3.9 out of 5 3.9
Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Full-sized SUV is smart and refined in PHEV form

Kia Sorento SUV (20 on) - rated 3.9 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £44,985 - £53,085
Lease from new From £503 p/m View lease deals
Used price £32,970 - £42,240
Used monthly cost From £823 per month
Fuel Economy 176.6 mpg
Road tax cost £480
Insurance group 32 - 34 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Flexible cabin space for up to seven passengers
  • Reasonable running costs
  • Plug-in hybrid works well in cities

CONS

  • Top models remain pricey
  • Hybrid models can struggle out of town
  • Two-wheel drive option could lower running costs further

Kia Sorento SUV rivals

Written by Lawrence Cheung on

You’re looking at the fourth generation Kia Sorento. This is the biggest SUV Kia sells in the UK offering seven-seat capacity and reasonable running costs. It's central to Kia's ambitions to be seen as a premium player on the market, with a myriad of models available and a starting price of more than £38,000.

The Sorento certainly looks the part, though, and echoes the sharp styling and design that's central to Kia's appeal across the range. So, although it's a boxy, full-sized SUV, you get bold, angular lines front and rear, with the largest incarnation of Kia’s ‘Tiger Nose’ grille to date. It defintely stands out, even it it's not conventionally good looking.

The addition of the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model in early 2021 has expanded the appeal of this model range, as it's one of a select number of seven seaters that are thus equipped. For the rest of the Sorento range, you're likely to be also looking at the Peugeot 5008, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace as well as the closely-related Skoda Kodiaq and SEAT Tarraco - you're definitely not short of options.

If you’re considering a higher-spec model, there’s the equally pricey Mercedes-Benz GLB and Hyundai Santa Fe as well – which might also present the Sorento’s biggest problem – with a top-spec model costing a little more than £53,000, would you choose a Kia over a premium brand? In terms of monthly finance, that’s also more than £400 per month.

What's it like inside?

As you'd expect for a full-sized SUV, it’s not short on space, though that’s to be expected for a family SUV. Space for up to seven passengers is a given, but 187-litres of boot space with all seven seats in place is impressive. That expands to 821 litres with the third row folded.

All models include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the Sorento also offers Kia’s connected telematics system – known as UVO. This features live services such as traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest and parking details, as well as connectivity with a smartphone app allowing certain functions to be operated remotely.

The Sorento also offers pairing for two phones simultaneously – ideal if you want to play music from your personal phone but take calls through your work phone, for example. There’s also a USB charging point for every passenger in the car.

What engines are available?

Latest addition to the range is the PHEV model. It is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol T-GDI engine that's combined with an electric motor and a 13.8kWh battery pack that, according to Kia, has up to 35 miles of electric-only range. It joins the standard hybrid version that uses the same petrol engine. That develops 230hp compared with 265hp for its PHEV cousin.

If diesel's your thing, then don't worry - the Sorento is also available with a tweaked version of the familiar 2.2-litre CRDi diesel from the previous generation model. This one develops 202hp, and offers similar performance as the hybrid model, although it lags behind the PHEV (assuming the battery pack is charged up).

There’s a big emphasis on the hybrid engines in this Sorento. In fact, the whole of the Sorento’s line-up - consisting of 2, 3 and 4 models - is available with the hybrid and plug-in options, while the diesel is solely fitted to mid-range 3 spec.

What models are available?

Kia’s describes the car’s three trim levels as ‘gloriously equipped’. We wouldn’t go quite that far, but standard kit is definitely generous.

All models, starting from 2 feature full LED lights all-round, roof bars, alloy wheels, electrically folding and heated door mirrors and a space saver spare wheel. Inside, you’ll find seven seats on all models, USB charge points in all three rows, dual-zone climate control heated front seats and steering wheel, and a brand-new 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle.

It's pretty much par for the course compared with its rivals, but with the additional benefit of Kia's excellent seven-year warranty and highly-regarded dealer network.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Kia Sorento including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Kia Sorento SUV rivals