With a starting price of €37,990 the Kia Sorento is seriously good value

For some time now, Kia motors have been making themselves more and more attractive as an option to Irish motorists.
I’m not just talking about attractive as in looks, but at the most basic level, cost of ownership, it is very hard to beat a brand that enjoys the reputation for reliability that Kia does.
Their 7-year warranty is still one of the most comprehensive in this market. But putting that to one side for a moment, lets get back to the looks for a bit.
A few of the Kia cars that I have test driven may not have actually stopped traffic, but definitely started a few conversations at the traffic lights.
They weren’t about what tax band the car fell into, or how many litres of fuel it used for every 100km driven – they were, inevitably, about the looks. Because, Kia make extraordinarily good-looking cars – end of!
But the real challenge to any manufacturer is translating an attractive design scheme across a whole range of vehicles.
This is an area where few have succeeded.
Let’s think about a few brands that have turned out some class cars, only to fall flat with their SUV or other large vehicle siblings: BMW? The X5 is still a brick. Mercedes-Benz? They have only just made their ML class a truly desirable car, before now it was a turkey. Porsche? Well, the Cayenne may be the biggest selling model in the company’s history, but let’s face it – we’d all prefer to be in the 911.
From the hot little Picanto, to the almost traffic-stopping Optima, and I dare not forget to mention the all-new, stunning Pro_Cee’d – here we have a range of motors that share, capture and exude the design statement the company has developed, and in every case it shines.
But enter the Sorento, and we see where award-winning designers really come into their own.
We’re talking about a physically huge car, but somehow manages to pass itself off as far more svelte and agile motor.
The front end is an exercise in how to capture a design strategy in as few elements as possible. Company logo? Check. Unmistakable grille? Check. Upswept signature headlights and low-slung fog lights? Check and check.
Only one or two cars a year genuinely take me by surprise – and this year, the Sorento is the first.
As I mentioned, it manages to disguise its ‘huge-ness’ through simple and understated design.
Inside the space is just cavernous.
Driver and passenger would be hard pressed to bump elbows, and I constantly had to tell my kids to speak up they seemed so far away in the back seats.
The console has everything you need. Clear displays, quality materials, serious build quality – and savagely good air conditioning!
The car is powered by an improved and economical 2.2 197ps diesel engine. Both trim levels available in Ireland will be fitted with all-wheel drive as standard. The Sorento is a 7 seater with the EX model priced at €37,990 and the Platinum model at € 41,790 .
The EX entry level model features AWD as standard and also comes with a generous level of comfort and safety equipment. Standard on the EX are 17” alloys, roof rack, the all-important parking sensors, climate control front, manual heating/air con in the rear and Bluetooth.
The major spec differences on the Platinum spec are a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery with heated front seats, driver’s seat with six-way power adjustment, rain sensor, rear privacy glass, reversing camera and High Intensity Discharge Lamps.
There is so much car here, it’s difficult to see where it is lacking… and at a starting price of €37,990 it is seriously good value.