A real family package with seven seats and a solid diesel engine for hauling. Helped ahead of the Hyundai Santa Fe by intensive local suspension tuning. "I keep coming back to value-for-money and I think it delivers. It's a well-sorted package," Karla Pincott said at the COTY judging.
It is money well spent with Sorento remaining composed and controlled in a variety of conditions, soaking up the bumps and potholes whether it's on the dirt or bitumen.
The entry level manual diesel is surprisingly fun to drive and even comes with dual zone climate air. The manual change is easy to use and will appeal to those wanting to tow a van or boat as it has a higher tow rating of 2.5 tonnes.
The petrol V6 feels like a completely different car and has some real attitude. It is the quickest of the bunch, responds quickly and positively to the throttle, accelerating loudly and aggressively, with the dash from 0-100km/h taking 8.2 seconds.
Bigger brakes pull the car up faster. The old Sorento was good and this one is better again. The styling is sharper and it sits better on the road, with more equipment in most cases.
Sitting 10mm lower than before subtle changes in design have produced a wider, more aggressive look, particularly through the use of vertical lighting elements.
The redesign includes new head lights with LED daytime running lights, a new tailgate with LED rear combination lights, new bumpers front and back with vertical, rectangular shaped fog lights and less use of unpainted plastic trim around the lower part of the body as well as a greater range of wheels.
Kia Sorento Si diesel auto
Price: from $38,990
Engine: 2.2-litre turbodiesel direct-injection four-cylinder
Transmission: six-speed automatic, four wheel drive
Power: 145kW @ 3800rpm
Torque: 436Nm @ 1800rpm
Fuel use/emissions: 7.3 l/100km, tank 64 litres; 192g/km
Brakes/safety systems: Driver and front passenger airbags, front seat side/thorax, curtain airbags, stability control (Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Traction Control), rear parking sensors
Dimensions: Length 4685mm, width 1885mm, height 1700mm, wheelbase 2700mm, cargo volume 258/1047/2052 litres, weight 1648kg
Wheels/tyres: 17in alloy wheels