Time for two very different takes on the hot-hatch formula to face off
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The Top Gear car review:Kia Sorento
For:Space, value for money, surprisingly efficient
Against:Bland, noisy, not as nice to drive as some rivals. And there's a new one on the way
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Good, decent budget SUV that feels tough enough to last. It won’t set the ’Ring alight, but it feels good value
Decent if forgettable crossover distinguishes itself from rivals through seven-seat option and strong economy.
What we say:
Sorento's key draw is space and value for money. As a cut price Disco alternative, we like. Soon to be replaced by all new model
What is it?
A Very Big Kia, is what it is. Seven seats, a vast loadspace, and all for very reasonable money. Comprehensively refreshed in 2013, the Sorento’s soon to be replaced by an all-new model which, we have to say, looks very promising indeed. Watch this space.
It does a reasonable job of plodding along at pace, though tyre squeal is the first warning this Sorento doesn’t appreciate the finer complexities of corner entry and exit points.
The retuned suspension works wonders for refinement, and the drivetrain is reasonably quiet, making your school/shopping run headache free. Mostly.
There’s a 2.0-litre diesel with 148bhp, and a 2.2-litre diesel with 194bhp, the latter hitting 62mph in around 9.6 seconds. It’s reasonably quiet, punchy and more than enough for the kind of thing you buy a car like this for.
On the inside
It’s a full seven seater, the new Sorento, which eats up bootspace like a hungry bootspace eater. 111 litres are on offer with all the seats up. With them folded down though, you get 1525 litres. That’s plenty.
Build quality felt good on our launch car, with all the materials feeling like they could withstand the nuclear fallout of children in a bad mood. Kia are getting much better at bolting their cars together now too.
The most you’ll get is 47.9mpg, with an average of around 40mpg, which to be fair, isn’t too bad but isn’t great in this day and age.