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Super Sorento

Kia’s best gets better

By Roger St. Pierre

Revised and upgraded specifications, rather than genuinely new models, have become the order of the day in the car industry.

With Kia’s Sorento, however, there’s been a comprehensive front-to-rear, top-to-bottom re-engineering. Comfort, luxury, safety and driving dynamics have all received major improvements. It really is a new car.

As a consequence, fuel consumption, emissions and running costs have all been lowered, while driving pleasure has been massively enhanced. Close on 50-mpg is achievable and 0-62 flashes by in under 10-seconds, with a claimed top speed of 118-mph – not bad for a big SUV.

In a simplified range, all models now come with intelligent all-wheel drive and an upgraded version of Kia’s well-proven 2.2-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine.

Further proof that, while the name stays the same, this really is an all-new Sorento comes from the much tougher chassis, with additional front, rear and side structures to disperse impact energy in the event of a crash. The new car is the same width and length but has a 10-mm lower ride height – and is now much more spacious inside.

Suspension, steering and brakes have all been improved – the tyres are now wider, to improve braking as well as roadholding.

There’s a real air of quality to the spacious cabin, which can seat seven in comfort and style

The instrumentation is big and clear, the controls are instinctive and the trim first-class, using leather, aluminium and black wood. There’s dual-zone automatic climate control, with rear-seat air-ventilation allowing each of the passengers to fine tune the temperature in their part of the cabin.

Kit that comes as standard right across the Sorento range includes aero-blade front wipers; big, electrically folding and heated mirrors with integrated blind-spot warning lights; LED daytime running lights; projection headlamps, with cornering lights, and cruise control.

It’s a big beast but when you slip behind the wheel. Yes, it’s a tad macho in style but you don’t need big biceps to drive it.

Priced from £28,495 to £35,095, the Sorento is serious competition for all those big Mercedes, Volvo, Audi and Range Rover models.

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