Kia Sorento 4 HEV

T-GDI Auto AWD

Kia Sorento, 2020, side, action
Kia Sorento, 2020, front
Kia Sorento, 2020, rear
Kia Sorento, 2020, dashboard
Kia Sorento, 2020, seats
Kia Sorento, 2020, boot

ENTHUSIASTS of high tech gadgetry will be over the moon with the latest Sorento from Kia.

You could spend a week with the flagship model from the Korean car maker and still miss some of the wizardry it has on board.

In fact I've just spent some time with a top-of-the-range "4" version and I'm still not convinced I discovered everything.

The centre-set touch screen is packed to bursting with different categories of settings with almost every item having a sub category drop down menu.

But what it does mean for owners is that they can totally personalise the car by turning on or off safety systems not to mention comfort features.

All this technology comes at a cost, however, with the Kia driven here carrying a price tag north of £47,000, a totally different concept to when the first Sorento came to the UK in 2003.

The fourth generation has gone upmarket in a big way and has so much technology on board this car is now up there with the best of the best.

Indicate to turn left and the speedometer screen disappears to give you a camera view down the entire left hand side of the vehicle. Indicate to turn right and the adjacent power meter - there is no rev counter - morphs into a view down the right hand side of the vehicle.

It's a great feature to assure you that nothing is trying to sneak up on the inside as you turn, It's also a feature that would be ideal for lorries, many of whom have had encounters with cyclists jammed between them and the kerb.

And when it comes to reversing the Sorento it's simplicity itself thanks to cameras which not only give you a crystal clear view of what's behind you but a 360 degree view from above too.

And if something passes behind you mid manoeuvre you not only get an audible warning but a haptic (look it up) one too, although you can turn the haptic one off in one of the drop down menus. Told you it was complicated.

The latest Sorento is Kia's largest SUV and is an ideal family car with enormous cabin space and boasting seven seats, two of which disappear into the floor to boost luggage capacity when needed.

The prestige interior features superb quilted Nappa leather seats which are electrically adjustable and have switches for heating (for winter) and cooling (for summer) not to mention a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats.

There's a full length panoramic opening glass sun roof, a head-up display so you never need to take your eyes off the road and a powered tailgate to mention just a few of the features.

And while many cars have a blind spot warning system with symbols which illuminate in the exterior mirror as a vehicle comes up from behind, the Sorento also projects that warning into the head-up display as a double safety feature.

You'll also get an alarm if you are about to exit the car and another car is passing.

Power comes from a combination of a 1.6-litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor which is charged by the engine so no messing about with plugging anything in.

And it all works superbly well with the Sorento running on battery power far more than you could ever expect which means fuel consumption stays around the mid forties, which for a car of this size - and it is big - is impressive.

It's particularly good when you appreciate that the Sorento is a four-wheel-drive, go anywhere vehicle.

There's no gear shift as such just a dial on the centre console for drive, neutral and reverse but there are paddles for manual gear changing when you want to liven things up.

Adjacent to the gear change dial is a smaller to allow you to adjust your driving mode from eco to smart or even sport. Turn it further and you have the off-road settings of snow, mud and sand.

On the road the Sorento is quiet, lively when pushed and boasts a very comfortable ride.

FAST FACTS

Kia Sorento 4 HEV T-GDI Auto AWD

Price: £47,210

Mechanical: 226bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl petrol engine plus electric motor driving all wheels via six speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 119 mph

0-62mph: 8.7 secs

Combined MPG: 44.8

Insurance Group: 25

C02 emissions: 168 g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 7yrs/100,000 miles

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