The Kia Sorento is practical, comfortable and even feels pretty plush inside for a car of this price, but you can only get it with one engine – a slightly thirsty diesel
If you’re looking for a spacious seven-seater family car that’s reasonably affordable and comes with enough off-road ability to cope with icy country lanes and muddy fields then the Kia Sorento is definitely worth a look.
It was updated in 2018 with slightly refreshed styling, a new automatic gearbox and a range-topping GT Line trim with plenty of posh features as standard.
It might not have the badge kudos of a VW Tiguan Allspace, but the Kia Sorento still comes with a plush, spacious interior and lots of tasty high-tech kit. Avoid entry-level KX-1 cars and you get an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, sat nav and smartphone mirroring tech thrown in, so you can use your phone’s navigation and media apps on the Kia Sorento’s built-in screen.
Another feather in its cap is the fact that the Kia Sorento’s interior comes with seven seats as standard – unlike the Skoda Kodiaq. There’s enough space for tall adults to stretch out in the middle row and no annoying lumps in the floor to worry about like you get in most SUVs. Even the rearmost seats are relatively spacious but, annoyingly, you can only climb into them from the left-hand side.
Sadly, the Kia Sorento’s practicality isn’t particularly impressive with seven people on board. There’s only enough room left over in the boot for a few shopping bags – unlike in a Skoda Kodiaq that’ll happily swallow seven passengers and a bulky stroller. Flip the Kia Sorento’s rear seats down and there’s plenty of space for a few large suitcases, however, and a bike will fit if you fold down all but the front seats.
The Sorento lives up to the ‘U’ in Sports Utility Vehicle better than most family seven seaters – it’s roomy, relaxing and reasonably affordable but it’s hardly very exciting to drive
Even with a boot full of heavy luggage, the Kia Sorento’s 2.2-litre diesel engine won’t have any trouble pulling you up steep slopes or cruising along at motorway speeds. Its standard-fit four-wheel-drive system helps make sure you won’t be left stranded in muddy fields either.
Unfortunately, an eight-speed automatic gearbox costs extra but it’s well worth paying for – it helps make driving the Kia Sorento easier around town and in heavy traffic. Thankfully, even with the standard six-speed manual, the Sorento is reasonably relaxing to cruise along in. This is thanks, in part, to its soft suspension that helps make it more comfortable over rough roads than the likes of the VW Tiguan Allspace and Skoda Kodiaq.
Sadly, unlike these cars, you have to pay extra for some key safety features such as automatic emergency braking. Still, hand over a little extra for Kia’s Drive Wise safety pack and you’ll have a well-rounded seven-seat SUV that’s cheap to buy and comes with an industry-leading, seven-year warranty for extra peace of mind.