The new Sorento has to be one of the most eagerly awaited tow cars of 2010. Good car though it is, however, the Kia isn’t quite the star we were hoping for.
Compared with the best cars in the heavyweight class, the Sorento didn’t match their cast-iron stability. Slowing down from 70mph the driver could feel the caravan swaying slightly, and more slight steering inputs than normal were needed to keep the outfit straight.
Through the lane-change test the driver could feel the back of the car being pulled around, even on the low-speed run. We’d bet that if the car had been fitted with self-levelling suspension (a £500 option) it would have driven more like the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The Hyundai and Kia share the same engine, so it’s no surprise that performance is similar. The 30-60mph time of 14.2 seconds shows the 2.2-litre engine should easily pull any suitable match. It’s not the quietest engine, but it is very responsive.
There has clearly been an effort to make the Sorento a practical towcar. With seats six and seven stowed away, there was room for our full load of holiday luggage, plus there’s the reassurance of a full-size spare wheel should you get a puncture. Towing mirrors are easy to fit, and the 100kg noseweight limit is sensible for a car of this size.
If you plan to hang on to your next car for a good few years, then the Kia’s seven-year warranty is reassuring, and fuel economy of 42.8mpg is a big improvement over the old Sorento. However, the Kia is £3000 more expensive than the Hyundai Santa Fe.