Kia Sorento Edition

1.6 T-GDi

Kia Sorento, 2023, front
Kia Sorento, 2023, nose
Kia Sorento, 2023, side
Kia Sorento, 2023, rear
Kia Sorento, 2023, interior
Kia Sorento, 2023, display screen
Kia Sorento, 2023, rear seats
Kia Sorento, 2023, boot
Kia Sorento, 2023, badge

OK, it hasn't got a Land Rover badge on the bonnet, and it won't traverse a mountain but Kia's luxury Sorento SUV ticks all the relevant boxes that buyers of big high-riders demand.

And after all, few that 5% of SUV owners ever stray away from the Tarmac anyway, according to latest figures.

The Sorento - yes, we all know the original name has an extra R - has a robust looking yet unaggressive visage and can carry seven in cosseting comfort. Appropriately, it has intelligent four-wheel-drive which means gymkhana visits, boat towing and coping with mud and ice are a doddle.

And to add to the current appeal, it's a hybrid with a 1.49kWh battery that works alongside the petrol 1.6litre engine to drive down emissions and boost performance.

The Edition version we sampled has just about every goodie onboard, bar the proverbial kitchen sink. So you get heated seats with memory function, electric panoramic sliding sunroof, 12.3-inch digital display, 360-degree bird's eye camera for easy reversing and leather seating.

The cabin is thoughtfully designed and compares well with prestige German makers. Controls and relevant displays are easily at hand and viewed and there are lots of soft-touch materials that lend a classy feel to the interior.

The large touch screen is easy to operate and the menus are logical, taking the stress out of everyday journeys when the kids are playing up and you require full concentration on the road ahead.

Not so long ago, drivers of substantial SUVs accepted that cornering was of the marsh-mallow variety with vague steering and soggy handling. Not so today, and the Sorento proves a very tidy vehicle around the curves with roll angles being kept well within check and the steering is reassuringly positive.

Ride is generally absorbent and quite comfortable although rippled surfaces can catch it out, making it a tad jittery at times. Noise levels are pleasantly low, especially at start-off when it runs on electricity alone.

The 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine is smooth enough unless the revs are held on to but it has quite a challenge hauling such a big body. Nevertheless, it can cover the 62mph dash in less than nine seconds, meaning it's quick enough for most folk.

Front and rear passenger space is abundant with ample height and a similar generosity of legroom. The second row of seats slide and recline and split, as do most large SUVs. Boot space is massive with enough room for family holidays. Even with the final row seats in place there's still space for a supermarket shop.

Despite its size and weight, the Sorento proved pleasingly thrifty on fuel. We averaged 36.7mpg on general running and managed the 40mpg mark on a long, more gentle drive.

Little by little, Kia has edged into the premium class with innovative design and attractive styling. The Sorento has encompassed all the qualities of the South Korean brand and is supported by a seven year warranty.

£51,055

1,598cc, 226bhp, 4 cyl petrol hybrid engine driving 4wheels via automatic gearbox

120mph

8.9sec

38.2

31

162g/km

36%

7yrs/100,000 miles

4

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