Introduced in 2002, the first generation Kia 'Sorento' was a 'landmark' vehicle which moved Kia into a whole new section of the automotive market around the world. It marked a huge step for Kia, challenging many of the established brands and starting the process of changing the public's perception of Kia as a 'maker of small cars'.
This will be the fifth Kia Sorento that we have driven and our test car this week is the Kia Sorento KX-3 which incorporates 7 seats in a longer, sleeker body with a host of new attributes that deliver genuine customer attributes. The broader line-up offers a wider choice of engine, transmission and drivetrain options.
Prices for the new Kia Sorento start at £22,990 OTR for the 2.0 CRDi Sorento '1' 2WD (5 Seat) and rise to £33,145 OTR or the top of the range 2.2 CRDi Sorento KX-3 Sat Nav AWD Auto SLS (7 Seat) model.How It Drove - Performance
The new Kia Sorento is significantly sleeker than the previous model with an aerodynamic drag figure of Cd 0.38, down from 0.425, enhancing fuel economy and refinement resulting in enhanced performance whilst consuming less fuel.
The all-new 2.2 litre CRDi engine is responsive, torquey and willing to please. The engine was smooth and quiet compared to previous Kia Sorento's we have driven where we felt that the sound deadening could be improved.
The 2.2 CRDi Kia Sorento that we tested accelerated from 0-60mph in 9.2 seconds and was able to continue on to a maximum speed of 118mph. We found the 6-speed automatic gearbox offered smooth and precise changes.
Kia quote a fuel a combined fuel consumption figure of 38.2 mpg, whilst touring on mixed roads we returned approximately 36.4mpg which we found to be very good.How It Drove - Ride and Handling
For the new Kia Sorento, the suspension engineer's brief was to shift the handling bias a little to improve the on-road driving experience, in terms of ride quality and steering 'feel' - while retaining the vast majority of the previous model's off-road abilities. The suspension has been lowered by 10 mm, front and rear. Thanks to the new unitary (monocoque) bodyshell construction the centre of gravity has been lowered by 54 mm. Depending on the model, the front/rear weight distribution of the unladen vehicle ranges from 58/42% to 59.5/40.5%.
The Double Wishbone front suspension of the previous model makes way for lighter, less expensive and much more compact MacPherson struts. These are mounted on a lightweight hydro-formed subframe. The subframe mountings and the rubber bushes throughout the suspension have been firmed up to deliver a more sporty ride and better steering 'feel' - without affecting ride smoothness and without transmitting vibrations into the cabin.
At the rear, the 'live-axle' of the previous model is ditched in favour of an all-new fully independent multi-link suspension, also mounted on a subframe. The coil springs are realigned to reduce side-loads and friction, and automatic self-levelling is available as an option on both LX and EX models to compensate for varying people and cargo loads.
The ride and handling is supple and responsive, however we did find the ride quality a little soft which could make you feel a little sick when driving in a more spirited manner.
This is a 10-year+ news article, from our Kia archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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