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The Top Gear car review:Kia Sorento
For:The biggest and most premium Kia ever, showing the company's ambitions to take on the big boys
Against:£40k for a top-spec seven-seat Kia may be too steep to sway the doubters
What is it?
The Sorento is the Korean firm’s flagship seven-seat SUV. But, more importantly, with the third-generation car, the Korean firm wants to propel itself from being known as a purveyor of reasonably priced cars into something a bit more premium. Yes, we’ve got to the point where the words ‘Premium’ and ‘Kia’ can be used in the same sentence. That’s what you call progress, peeps.
True, the old Sorento was cheap, bland and - thanks to its monstrous towing capacity - best suited to country folk who needed a cheap way to pull Seabiscuit’s horsebox around. But this new third-gen Sorento has had the largest overhaul to date which brings it in line (if not above) its now agreeably good family members like the Sportage and the Ceed.
Firstly, it’s bigger. Which is a Good Thing in cars in this class. See, bucking the trend for downsizing, Kia has taken the old Sorento’s underpinnings and stretched them. The wheelbase has been lengthened by 80mm, extending the car’s overall length by 95mm to 4,780mm. Its also got more girth and sits a little lower to the ground. Which, when combined with Peter Schreyer’s latest, more striking design, gives the car added road presence.
The growth spurt has also allowed more area inside to be chiselled out for people/things. Compared to the old model, there’s more head and legroom across all three rows. And as the second row of seats now dive into the floor when folded, there’s a wardrobe-swallowing 1,732-litre, 2.0 x 1.4-metre loading space in the back. With the second row of seats up, that space decreases to 605 litres - still an 80-litre gain over the old model.