Here at Drive Towers, we are unabashed fans of Kia. And what’s not to like? The cars look good, drive very nicely, are well put together and sensibly priced. Plus, you get a seven-year warranty.
Kia - along with sister company Hyundai, with whom it shares tech - is also proving to be rather good at electric cars and hybrids, arguably making a better fist of it than established mainstream rival brands such as Ford and Volkswagen.
I was reminded of all this recently when I spent some time with the seven-seat Sorento SUV, which is Kia’s largest car, at least until the electric EV9 lands.
If you think £50k is a lot of money for a Kia, then it’s only fair to point out that the Sorento is also a lot of car…
The Sorento starts at £45k for the diesel, with the petrol-electric hybrid starting at £46,495. Plug-in hybrid models start at £51,495.
That may well seem a lot of money for a Kia. But bear in mind that it’s the same that Volvo charges for the much smaller - albeit fully electric - XC40 featured below, and you can start to see that the Kia is strong value. And if £50k is a lot of money, then it’s only fair to point out that the Sorento is also a lot of car…
There’s even a Volvo-esque air of calm to the Sorento in how it cossets passengers and insulates them from the outside world. It’s a proper seven-seater, with a third row more generous than that found in Land Rover’s Discovery Sport. Naturally, when you fold the seats, the boot is massive.
Visually, it’s perhaps not conventionally stylish but it is nonetheless a striking, interesting design. The interior is lovely and laden with tech, including a digital dashboard that displays the view from the door mirror blind spot cameras when an indicator is activated.
The hybrid version has 226bhp and 258lb ft of torque. It’s no hot rod but the electric assistance gives a pleasant smoothness and brief bursts of pace when needed. Kia quotes fuel consumption of 38mpg which, remarkably, I was able to match in real world driving.
As a thoroughly resolved large family car, the Sorento is highly recommended.