If you seek a seven-seater SUV which isn’t Japanese, German or American there’s only one quality alternative: Kia’s Sorento.
The Korea brand’s third-generation Sorento has now been updated and its local range slightly rationalised, from six to four derivatives, all of which are diesel powered.
Styling upgrades are subtle, with a new grille and slightly revised headlamp design. The LED illumination theme repeats around the rear, with new taillights. Wheel size is now standardised for all Sorentos, at 18-inches, rolling 235/60 profile rubber. Those wheel and tyre dimensions should render a relatively tidy compromise between traction width, providing for mechanical grip and lateral stability, and enough air volume to boost ride-quality.
Inside Sorento there are seven seats, all leather, revised instrumentation, an eight-inch touchscreen with SatNav and an infotainment system which plays very nicely with any Smartphone. Impact safety is provided by six airbags and manoeuvring convenience assisted via rear parking sensors and a reversing field of view camera, to ensure you never get panicky when having to navigate out of a crowded parking garage.
With the Sorento range revision, Kia has optioned to delete its petrol engine option. As such, the entire range is now turbodiesel powered, by a 2.2-litre four-cylinder of Kia’s own design, boosting 147kW and 440Nm. Drivetrain options are either front- or all-wheel drive, with both configurations shifting gear through a new eight-speed automatic transmission, tallying two more gears than before. Performance statistics rate as class average, with 0-100kph in 9.4 seconds and a top speed of 203kph.
Graded for family use, the Sorento’s luggage volume is 605-litres, with its third-row seating folded. Featuring 185mm of ground clearance, it should comfortably tour to most of South Africa’s gravel travel destinations.
2.2 CRDI LX R569 995
2.2 CRDI EX R599 995
2.2 CRDI LX AWD R609 995
2.2 CRDI EX AWD R639 995
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