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.

2019
Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners
2018
1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2017
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*

2016
1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business

2015
1400-1549kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG

2014
1400-1549kg

Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

2013
Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance

2012
1725–1899kg

Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury

2011
1425-1574kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport

2010
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS

2009
1900kg+

Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic

2008
1575-1724kg

Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto

2007
1575-1724kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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