Just like bakkies, SUVs have become popular in South Africa over the years, thanks to their unmatched levels of practicality, impressive ground clearance and superb engine offerings.
A fitting example is the Kia Sorento which has been dominating the SUV fold for close to 20 years and in the past two decades, Kia sold more than three million Sorento SUV’s globally since it was launched in 2002.
That alone shows how much patrons prefer SUVs over sedans and if we are honest, there is nothing wrong with that.
With that said, Kia has introduced its fourth-generation Sorento that boasts a stylish, modern exterior design, with a high-quality, high-tech cabin.
The Range in More Detail
The new Kia Sorento is available in three trim levels; EX+, SX and SXL. The former can be had either in 2WD or AWD configurations with the SX and SXL only available with the AWD system.
It’s safe to say that the entire range comes standard with impressive technology and features to make it stand out in the crowded SUV market. The range-opening EX+ kick starts the lineup with features such as LED headlights and 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels. Other features include eight-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic dual-zone climate control, auto lights and wipers, auto-folding, heated side mirrors and leather trim.
The mid-range SX is built on the EX+ specifications and upgrades to 19-inch aluminium alloy wheels, 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 12.3-inch TFT Supervision instrument cluster, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats and a wireless smartphone charging pad.
It further features an around-view monitor, blind-spot collision avoidance assist, forward collision avoidance assist and rear cross-traffic alert.
The top-of-the-range SXL headlines the range with a driver memory power seat with cushion extension, BOSE surround sound with 12 speakers, dual-LED headlamps, LED rear combination lamps, head-up display, panoramic sunroof and smart cruise control.
Kia has buyers sorted when it comes to space, thanks to Kia’s new N3 platform that allows for more space for people and cargo. The platform has equipped the Sorento with a 35 mm longer wheelbase to create more space between the axles. With space for up to seven passengers, the boot space is rated at up to 821-litre with the third row of seats folded and 187-litres with all seven seats up which is a significant 32 per cent increase over the outgoing Sorento.
Powertrain and Transmission
A sole new 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine powers the entire Kia Sorento stable. The engine pushes out a generous 148 kW of power and 440 Nm of torque and according to Kia’s engineers, the unit is 38.2 kg lighter thanks to a new aluminium engine block.
The engine is paired with the brand’s new eight-speed wet DCT transmission which has proven to be efficient.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
In terms of safety, the Kia Sorento is equipped with the brand’s ADAS system which comes courtesy of forward-collision-avoidance assist technology with pedestrian, cyclist and vehicle detection, blindspot view monitor, around view monitor and blindspot collision avoidance assist, smart cruise control, lane following assist and driver attention warning, all model dependent.
As standard, the Kia Sorento comes with six airbags, Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management and Electronic Stability Control systems.
Pricing and Warranty
Kia charges R809,995 for the Sorento EX+ 2WD, R849,995 for the EX+ with AWD and R914,995 for the SX AWD. The range-topping SXL AWD carries a price tag of R988,995.
All Sorento models ship as standard with Kia’s unlimited kilometre, 5-year warranty (inclusive of roadside assistance), as well as a 6-year / 90,000 km maintenance plan.
What We Like: Great specification levels, Comfort, Fuel-efficient
What We Don’t Like: The infotainment system isn’t very intuitive
As competitive as the SUV segment is, the Kia Sorento has all the boxes ticked to make it a formidable choice while also proving that for premium quality feel, you don’t always have to go the German way.