For 2019, Kia have given their flagship SUV, the Sorento something of a mid-life refresh to keep it relevant against the expanding competition. On the face of it, the changes really are minimal, but until an all-new Sorento comes along, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
2019 Kia Sorento
Right, the pertinent points first. The Sorento is still a large, and we mean large SUV. It’s longer and wider than a Skoda Kodiaq and its sister car, the Hyundai Santa Fe, but it’s the way the they’ve optimised interior space that’s important here, meaning all seven seats are properly useable for adults. There’s still a choice of one engine; the 2.2 litre, 197bhp unit that Kia and Hyundai have relied on for a while now. It’s still 4WD only and you can still go for a 6-speed manual ‘box on all but the highest spec. One upgrade is found with the automatic gearbox that’s now an 8-speed, replacing the old 6-speed for better economy and responsiveness.
Some Very Subtle Changes
So, what else has changed, then? You’d have to really know your Sorentos to spot them but there have been some visual updates, you just have to know where to look. The front grille has been reshaped slightly, as have the fog-light housings. The front and rear running lights are now LED, with the option of full LED lighting on higher spec Sorentos, and if you look really closely, you’ll see that the layout of the headlights has been redesigned; not a lot, admittedly, but it all counts.
Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
Inside the Sorento is still the dark, reserved cabin we’ve become accustomed to. Quality is the right side of good but plastics don’t compare to the likes of Audi or Volvo. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard across the range, brought to you via either a 7 or 8 inch infotainment system dependent on spec. Standard equipment is generous, as we’ve come to expect from Kia, and if you venture higher up the range, luxuries such as wireless phone charging & heated and vented leather seat are included, as are safety features like lane-keep assist & blind spot detection.
GT-Line & GT-Line S
Speaking of specs, that’s anther area where the Sorento’s been updated. It’s seen similar treatment to other Kias and the KX-4 model has disappeared, in its place are a GT-Line & GT-Line S. Nothing’s changed – engine & transmission wise, but both get 19 inch alloy wheels, twin exhausts, side-steps, red brake callipers and projection headlights, with the S getting LED headlights. What both of the new, sporty models also get is a set of Kia’s trademark ‘ice cube’ foglights, and they’re what’ll ultimately get the recognition on the road.
A Bit Spendy
There’s only one problem with the new ‘GT’ spec Sorentos, and it’s the same problem the old KX-4 models faced; they cost too much. At £37,450, the GT-Line is acceptable as it’s full of tech and it does come with the new 8-speed gearbox. Go for the full-fat GT-Line S model, though, and it’ll set you back a whopping £42,950, and that’s just too much for something that’s mechanically identical to its £35,650 KX-2 sibling.
Should I Buy A Kia Sorento?
By Ben Harrington
Kia Sorento KX-3 Auto Specifications
Engine – 2.2l 4-Cylinder turbo-diesel, Transmission – 8-speed automatic, Layout – Front engine, 4WD, Power – 197bhp, Torque – 441Nm, Emissions – 161g/km CO2, Economy – 46.3mpg combined, Maximum Speed – 127mph, Acceleration – 9.1-s 0-60 mph, Price – £39,650 OTR
The Kia Sorento is available now, priced from £30,250. For full details go to: www.kia.com