The 4th generation of the Kia Sorento has arrived in Ireland, and it is the best example yet of Kia’s evolution from bargain-basement offering to a genuine alternative to the best premium brands.
The original Sorento was launched in 2002, and along with its SUV sibling, the Sportage, brought the Kia brand to prominence across Europe. The all-new Sorento is the first vehicle to be based on Kia’s new-generation mid-size SUV platform. Paired with a larger body to maximise cargo and luggage space, the platform ensures that the Sorento is one of the most versatile and spacious 7-seat SUV’s on the market.
KIA’s Most High-Tech Car;
Thanks to its progressive connectivity, driver assistance and infotainment technologies,
the new Sorento is billed as Kia’s most high-tech car ever. Its user-friendly twin digital displays deliver advanced graphics, new telematic features and full wireless smartphone connectivity, while the new Sorento is the first Kia vehicle in Europe to feature their cutting-edge Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM) technology. This ‘second pair of eyes’ for drivers is designed to enhance safety for Sorento occupants, and other road users, by eliminating a driver’s left- and right-side blind spots, and is just one of a range of functions enabled by the Sorento’s new fully-digital ‘Supervision’ 12.3-inch instrument cluster. BVM enhances drivers’ vision either side of the car when driving, and is operated instantaneously with the car’s turn signal. It displays a high-resolution video feed on the left or right side of the TFT-LCD instrument cluster if the driver indicates to change lane with another vehicle, or bicycle, hidden in their blind spot. The video of the blind spot briefly takes the place of either the speedometer or tachometer dial display (or the hybrid system gauge in Sorento Hybrid models), while still showing the driver the vehicle’s current speed.
Stunning New Design;
The Sorento’s redefined exterior design – with sharper lines, high-tech details, and elongated proportions – gives it a more confident and mature presence. Inside, its attractive cabin also introduces premium-quality materials, cutting-edge infotainment technologies, and a stunning new design. The headlamps themselves feature a new ‘tiger eyeline’ LED daytime running light, adding extra focus to the design by depicting the intense impression of the lines around a tiger’s eyes. This sharper, more assertive appearance is complemented by a wide, rectangular lower air intake, book-ended by wing-shaped air curtains to channel air around the car, while a striking light design at the rear of the car provides an ultra-modern and distinctive look.
Highly-Specified, Easy To Charge;
The new Kia Sorento PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid) is available in two highly-specified trim levels – K3 and K4 – with key features such as 19” alloy wheels, 10.25” navigation screen with telematics, 12.3” TFT monitor, rear view camera, parking sensors front & rear, leather upholstery with heated front seats, and charge ports on all three rows of seats. Standard safety features include Front Collision Avoidance, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Follow Assist, Smart Cruise Control, Highway Drive Assist, Smart Cruise Control and Kia’s all-wheel-drive (AWD) system coming as standard across both trim levels.
The K4 model adds more comfort and safety features including a panoramic sunroof, driver and passenger power seats, 12 speaker Bose sound system, rear heated seats, power opening /adjustable tailgate, Blind-Spot View Monitor, Around View Monitor and Parking Collision Avoidance. Powering the new Sorento PHEV is a 1.6-litre T-GDI (petrol) engine which, in conjunction with an electric motor, produces a healthy 265PS (263bhp) and 350Nm of torque for instant acceleration and ease of drivability. A super-smooth six-speed automatic transmission enables the new Sorento to sprint from 0-100km/h in an impressive 8.4-seconds, with a top speed of 193km/h obtainable where legally permitted. Officially, the new Sorento PHEV can travel up to 56kms on battery power alone, and with the car fully charged before every journey, fuel economy of up to 176.6 mpg is achievable. The Sorento PHEV can be charged from empty via a domestic socket in around 5 hours, but this time can be cut to as little as 3h 25mins by using a wall-mounted home charger (presently available with an SEAI grant of up to €600), with cables for both charging types included as standard. The new Sorento attracts annual road tax of just €140 due to a 34g/km emissions rating, while company car drivers will benefit from a low benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rating.
Dynamic Driving Experience;
The new Sorento PHEV is also a revelation in terms of its dynamic driving ability. Body control in my K4 test car was very impressive – especially for such a tall and heavy car – while the instant power from the electric motor provided terrific punch from the get go. A well-weighted steering feel, and premium-level damping, ensure that the Sorento remains composed over speed ramps and rutted road surfaces, while the car feels well planted on the road thanks to its AWD drivetrain. The luxurious, ergonomic and well-appointed cabin of the Sorento PHEV is a serene place to be, especially when the car is in EV mode, but even at higher speeds the engine does little to disturb comfort or refinement. The cabin space in the new Sorento is hugely impressive, with ample leg, head and elbow room on offer for passengers in the first two rows of seats, with even the rearmost seats capable of accommodating a growing family. Boot capacity is excellent too, with 813-litres of space available when the 3rd row of seats are folded flat , and 1,996-litres on offer with both rows folded.
Pricing & Warranty;
Pricing for the all-new Kia Sorento PHEV (K3 specification) starts at just €50,000 (after SEAI grant for private customers). The outstanding new Sorento genuinely deserves a place at the top of 7-seat luxury SUV buyer’s shortlist. A 7-Year/150,000km warranty comes as standard.