Kia Sorento Platinum vs Toyota Kluger Grande

30 October 2012

Kia Sorento Platinum vs Toyota Kluger Grande

Kia Sorento Platinum and Toyota Kluger Grande go head-to-head in this comparative review.

Value

Kia Sorento Platinum

from $50,390

The Platinum is an AWD seven-seater with 19-inch alloys, two 12-volt outlets, 10-speaker USB audio with Bluetooth, dual-zone climate, second- and third-row aircon controls, luxo front seats, satnav with traffic info, panoramic sunroof, capped servicing and two years' extra warranty.

Toyota Kluger Grande

from $60,490

The Toyota Kluger Grande comes in front- or all-wheel-drive, seats seven and has two 12-volt outlets, tri-zone climate control, 19-inch alloy wheels, leather trim, heated seats, touchscreen satnav, auto headlights, six-speaker audio and power-adjustable seats. There is capped-price servicing.

Design

Kia Sorento Platinum

Designer Peter Schreyer's stamp features strongly in the Sorento's front and rear tweaks, including new fog and headlights, grille, LED daytime running lamps, tailgate and LED tail-lights. The cabin is comfortable but in terms of materials isn't up to the Kluger's standard yet.  

Toyota Kluger Grande

A makeover has sharpened up the face with more angular headlights, but the design isn't exactly cutting edge. It's a good-sized vehicle for carting the clan. The cabin has decent space although the middle-row centre seat splits 40-20-40 so the occupant suffers.

Technology

Kia Sorento Platinum

Many won't pick the turbo diesel. Producing 145kW and in auto form 436Nm, the 2.2-litre common-rail turbocharged and intercooled engine claims 7.3L/100km. Use of lighter, stronger steel increases torsional rigidity and reduces weight by about 100kg.  

Toyota Kluger Grande

The 201kW/337Nm 3.5-litre V6 has plenty of pep, claims 11.0L/100km and is refined. But its auto is five-speed when most have six. It's showing its age in comparison to the newer models, lacking Bluetooth audio streaming and USB input. The kids will like the rear DVD player.

Safety

Kia Sorento Platinum

Front and rear parking sensors and rear camera keep the Sorento in the clear. It adds six airbags, stability and traction control, LED running lights and active and automatic xenon headlights. All add up to a crash test performance worthy of five stars from NCAP.  

Toyota Kluger Grande

The Kluger gets seven airbags (including driver's knee and curtain airbags that stretch through three rows), anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control and reversing camera, which combine to earn it a five-star crash-test rating from ANCAP.

Driving

Kia Sorento Platinum

The Sorento is tighter and more refined than its predecessor. The ride is similarly firm but the Sorento feels more enthusiastic in the bends and sits flatter. Connectivity, dynamics, fuel economy and price put the Sorento well in the hunt.  

Toyota Kluger Grande

A smooth, refined driveline. The steering is not too light but requires more lock than you'd think, particularly in the front-driver, and dynamically it's not as enthusiastic as the rest of the segment -- it prefers a genteel pace.  

Verdict

Kia Sorento Platinum

Toyota Kluger Grande

There is no shortage of choice among people-movers pretending to be SUVs, and Koreans are overtaking Japan. The Sorento deserves to increase its sales, which are less than half the Kluger's.

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Published 30 October 2012

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We compare, head to head, two similar models of competing manufacturer cars. Which do we prefer? Why? Find out in CarsGuide's Head To Head showdowns.