There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about the new Sorento, but the sum of its changes makes it once again one of the best seven seat SUVs on the market. Throw in the added assurance of Kia’s industryleading seven-year warranty, and it would be hard to look past. seats, with the second row also benefiting from a people mover-like flat floor.
The previous model’s sub-floor stowage at the rear has expanded, and those keen on travelling long distances will be glad to see a spare still beneath all variants.
THE new Sorento’s list pricing has shifted between $2000-$4500 upwards across the range, and the familiar Si, SLi and Platinum trim levels now span $40,990-$55,990.
These gains are countered by boosted levels of standard equipment across the range, and even the base Si gets satnav, a reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors.
THE new Sorento continues with a choice of petrol or diesel engines, with the petrol option downsizing from 3.5 litres and dropping 5kW/17Nm to a 199kW/318Nm portinjected version of the 3.3-litre V6 that debuted in the Carnival earlier this year.
Petrol models are still 2WD-only, while the diesel engine brings a torque vectoring all-wheel drive system with a centre diff lock. Kia ex- pects around 80 per cent of buyers to opt for the diesel. All Sorento variants now come with a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission, dropping the previous diesel manual due to a lack of popularity.
Fuel consumption is up slightly due to retuning to suit new emissions regulations, with petrol models recording 9.9-litre/100km on the combined cycle, and the diesels a still efficient 7.8-litre/100km.
Those looking to use a Sorento for towing should note the maximum braked rating of 2000kg, which matches the previous automatic models but is 500kg short of the previous manual.
BETTER handlingmeansbettersafety, and the new Sorento has certainly lifted its game.
Like all current models, the Sorento has been treated to an Australia-specific chassis setup, which brings unique spring, shock and swaybar settings to suit local conditions and tastes.
The result is composure at speed and through bends that challenges even the Ford Territory.
All new Sorentos carry a five star ANCAP safety rating.