Car review – Kia Sorento 1.6 T-GDi HEV

A hybrid SUV for seven

Large families or patchwork families looking for a comfortable, economical and fiscally affordable SUV have so far been searching in vain. That is, until the appearance of the new Kia Sorento Hybrid.

 

Eco shuttle

Most families mainly drive short distances, ruling out a diesel car because it is uneconomic and it can develop issues in the long term. A large SUV with a petrol engine, on the other hand, isn't the best option from a fiscal point of view.

So, what remains is a hybrid. In the case of this Kia Sorento, it's a non-plug-in hybrid that manages to combine loads of space with relatively limited CO2 emissions. It actually has no competitors today: all other hybrid SUVs of this size come with a plug and they are invariably a lot more expensive.

 

Indulgence

The front doors feel heavy and provide access to big comfy seats. In all versions, the driver's seat is electrically adjustable and offers princely seating comfort. If you opt for the luxury variant (Sense), the passenger's seat is also power operated and all seats are upholstered in leather.

In terms of human-machine interface, this Sorento amazes with its 10.25-inch central touchscreen. The split-screen function lets you easily operate different functions (navigation, media, telephone, on-board computer, ...) side by side. However, the voice control leaves much to be desired as commands are often not understood.

 

Practical

The beautiful materials and flawless assembly emphasise once again that Kia has closed the gap with the best European carmakers. What's more, the Sorento prides itself on unparalleled modularity and ease of access to the third row.

Thanks to the Easy Entry function, the rear seat can be slid far forward in two different-sized sections, while the backrest tilts forward in an instant. With the folding seats in the boot stowed away, you have no less than 813 litres of cargo space. With the rear seats folded down, that even becomes more than two cubic metres.

Smooth talker

Under the burly bonnet lies a 132-kW/180-hp strong 1600 petrol engine. It is assisted by a 44-kW/60-hp electric motor that can also work independently for short intervals. The system power is a hefty 171kW/233hp.

But anyone who expects great performance will be disappointed with this Sorento. Conventional hybrids like this are more suited to a smooth driving style. If you do ask for power, the high-revving roar of the four-cylinder penetrates quite clearly into the – otherwise well-insulated – interior.

The suspension has been adjusted to European driving. Some drivers will find that bumps are absorbed rather dryly. It is never uncomfortable, but given its family vocation, a slightly softer shock absorption might have been preferrable.

The Kia Sorento makes an excellent impression as a newcomer in the large SUV segment. It offers great value and quality for the money and is above all spacious, practical and comfortable.

    • Checked Icon

      + Spacious, practical SUV for 7

    • Checked Icon

      + Quality and equipment

    • Checked Icon

      - Voice control should be better

    • Checked Icon

      - Somewhat dry suspension