Launches & Reviews Review South Africa

Powerful, progressive, versatile: It's the new Kia Sorento

Go boldly they said and that's exactly what I did on a recent long drive to put the flagship of Kia's impressive SUV lineup, the Sorento, to the test. There was an 80km of road in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal that winds its way left then right, up and then down, on tarmac and on gravel road. I have to say that being in the drivers' seat on treacherous road conditions, in the recent heavy KwaZulu-Natal rainfall and the Sorento performed magnificently. It is stylish, with a modern design and with high-quality, high-tech cabin. It's a seven-seater but once the rear seats were folded down, there are acres of space to load your favourite weekend get-away gear. Greater levels of space and comfort, and a more enjoyable drive. The driver assistance features are really something to write home about.
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Gary Scott, CEO of Kia South Africa, comments: “The Sorento’s evolution over the last two decades echoes that of the Kia brand as a whole. While the car was initially launched in 2002 as a utilitarian all-terrain vehicle, the fourth-generation Sorento has been transformed into something altogether more desirable, and representing the perfect balance between premium quality features and value for money.”

Matured confidence

Kia’s designers maintained the robust, tough-looking aesthetic of earlier generations of Sorento while applying a greater degree of refinement and elegance, and even a sense of sportiness. With more contemporary geometric details, the result is a more confident, more mature and more desirable design.

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The front of the Sorento evolves with a new interpretation of Kia’s hallmark ‘tiger nose’ grille, displaying a wider shape that organically wraps around the integrated headlamps on each side. This sharper, more assertive appearance is complemented by a wide, rectangular lower air intake. A sharp bumper lip is also capped with a skid plate, enhancing its robust appearance.

An inviting interior

Attractive, upscaled cabin with premium materials and progressive tech.

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One of the highest-quality interior spaces found in any Kia to date, the intuitive, tech-oriented cabin of the new Sorento is fitted with premium-quality materials and cutting-edge infotainment. At the same time, it retains the spaciousness and versatility.

Go digital

The attractive, upscale cabin introduces a sophisticated next-generation design, based around twin digital displays in the dashboard. The 12.3-inch digital driver instrument cluster is twinned with 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system at the centre of the dashboard. These display information clearly within the driver’s line of sight and create an innovative wide-screen user experience. The car’s many functions can also be controlled with new haptic buttons on either side of the screen, which also features further down the dashboard for the climate control system.

A wireless smartphone charger also sits at the base of the centre console, while a powerful Bose surround-sound system is also available to provide a more immersive in-car audio experience.

Material quality is enhanced, with a cabin that blends metallic trim, leather upholstery, and embossed satin-effect surfaces. Applied throughout the interior and across the dashboard, the cabin boasts a more sophisticated appearance and ambience as a result. The Sorento is offered to buyers with standard black single-tone leather trim.

Powerful new turbodiesel engine

A new four-cylinder, 2.2l‘Smartstream’ diesel engine is available in the Sorento. The powerplant produces 148kW at 3,800 r/min and 440Nm of torque between 1,750 and 2,750 r/min. With a new aluminium block, the new engine is 38.2 kg lighter compared to that found in the third-generation. Furthermore, it is paired with Kia’s new eight-speed wet double-clutch transmission (8DCT). Designed to offer the smooth shifting characteristics of a conventional automatic, the 8DCT enhances fuel efficiency over a conventional eight-speed automatic, depending on application.

Some feature highlights on the EX+:

  • 8” touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Automatic dual-zone climate control
  • Auto lights and wipers
  • Auto-folding, heated side mirrors
  • Drive Mode Select and Terrain Mode Select
  • Electrically adjustable front seats with lumbar support
  • Leather trim
  • LED headlamps
  • Smart Entry with push-button start
  • PDC front and rear with rear-view camera
  • 18” aluminium alloy wheels
  • Bose surround sound with 12 speakers
  • Dual LED headlamps
  • LED rear combination lamps
  • Head-up display
  • Panoramic sunroof

RRP including VAT

  • Sorento 2.2 CRDi 7-Seater EX+ 2WD 8DCT - R809,995
  • Sorento 2.2 CRDi 7-Seater EX+ AWD 8DCT - R849,995
  • Sorento 2.2 CRDi 7-Seater SX AWD 8DCT - R914,995
  • Sorento 2.2 CRDi 7-Seater SXL AWD 8DCT - R988,995

About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on moc.liamg@123jarahamn.
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