Strengthened family-wagon credentials.
Kia has detailed the local offering of its flagship SUV, the Sorento, for the 2018 model year, which brings with it an immense jump up in terms of safety and convenience technology as well as minor aesthetic revisions that should see it through the next model year rather successfully.
“We always knew that the Sorento was an exceptional car. However, as good as it is, we listened to our customers and industry commentators who identified areas in which it could be improved. This latest version incorporates changes suggested by that feedback. The upgrades and improvements to the latest Sorento are significant, and offer real benefits to owners both in comfort and in safety.” — Damien Meredith, COO, Kia Motors Australia
The biggest changes to the Sorento have taken place beneath the surface. For starters, the old 3.3-litre atmo petrol engine has been replaced with a larger 3.5-litre V6, which promises to be creamy-smooth in operation and surprisingly efficient. Its output is rated at 206kW and 336Nm, with power going exclusively to the front wheels. This complements the 2.2-litre turbodiesel that’s also on offer for the 2018 model year, rated at 147kW/441Nm, which instead puts its power down to all four wheels. Both cars benefit from a brand-new eight-speed automatic gearbox which features across the range, aiding fuel consumption (diesel is rated at 7.2L/100km, petrol V6 at a solid 10L/100km).
The range has also been trimmed: The previous ‘Platinum’ variant has been dropped, while the range has made room for a ‘Sport’ variant sitting above the entry-level Si variant, resulting in a total of 4 variants in total with the SLi and GT-Line models continuing unchanged.
Starting from the base Si variant, you’ll find that standard kit has been improved immensely. 17-inch alloys ensure the Sorento looks the part, along with LED daytime running lights. There’s all-round parking sensors, a six-speaker audio system, dual-zone climate control, smartphone mirroring for Android and iOS, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation, as well as air-vents across all three rows of seats.
Additionally, active driver safety systems have also seen an upgrade, with things like autonomous emergency braking now featured as standard across the range, along with forward collision warning, intelligent cruise control, and lane-keep assist. Criticism has been levelled at the Sorento in the past due to this tech being limited exclusively to the GT-Line model in the past, so we guess Kia really was listening to what the masses were saying.
Step up to the Sport grade and you’ll get 18-inch alloys in place of the 17’s on the Si, and there are leather seats on board. That’s all.
The SLi really packs on the goodies though, as expected of the premium it commands over the Sport model. Sorento SLi models get things like keyless entry and go, powered drivers seat, LED taillights, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, 7.0-inch driver supervision display, wood-esque trim in the cabin, a 10-speaker Harmon/Kardon audio system, as well as a powered tailgate. Oh, and in case you missed it, there are two-tone leather seats on board too.
But the top-spec GT-Line gets all the bells and whistles, starting with the eye-catching 19-inch alloys and LED headlights up front. There’s also a 360º camera system, GT-Line stitching on the seats, blind-spot monitoring, eight-way powered drivers seat replete with a thigh-extension, a powered passengers’ seat, and an enormous panoramic sunroof.
As befits a ‘sporty’ variant, the GT-Line Sorento gains things like red brake-calipers and chromed exhaust tips, while the cabin holds more goodies like a heated leather steering wheel, LED interior lighting, ventilated front seats and gloss-black trim throughout.
The 2018MY Sorento also gains a new colour, ‘Gravity Blue,’ while GT-Line cars get an exclusive ‘Snow White Pearl’ finish too.
The 2018 Kia Sorento range now sits as follows:
Front-wheel drive petrol:
- Si — $42,990
- Sport — $44,990
- SLi — $46,990
All-wheel drive diesel:
- Si — $45,490
- Sport — $48,490
- SLi — $50,490
- GT-Line — $58,990
*All prices stated exclude various on-road and delivery costs.