If you’re thinking of leasing a well-built, stylish and well equipped SUV without spending ridiculously huge amounts of money then you have to go German. Right? Maybe an Audi or a BMW, something like that?
Not if the Koreans have anything to say about it because the new Kia Sorento is aiming to take that particular fight to the opposition.
Seriously, this new Kia SUV promises to be an absolutely fantastic car.
In terms of looks it fits right in with the aforementioned rivals, and for very good reason. Around a decade ago a young car designer left Audi and went to work for Kia, and the results have now reached the point where you could argue the pupil has at least equalled the master.
The Kia range as a whole is getting better looking with every new model and the Sorento is no different. It’s a big – and we mean really big - seven seat SUV that still manages to remain elegant and stylish. If this is the result of a Bavarian/Korean collaboration then long may it continue.
There’s also a real emphasis on quality in the new Kia Sorento. Everything from the mechanical and technological advancement, the build quality, materials, and comfort and refinement in everyday use, all of it has been tackled with the very clear goal of placing the Sorento amongst some very good company.
There are four trim levels available, ranging from entry-level KX-1 up to the range-topping KX-4. As standard, the entry-level Sorento gets 17in alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, privacy glass, rear spoiler and roof rails on the outside, while inside there is manual air conditioning controllable from the front and rear of the cabin, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio and cruise control.
Upgrade to the KX-2 trim and you add 18in alloys, leather upholstery, front and rear heated seats, parking sensors, self-levelling suspension, dual-zone climate control and Kia's 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system complete with sat nav and a rear-view camera. To be honest that’s pretty much the most trim anyone will really need and is likely to be the most popular choice – unless you’re a company car driver in which case the entry-level trim will cost you significantly less in tax.
If not then you can decide between the KX-3 with xenon headlights, panoramic sunroof, electrically adjustable driver's seat, lane departure warning and an 8.0in touchscreen system; or the KX-4 trim which comes with luxuries such as 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control and headlights, ventilated front seats and blind spot detection as standard.
There’s a bit less choice under the bonnet with the new Sorento coming with a single engine option, a 2.2-litre turbodiesel developing 197bhp at 3800rpm and 311lb ft of torque from 1800 to 2500rpm. While it’s not as whisper quiet as some, or as powerful as others, it’s still a good solid engine that offers the flexibility for comfortable motorway cruising and a decent amount of power should it be needed.
Whether or not the new Kia Sorento manages to challenge the existing premium SUVs remains to be seen, but regardless it will still be a big chunk of car for not as much money as you might think. With the entry-level KX-1 likely to be priced at just under £30k, and even the fully loaded KX-4 costing around £2k less than a base model BMW X5 it’s clear to see where the Kia’s strengths will lie. It might not knock the premium German marques off their pedestal but it will have them looking down with a few very concerned looks. If that’s got you interested then you shouldn’t have to wait too long. So if you want to jump the queue you had better give us a call so we can be ready to go as soon as the new Sorento hits the road.
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