The Kia Sorento is a large seven-seat SUV that features grippy four-wheel drive and comes with Kia's excellent seven-year/100,000-mile warranty. Rivals include the new Nissan X-Trail and Hyundai Santa Fe – both of which also have seven seats – although buyers may also consider the likes of the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 or even the Land Rover Discovery, which are only five-seaters, but still very spacious in their own right. The Honda, Nissan and Mazda are available with four-wheel drive, but some versions of those models are front-wheel drive only.
Look at the Sorento from the outside and it's very much a traditional SUV. It's tall, has a high ride height and is big in every direction. The styling might not catch your eye, but it's certainly functional and – bearing in mind that a lot of modern SUVs don’t have four-wheel drive systems – the Kia is very much a proper 4x4.
There's only one engine in the range, but thankfully it's a good one. The 2.2-litre CRDi diesel gives the Kia decent – although not class-leading – fuel economy and emissions for a car of its size, and also makes it feel pretty quick.
However, the Sorento will always be more of a comfortable cruiser than something that's fun to drive and the engine can get a bit noisy at times. The cabin finish isn’t the best in the class either, but the payoff is a spacious interior and seven seats. The third row is easily big enough to accommodate children and young adults, which isn’t always the case with seven-seaters.
Trim levels for the Sorento are KX-1, KX-2, KX-2 SAT NAV, KX-3 and KX-4. We’d recommend the KX-2 SAT NAV, which gets lots of equipment despite being a mid-range model. In fact, none of the trim levels are what you’d call stingy.
Every model comes with front foglamps and LED daytime running lights, as well as cruise control, dual-zone air conditioning, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, plus rear parking sensors as standard.