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Kia Sorrento: a great vehicle for a large family

I recently drove the new Kia Sorento in two versions – the 2.2 litre turbo-diesel and the 3.3- litre V6 petrol – the diesel is 4WD, the petrol front wheel drive, both six-speed automatics.

The latest Kia Sorento was based on an all-new platform, nicely styled in a stronger body shell that was 80mm longer in the wheelbase – a roomy seven seater with great seat configuration – you can remotely fold the second row seats from levers in the rear load bay.

A big effort has gone into sound-proofing and both engines are very quiet giving the Sorento a quality feel – there’s two 2WD grades in petrol starting at $40,990 and three 4WD grades in diesel starting at $44,490. I tested the top spec Platinum 4WD diesel, loaded with features but expensive at 56,500. The mid-range diesel SLi 4WD perhaps the better buy at 49,500 still highly spec’d. with leather trim and 8-way power driver’s seat. This mid-range model literally wants for nothing – great Sat Nav and Bluetooth audio connectivity – the diesel 4WD’s the best drivers in the range with a great on demand all-wheel- drive system with 4WD lock for heavy off-roading. The Kia Sorento has an outstanding suspension tune providing a great ride, the work of local specialist Graeme Gamble, but has a rather slow steering rack, lifeless at low speeds and somewhat uncommunicative. Nevertheless, a great vehicle for a large family. I’m David Berthon

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