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Kia Sorento 1.6 T-GDi HEV 2 5dr Auto

  • Automatic
  • Petrol/Electric Hybrid
  • 42.2 mpg
  • 5 door suv
  • 153 g/km CO2
  • 153 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 42.2 mpg Fuel efficiency
  • 9.7 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 212 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

The Sorento is Kia's largest SUV and the improved version of this fourth generation model offers the kind of typically complete package we now expect from the brand. This enhanced design is embellished by electrified engine tech, smarter looks and more advanced media connectivity. And as before, it sells in the upper part of the SUV 'D' segment, offering more space and 4x4 prowess than cheaper class contenders provide.

Background

Kia doesn't really adhere to the normal conventions of car manufacture. The South Korean company wants to get places fast, so its product planning is accelerated, compressed into Matrix-style bullet time. Cars are launched, facelifted and replaced in half the time of many manufacturers. Take the Sorento. It first appeared way back in 2002 in BL-series form with a crude old ladder-framed chassis. The 2010 MK2 XM-series replacement car got with the programme, slicker to look at and based on the more car-like monocoque chassis that 'D'-segment SUV buyers by then wanted. It's 2015-era MK3 UM-series replacement refined that recipe, before this fourth generation MQ4-series design really took it forward. Here, we're going to look at the updated version of that MK4 model.

Driving Experience

There are no mechanical changes with this updated Sorento and Kia is still continuing with the 2.2-litre CRDi diesel engine that cousin model Hyundai's Santa Fe has long since dispensed with. The diesel still offers 190bhp and 440Nm torque transmitted to the tarmac through an 8-speed auto transmission. The brand is hoping though, that a significant number of customers will consider the alternative (shared with the Santa Fe), a 'Smartstream' HEV hybrid electrified powertrain, pairing a 1.6-litre T-GDi petrol engine with a 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack and 44.2kW electric motor. The total output produced by this combination is 212bhp with 350Nm torque and power is sent through a six-speed auto gearbox via a transmission-mounted electrical device, allowing the full power of the engine and motor to be transferred in parallel with minimal loss of energy. The result is immediacy in acceleration response at any speed, with direct access to available battery power at higher speeds. The final alternative is the Plug-in Hybrid petrol variant, which mates the 1.6-litre T-GDi petrol engine with a larger 90PS electric motor powered by a 13.8kWh battery pack, generating 249bhp and a allowing this variant to offer WLTP-rated 35 mile pure electric driving range. Kia has put a lot of work into this fourth generation Sorento's monocoque-based platform to improve refinement and lower body vibrations. There's also very reasonable all-terrain capability thanks to a provided Terrain Mode. Paired with the now-standard all-wheel drive system, Terrain Mode makes the Sorento more capable in mud, snow and sand.

Design and Build

For a mid-term update, there's quite a different look for this fourth generation Sorento - from the front anyway, which draws its inspiration from the look of Kia's EV9 large electric SUV. This includes new vertical headlights and 'star map' daytime running lights, with redesigned alloy wheels and a new bonnet design further emphasising the Sorento's bold, rugged appearance. The car features a redesigned gloss black radiator grille, as well as black side sill and wheel arch mouldings, giving it a more distinctive stance on the road. Highlights and chrome details dotted around the exterior bring more of a shine to this model, and contrast the black for a more premium and refined appearance. It's still a pretty substantial thing, 4,810mm long, but the short front and rear overhangs decrease the visual perception of bulk.  Inside, the Sorento has been more closely aligned with Kia's newer SUV models, fully embracing Kia's 'Opposites United' design philosophy. The key change lies with the addition of larger dual curved 12.3-inch displays for the infotainment and instruments, plus there's now even more kit, including a customisable head-up display. This improved Sorento also benefits from artificial leather and recycled PET cloth throughout the cabin and upholstery, a further implication of Kia's sustainability mission. Otherwise, things are much as before. There's plenty of leg and knee room in the second row, but where you really feel the benefit of this MK4 model substantial wheelbase length is in the standard third seating row, often very cramped in cars like this. It's still an area of the car primarily meant for kids but now adults can be more comfortably accommodated on shorter trips. Boot space is up to 821-litres with both rear rows folded.

Market and Model

The days are unfortunately long gone since the Sorento was offered at really affordable pricing but if you add up the value proposition here against rivals, this Kia can still look decent value across the three trim levels being offered - '2', '3' and '4'. Prices start at around £42,000 for a base '2'-spec 2.2-litre CRDi diesel model - add £1,000 to that if you want the alternative HEV petrol Hybrid. The PHEV Plug-in model prices from around £47,000 and is available with all the trim levels. Acroiss the range, the cabin incorporates Kia's latest dual 12.3-inch displays for the instrument screen and infotainment system. Plus there's a customisable head-up display and part-synthetic leather upholstery. Others features common to all models include LED headlamps, dual automatic and rear air conditioning, heat for the front seats and steering wheel, smart cruise control, power-folding mirrors and rain-sensing wipers. The Sorento continues to offer Kia's telematics system, connecting drivers by providing invaluable information via the in-car touchscreen and on their smartphone. Featuring Kia Live services and accessible through the centre 12.3-inch LCD widescreen, the system displays live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest, and details of potential on and off-street parking. The infotainment system also allows Bluetooth smartphone pairing for two phones concurrently, enabling separate phones to be used for, for instance, phone calls and music, while front passengers can also plug in their mobile devices via two USB chargers. There's also now wireless 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto'. Mid-range '3'-spec gets you 19-inch wheels, black leather upholstery, ambient lighting, rear self-levelling suspension and a 12-speaker Bose audio system. top '4'-spec embellishes that with nappa leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, power-operated front seats, alloy pedals and a digital key. This Sorento line-up also continues its predecessor's legacy as one of the safest cars in its segment, with a range of passive and active safety and security systems as standard. All Sorento models receive front centre airbags, side and curtain front airbags, all-round three-point seatbelts, impact-sensing auto door unlocking, a 2nd row grab handle, ISOFIX child seat top tethers and anchor fixings in the 2nd and 3rd row, plus a child lock, an immobiliser, locking wheel nuts, a visible VIN and a Thatcham Category 1 alarm system.

Cost of Ownership

The 1.6-litre T-GDi Hybrid engine features Kia's Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology, regulating valve opening time according to driving conditions, instead of operating on a fixed opening time. This boosts performance at low-to-mid engine and enhances fuel efficiency. The WLTP figures are 40.9mpg on the combined cycle and 158g/km of CO2. If you've really an eye for the bottom line though and can afford a higher asking price, the Plug-in Hybrid petrol version will appeal, with its 35-40 mile all-electrified driving range. The conventional CRDi diesel version returns 42.2mpg combined and 176g/km of CO2. The PHEV plug-in variant with its 13.8kWh battery pack drops that CO2 figure to just 38g/km. What else? Well residuals will be important, figures that have gradually improved as Kia's standing in the market has been enhanced. Used values will be continue to be propped up by the brand's excellent seven year warranty arrangement given that, unlike some other programmes, it's fully transferrable to second owners. This promise of trouble-free motoring may be enough to tip the balance for many potential customers. And you can keep maintenance costs down by opting for either of Kia's 'Care-3' all-inclusive servicing packages that provide inflation-proof servicing costs for the first three or five years of the vehicle's life.

Summary

The improved version of this fourth generation Sorento tells us a lot about the way Kia is developing as a brand. It undercuts its Hyundai Santa Fe design stablemate on price and its extra polish and cleverness now make choosing this car a more credible option for buyers who simply don't need the dynamic advantages on offer from the much pricier Land Rover and German-branded models you might be tempted by in this segment. Plus, as ever with this car, while those familiar with the Amalfi coast might still feel the Sorento to be lacking an R, a glance at the spec sheet doesn't immediately suggest it to be lacking much else. In short then, for all kinds of reasons, this is now a contender you'd like - rather than merely one that would be very handy to have. The kind of SUV that might surprise you. As increasingly, modern Kias tend to do.

  • eCall emergency system
  • Tailgate
  • 2 x USB-C charge port on 3rd row
  • 2 x USB-C charge port on front seats
  • 6 speaker audio system
  • Radio
  • Steering wheel mounted audio controls
  • USB port for connection of a media device
  • Black side sill and wheel arch body mouldings
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Front and rear silver skid plates
  • Gloss black radiator grille
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Rear spoiler
  • Roof rails
  • Satin chrome exterior door handles
  • Satin chrome window surround
  • 1 x Luggage compartment 12V socket
  • 1 x Rear 12V socket
  • 2 x front USB-C charge port
  • 2nd row centre armrest with cupholder
  • 2nd row passenger grab handle
  • 3 spoke artificial leather steering wheel
  • Centre console cupholder
  • Centre console storage box and armrest
  • Cloth / Artificial leather upholstery
  • Front and rear door storage
  • Front seatback storage pockets
  • Gearshift paddles
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Insert film finish crash pad
  • Interior door lock/unlock function
  • Leather door inserts
  • Luggage area load cover
  • Luggage net with hooks
  • Luggage under floor storage
  • Rear passenger walk-in switch
  • Rubber pedals
  • Tilt/telescopic adjustable steering wheel
  • 3 point seatbelts on all seats
  • Child locks
  • Dual horn
  • Front centre airbags (including sides)
  • Front passenger airbag cut-off switch
  • Front seatbelt pretensioners
  • Front, side and curtain airbags
  • Height adjustable front seatbelts
  • Impact sensing auto door unlocking
  • Seatbelt reminder warning
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Customisable automatic door locking
  • Customisable automatic door unlocking
  • Deadlocks
  • Engine Start/Stop Button with Smart Entry System
  • Immobiliser
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Rear occupant alert
  • Smart key with motion sensor
  • Thatcham category 1 alarm
  • Visible vehicle identification number
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • CO: 0.136
  • HC: 0.02
  • Noise Level dB(A): 68
  • NOx: 0.007
  • Particles: 0.0003
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 153
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1598
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO INJECTION
  • Gears: 6 SPEED
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 6.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 8.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 5.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 5.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 5.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 42.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 33.6
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 48.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 47.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 48.7
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.6
  • Badge Power: 212
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: T-GDi HEV
  • Coin Series: 2
  • Generation Mark: 4
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 6
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 6
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 7
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 9.7
  • Engine Power - BHP: 212
  • Engine Power - KW: 158
  • Engine Power - PS: False
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5500
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 195
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 26.9
  • Engine Torque - NM: 264
  • Top Speed: 113
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: True
  • Tyre Size Front: 235/65 R17
  • Tyre Size Rear: 235/65 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: SPACE SAVER
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Height: 1695
  • Length: 4815
  • Wheelbase: 2815
  • Width: 1900
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 67
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2640
  • Max. Loading Weight: 681
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1110
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1959
  • No. of Seats: 7