KIA SORENTO SLI DIESEL
The SLi is $1000 more than the Hyundai. That buys an extra two years of factory warranty (seven vs five) and extra equipment. But Kia hides its capped price servicing costs (you must enter a vehicle ID online, which makes it hard to compare before you buy). And it’s dearer to maintain despite having the same engine ($1330 over three years). The fourth year/60,000km service jumps to $661.
Kia has found a fraction more power and torque from the same 2.2litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine (147kW/441Nm), but it also uses more fuel (7.8L/100km), likely due to the Sorento’s heavier body. At least it sounds muted compared to the Hyundai.
Based on the same underpinnings as the Kia Carnival people mover. The quality of the materials is a step above the Hyundai (including backlit controls and the digital speedo display) The Sorento also has more cargo room than the Hyundai (605L front two rows of seats up, 1662L back two rows of seats down).
Six airbags and a rear view camera are standard. Scored a five-star rating from Euro NCAP but the test vechile was left-hand-drive and there can be engineering differences with right-hand drive cars.
It’s not the class leader but the Sorento drives OK for a family SUV. I prefer the slightly more taut feeling of the Santa Fe Elite because, around town, the Sorento can feel cumbersome as it shifts its weight in corners, and the rear suspension can make a loud thump if you hit a sharp bump. As with the Hyundai, the Kia’s towing capacity is limited to 2000kg, but the down weight on the tow ball is only 100kg.