants air-conditioned and comfortable. While the disciplinarian and advanced commuter are availed three USB ports and a wireless buzz charger, the rear cartage accept admission to a USB port in anniversary of the advanced seatbacks. Other notable appearance accommodate a abundantly sized infotainment touchscreen, a heads-up display, a 12-speaker Bose audio system, additional a ample across-the-board sunroof, to name but a few.
The new Sorento can come equipped with Kia’s Advanced Disciplinarian Abetment Systems, which incorporates forward-collision abstention tech, blindspot-view monitor, acute cruise control, lane-following abetment and so on. There are parking sensors and cameras galore, plus 6 airbags. Not all these appearance are the bottle of the flagship adaptation either; even the entry-level EX covers the basics well.
That new turbodiesel agent is impressive. Not abandoned is it analytic quiet, it comes on song bound and punches adamantine with in-gear torque, which is accessible back you charge to assassinate quick overtaking manoeuvres. There are assorted drive modes, but we adopted to utilise Acute mode, which keeps settings mostly in Eco and Abundance until you charge to arouse best acceleration, at which point the sportiest preset will briefly be engaged. The dual-clutch ‘box is quick to respond, both in agreement of alteration up and blame down. There are steering-wheel about-face paddles too, which accept a affable feel.
The capital account of opting for Acute is that you get the best of both worlds – there really is no charge to coursing for the appropriate setting. Accustomed that the approach tends to favour economy, it came as no abruptness that the Sorento managed to absorb aloof 7.5 L/100 km of agent after the charge for us to consistently calamus the accelerator pedal, bank badly or anchor gently… Not bad for a sizeable 7-seater SUV!
The ride affection of SXL (which has 19-inch alloys and tyres) was mostly absorbent and the berth seemed able-bodied cloistral from road noise. The abeyance bureaucracy is pliant, but we did drive on well-maintained city for best of the route. While we’re annoyed with the Sorento’s ride abundance so far, we’re agog to analysis it on the kinds of asperous anchorage that represent those one would find in most parts of the country.
There’s not abundant in the way of acknowledgment from the council ‘wheel, but, accustomed that this model is hardly acceptable to be hustled about bound corners, that’s not a deal-breaker. We accepted that the Sorento felt every bit like a comfortable ancestors SUV to drive; it’s further affirmation that Kia is aggravating to change its image from a cool, value-oriented brand, to a aboveboard and accustomed ambassador of premium models.
We additionally had the adventitious to drive on a area of poor-quality gravel – let’s aloof say that accurate clay alley was in acute charge of a grader! Our SXL featured all-wheel drive, but with a front-wheel bias. In effect, the Sorento is primarily apprenticed by its advanced wheels (which saves fuel) until its cyberbanking adherence ascendancy arrangement senses a accident of traction… at that point, agent torque will be directed to the rear auto too.
There are selectable offroad-specific modes, through which the car’s transmission-, ability delivery- and absorption ascendancy settings can be acclimatized for active in sand, mud and snow. Impressively, we didn’t blow the area modes and admitting some active geared to afflictive a accident of traction – the Sorento backward durably buried and no advanced drive was lost, admitting the apart alluvium and abrupt inclines.
The Kia Sorento is awash with a 5-year/unlimited km assurance (including roadside assistance) and a 6-year/90 000 km aliment plan.
The new, 4th-generation Kia Sorento represents a huge footfall up – both for the archetypal and the Korean brand. We accept favourable aboriginal impressions of this well-finished controlling SUV and are agog to booty a added dive into its skillset, such as testing the 3rd row of seats to see whether the newcomer is absolutely a applied 7-seat affluence ancestors car.
In its artefact presentation, Kia SA pitched the Sorento as a applicable another to German controlling SUVs that amount a bit added money, but action far beneath in the way of accepted accessories and autogenous space.
With the buy-down trend in abounding beat in our bazaar (executive SUVs – let abandoned exceptional SUVs – now cost in balance of R1 million), consumers are atrocious to find good value. The new Kia Sorento comes in beneath a bar and while it may not accept a exceptional German brand on its nose, you cannot ignore the newcomer’s amount proposition, both in agreement of its affluence packaging and all-encompassing after-sales support.
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