Kia Sorento front exterior

Kia Sorento review

The Kia Sorento is one of the least expensive seven-seat family SUVs to own. It’s comfortable, practical, and benefits from lots of standard equipment and the reassurance of a seven-year warranty.

Pros

  • Practical seven-seat interior
  • Seven-year warranty
  • Excellent standard equipment

Cons

  • Only one engine option
  • No automatic gearbox for entry-level model
  • Smallish boot in seven-seat mode

Summary

“A big SUV with a premium feel that’s great value and very practical.”

The Kia Sorento is a large seven-seat SUV without the high price tag. It’s a brilliant family car and is great value for money compared with many large SUVs.

As well as being very practical, the interior has a premium feel and you get lots of standard equipment for the money. All versions have seven seats and it’s easy to fold the rear pair away to leave a huge boot.

The single engine choice is a very efficient 2.2-litre diesel engine. It’s usefully powerful and combines with standard four-wheel drive to make the Sorento a good tow car.

An update in 2018 introduced a new GT-Line S model at the top of the range, with sportier styling and even more standard equipment. An all-new Sorento was launched in 2020 but this hasn’t filtered through to the used market yet.

Like every Kia, the Sorento has a seven-year warranty from new, so if you buy a used one that’s less than seven years old you get the benefit of what’s left of it.

What's the interior like?

“Lots of features and lots of space mean the Sorento gives you a lot for your money.”

The Kia Sorento’s interior feels more luxurious than you might expect for a car of this price. It’s stylish and uses good-quality materials, while the dashboard has lots of tech features. All versions have an easy-to-use eight-inch touchscreen, while sat nav is standard on most models. There’s Bluetooth and USB connectivity across the range and, unless you’re  looking at a pre-2017 model, all cars have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

There’s a huge amount of space inside and the Sorento is a true seven-seater. Anyone sat in the front two rows has room to stretch out in luxury and although there’s a lot less headroom and legroom in the pair of third row seats they’re ideal if you need to bring a couple of the kids’ friends along on on a day trip or the grandparents decide to join you for Sunday lunch at the pub.

It’s easy to fold the third-row seats down to create an enormous boot space. With a capacity of 605 litres, it’s bigger even than the Skoda Kodia’s boot and has enough room for four large suitcases.

What's it like to drive?

“Relaxing to drive, with a strong engine and a smooth ride.”

You sit high in the Sorento and have a commanding view of the road ahead. The view out of the back window isn’t as good, but all models come with rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. All except the entry-level model also have front parking sensors, while some versions have a feature that allows the car to steer itself into a parking space. All you need to do is adjust the speed.

The ride is smooth and comfortable, which helps to make the Sorento a relaxing car to travel in on long journeys. It comes with four-wheel drive as standard, so it feels secure in all weathers while a towing limit of 2500kg for manual versions and 2000kg for automatic models makes it a great choice if you regularly tow a caravan or trailer.

The single engine available is a 2.2-litre diesel that makes light work of powering this large SUV. Entry-level models have a six-speed manual gearbox but other trim levels are also available with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Most used Sorentos have the automatic gearbox, which is good since this gearbox is smooth and suits the Sorento’s relaxed character.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“The Sorento offers exceptional value for money as a used car.”

The Kia Sorento offers great value as a used car, giving you a big, seven-seat SUV for the price of some much smaller five-seat alternatives. 

An official average of 41.5mpg for manual versions and 39.2mpg for automatic models means that fuel economy is about average for this type of car.

How reliable and safe is it?

“A seven-year warranty plus a five-star safety rating equals reassurance.”

All Kias come with a seven-year warranty, which is excellent news if you’re buying a used model since it may well have many years’ cover left for you to enjoy. Many rivals’ warranties are limited to five or even three years. Kia performs well in customer satisfaction surveys, with its cars having a great reputation for reliability.

The Sorento was awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP and all cars come with six airbags, cruise control with a speed limiter and a tyre pressure monitoring system. Higher trim levels get an array of driver assistance systems, including an automatic city braking system.

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 2.2 CRDi KX-1

Best for family - 2.2 CRDi KX-3

Best for fun - 2.2 CRDI GT-Line S

You don’t get a choice of engine, so it all comes down to the trim level. The KX-1 trim is well-equipped, but you’ll need one of the higher specification models for the option of an automatic gearbox. The KX-2 offers a great blend of value and equipment, featuring sat nav, front and rear heated seats, a heated steering wheel and dual-zone climate control.

The GT-Line and GT-Line S models feel positively luxurious, with additional comfort and safety features that are ideal if you spend a lot of time behind the wheel.

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