The exterior has been revised although it uses the same body panels of the previous model. There are new front and rear bumpers increasing the overall length by 20 mm. We now get projection-style headlamps which worked very well at night. The new body moulding have all helped to keep the Sorento up to date and although are subtle, they work well and we think that it is still a very attractive vehicle.
The interior of the previous Sorento was a serious let the down, the plastics were a bit cheap looking and the wood grain effect trim was out of place. Kia have listened to customer feed back and their interior design team have worked hard to improve the quality the interior.
Kia have removed the terrible wood trim and now you get an aluminium looking metallic-effect trim on the XE and XS models, the entry-level XT model getting a black finish instead of the wood - hooray. There have been quite a few other changes, the instrument cluster has been redesigned; there are new air vents and the quality of materials is a lot better. There is a JVC radio/CD player which is MP3 compatible, powering eight speakers, there is even a socket so you can plug in your own MP3 player.
Overall the interior has vastly improved but it is still not up there with the competition, it still feels a little utilitarian.
We drove the mid-range XS specification which is well equipped, and comes with climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, cruise control and auto on headlights. You also get rear privacy glass which looks good and helps protect your contents but at night you cannot really see very well through it, which makes reversing a little tricky.
In conclusion the Kia has taken another step forward with the Sorento there have been some marked improvements. It is not up with the best in its class class but the build quality is good and it has everything required for a safe journey but at a bargain price.
This is a 14-year+ news article, from our Kia archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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