THERE was a time when you had trouble getting excited about a Kia.
It was “new Skoda”, an unknown brand in the scene that felt a bit. . . Damn.
You wouldn’t impress anyone by bragging about owning a Kia.
Maybe just a pang of jealousy that you had “one of those seven-year guarantees.” But it would pass.
Now Kia has some of the best looking cars on the road.
The new fleet of electric vehicles is particularly exciting. And they don’t just look good. you are good
The new Sorento is a huge example of this. This one tells the story of Kia’s, um, journey.
I first drove a Sorento rental car in the US about a decade ago.
It felt cheap. The moldings were all plastic and the sat nav looked like Nintendo’s Game & Watch from the ’80s.
The next time I had one was in 2016. The improvement in just a few years was immense.
Packed with technology, with a smart new shape. Still, it felt more like a budget-friendly seven-seater.
I reviewed one again in 2019 and the quality has progressed even further on the luxury lane.
Fast forward to the latest fourth generation model and it now rivals a Volvo XC90 or even a Mercedes GLE.
It really is that good.
So good, in fact, that my mother-in-law dubbed it “the smartest car you’ve ever tested.”
And she watched over the weekend I was trying out an Aston Martin Rapide.
Of course, the Sorento is not an Aston. But the luxury is solid business class.
The technology is plentiful and you will probably never understand everything.
Key data: KIA Sorento
Engine: 1.6 liter petrol hybrid
Perfomance: 226 hp, 350 Nm
0-100km/h: 9 sec
Top speed: 119km/h
Out of: now
But it keeps you on the road, gets you into almost any parking space, and shows you every imaginable aspect from the camera perspective.
It even has screens in the side mirrors.
The model I tested had some of the things I always like: head-up display, wireless charging, and speakers that pack a punch (Bose, in this case).
The interior also feels expensive.
Gone is all that cheap plastic you thought might come loose in your hand. And the drive is vastly improved.
For a 1.6-liter petrol hybrid, it puts out a solid 226 hp with 350 Nm of torque and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in nine seconds – reasonable for an SUV of this size.
The top speed is “only” 190 km/h (seven slower than 2016), but who does that?
Of course, all of this has its price.
The highly specialized 4WD version I tested cost £48k on the road, which isn’t what you’d call budget.
But it’s still a clear £10,000 in the right direction from an XC90 and a lot further from the GLE.
And it has the added bonus of being a Kia.
Ten things YOU should know as a car owner
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8664664/kia-sorento-review-hybrid-suv/ We test the new £48,000 four-wheel drive hybrid SUV