Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9
  • Up-to-date cabin that's far nicer than its predecessor
  • Large touchscreen in the middle, digital screen for the driver
  • Controls are well organised and easy to find

Climb into the Sorento and you’ll notice it’s a huge leap over the last generation in terms of design, material choice and tech. It’s modern, with a good use of brightly coloured and textured trim on the dash.

The controls are well organised, there’s plenty of soft-touch plastics and build quality seems to be good, too, but it’s not particularly luxurious – perhaps a good thing if you’d rather not care about trim getting scuffed and covered in dirt.

The lower centre console consists of two rotary controls: one for the automatic gearbox and one for the drive mode selector, with buttons for the electronic handbrake and other driving functions here.

Entry level models come with an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen but the larger 10.25-inch version on 3 and 4 models also come with sat-nav. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is standard on all models and the menus aren’t too complicated to navigate your way through them, but there’s nowhere to place your hand, so it can be a little tricky to use on the move.

Touch sensitive buttons on the side are easy to miss but at least you have rotary controls for the volume and for scrolling up and down the menus.

Anyone who’s been in a Kia will be instantly familiar with the layout of the steering wheel buttons, which are easy to get used to. The climate control cluster isn’t too fussy either, even if the less-frequently used touch buttons are a bit fiddly - haptic feedback would be ideal, but there is at least audio.

The 12.3-inch digital cockpit screen is clear, sharp and has great contrast, but there’s not a great deal of customisation or a full map setting for the nav. You might need to do a bit of digging to find the well-hidden sub menus for the driver assistance systems, too.

There is plenty of info available on the trip computer, however, including energy flow, trip computer, a digital speedometer, driving style analysis, attention level, traffic sign recognition, tyre pressures monitor, selected drive mode.

Opt for top-spec 4 models and you get a head-up display, as well as a large panoramic sunroof that brightens up the big cabin.

Is it comfortable?

  • Large comfortable chairs
  • Quiet engines, just don't work them too hard
  • Ride quality is comfortable on all models

It’s easy to get into a comfortable driving position with plenty of adjustment, space and large comfortable chairs. Entry-level 2 models have manual adjustment and do without lumbar support for the driver, however, so the 3 might be worth considering if you cover large amounts of miles at a time.

The low speed rides is comfortable on all models, so big wheels aren’t an issue. Unsurprisingly the 2 is the most forgiving with its 17-inch tyres, while higher-spec models on 19-inch items are a little firmer when dealing with bigger bumps, even if it’s not detrimental.

Road noise also remains quiet and even with panoramic roof, the cabin avoids sounding like an echo chamber.

The diesel engine is hushed and smooth, sending very little vibration into the cabin – with just a hint of turbo whistle when worked hard. It can sound gruff at higher revs, but it otherwise remains hushed.

The petrol engine in the hybrid is even smoother and quieter, but it does become strained when it needs to work hard – even if it avoids being too vocal.

Those sat in the middle row of a top-spec 4 model will have sun blinds for the windows, otherwise all models come with centre mounted air vents and reclining backrests. In five seat mode there’s plenty of leg room for tall passengers and feet space beneath the front seats. If you opt for a 3 spec model, the outer seats are also heated.

The third row seats are best reserved for children, but slide the middle row further forward and it’s fine for adults on shorter journeys.
Regardless of who sits here, they will fare better than if they were in most rivals, especially the Mercedes-Benz GLB and Land Rover Discovery Sport. As with most of these SUVs, the seats are quite low to the ground, but the Sorento still better rivals with space for feet underneath the middle row items in front. They’re also catered for with their own air vents and fan control.