There is a piece of kit on the All-New Kia Sorento that you know immediately will shortly be featured across the whole motoring industry.
And so it was with the Blind Spot View Monitor on the new Kia Sorento – why did no-one think of it before? Basically, it’s a camera on the side mirrors that activates when you indicate you want to change lanes and gives you a fantastic video view of the blind spot and what’s going on.
The video view pops up on the instrument panel behind the steering wheel and the first time it happened, I started. What was this? Within a few miles, I loved it.
For any driver ever nervous about joining a motorway, merging onto a fast-flowing road or finding a multi-lane roundabout terrifying – this is your holy grail, your golden ticket. It is amazing.
First seen stateside in the K5, it is found for the moment in the UK, only on the top-of-the-range model, the 4, in the new Kia Sorento line-up but should be in every car if only for safety reasons.
It gives you confidence and security that the manoeuvre you are carrying out will not end in tears or angry words.
The Sorento is an SUV that has been with us since 2002 and just keeps getting better and better – no matter the trim level.
Indeed such was the quality and features of the entry-level ‘2’ model that a colleague had to go back and confirm with Kia that she was not driving something higher up the range.
All models in the line-up have driving modes – Eco Sport and Smart for the new 1.6-litre self-charging hybrid and Comfort, Eco, Sport and Smart for the 2.2-litre diesel. There are now no full petrol engines in the range.
All models also come with all-wheel drive, hill descent control and terrain modes like snow, mud, sand, the kind of stuff normally found in expensive high range cars.
All models are seven-seaters with USB ports abounding back, front and middle rows.
The Kia Sorento has always been a solid but good-looking car with a high ride height, 17ins or 19ins wheels depending on the trim level, roof bars, front and rear skids plates and a neat rear spoiler.
This, the fourth generation, sits on a new platform which has allowed designers to maximise interior space with more legroom front of house and more headroom to the rear.
The inside is well finished and kitted out particularly in the ‘4’ which has diamond hatching on the metal of the doors reflected on the dash and enhanced by the ambient lighting at night.
The ‘2’ entry-level has plush cloth seats, ‘3’ gets black leather and ‘4’ has a striking stitched black leather for ultimate comfort. There is not an option of massage seats which are often available in premium models.
In keeping with the wonderfully simple ethos of the company, there are just two engines to choose from – a 2.2-litre diesel for those who still need diesel and 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol paired with 44.2kW electric motor powered by a 1.49kWh battery pack.
The HEV (hybrid electric vehicle) recoups charge as you drive and offers a quiet yet powerful drive with 226bhp, a top speed of 119mph, taking only 8.7secs from 0-60 and emitting between 158g and 168g of CO2/kg. You will get around 40mpg.
I jumped from the HEV into the diesel and was struck by how quiet it was. By rights, it should have been loud and harsh by comparison, but it wasn’t. It will give you 42.2mpg, has a top speed of 127mph, with 176g/km of CO2 completes the dash from 0-60 in 9.1 secs.
The Sorento HEV has a six-speed automatic transmission with an eight-speed for the diesel.
Tech is superb with the Sorento featuring Kia’s new UVO Connect from 3 upwards live services and remote access. The safety features are extensive.
Like all Kia cars, the new Sorento comes with a transferable seven-year 100,000-mile warranty and pricing starts at £38,845 for the ‘2’ trim level rising to £46,945 for the ‘4’. The diesel is only available in the ‘3’ spec and for what it’s worth, the Bose surround sound system in the ‘4’ is fantastic.
Car reviewed: Kia Sorento ‘4’ HEV, on the road price £46,945 estimated 0-62mph 8.7secs Top speed 119mph Engine 1598cc 4 cylinder unleaded Fuel Consumption low/med/high/combined 39.2/44.8/30.7/38.2mpg CO2 emissions 168g/km Max Power 226bhp@5500rpm Torque 350Nm@1500-4500rpm Transmission 6-speed automatic
Car reviewed: Kia Sorento ‘3’ CRDi Diesel, on the road price £41,245 estimated 0-62mph 9.1secs Top speed 127mph Engine 2151cc 4 cylinder diesel Fuel Consumption low/med/high/combined 34.4/40.9/49.6/42.2mpg CO2 emissions 176g/km Max Power 199bhp@3800rpm Torque 440Nm@1750-2750rpm Transmission 8-speed automatic
I was in a tight spot and in a hurry… Car Reviewed: Kia Niro EV ‘2’ 64.8kWh A van – a white van man – had parked right in front of me and was unloading. I reckoned, however, with a bit of manoeuvring, I could make it out of the empty space to my left…
It was an adventure getting into the Kia Sportage with a manual box Car Reviewed: Kia Sportage ‘3’ 1.6 T-GDi 148bhp 6-speed Manual (2WD) After so many weeks of driving hybrid and electric cars and internal combustion cars with automatic transmissions. In case anyone is wondering, all hybrids and electric cars are automatic transmissions. Indeed,…
Kia, the Korean company whose head of design is French and based in Germany and whose facelifted XCeed is built in Slovakia, is now making this pleasant SUV available in Britain in its newest guise Car Reviewed: New Kia XCeed ‘GT-Line’ S 1.5 T-GDi 6-speed manual Outwardly: little obvious change, even though, Kia tells us,…