We were lukewarm about the second-generation Kia Sorento when we tested it a couple of years back. Although the new car may look similar, it’s a very different car under the skin and a definite improvement in most respects.
Strong points? The Sorento may not feel especially quick when towing or in regular driving, but that impression is deceptive. With 311lb.ft of torque, car and caravan accelerate from 30-60mph in just 12.8 seconds. The brakes are strong, too, needing just 10.8m to stop from 30mph.
However, the Sorento needed more steering corrections in crosswinds than the best cars in this weight division, and the lane-change test showed the car’s limitations. The Kia felt unsettled and only just kept the caravan under control.
The Sorento was on firmer ground in the hill-start test, although the clutch tended to smell after reversing up a slope.
Inside, the seven-seat Sorento is roomy and flexible, although the cabin plastics look and feel a bit downmarket for a car with a price tag approaching £30k.
That didn’t concern our practicality testers. Instead, they were thoroughly impressed with the roomy boot, full-sized spare wheel and self-levelling suspension.