Review: 2020 Kia Sorento

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

A large SUV that puts the focus firmly on family and luxury, that's how Kia describes the all-new Sorento. More spacious, more versatile than before, this Sorento is not only the most high-tech Kia car ever made, but also 'leads the way in SUV design'.

We'll take a closer look if these claims are true!

Initial Impression

The Kia Sorento has evolved with a new interpretation of the unmistakable ‘tiger nose’ grille, displaying a wider shape which wraps around the integrated LED headlights on each side. It's definitely a good look in our opinion. On the other side, the vertical LED tail lights wrap around the side of the body for a more striking presence on the road.​ There will be no doubt when driving behind the all-new Sorento.


The all-new Kia Sorento comes with two different engines: a SmartStream 2.2L turbo diesel engine or an all new SmartStream 3.5L V6 petrol. The first delivers 148kW and 440Nm, while the latter puts out 220kW and 332Nm. This makes the diesel more powerful and punchy, which is definitely noticeable off the line and when driving on the highway. Both are paired with an 8-speed automatic that shift smoothly and a Drive Mode Selector lets you dial in the Sorento’s driving character, with especially the Sport mode makes the drive more enjoyable and fun. The turbo-diesels are exclusively all-wheel drive, which adds to the solid driving characteristics.

Fuel economy is good, with a claim of 6.1L/100km on the combined cycle, and as low as 5.3 on the highway run. Standard safety features include autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with cyclist and pedestrian protection, as well as oncoming vehicle detection that will apply the brakes if it detects oncoming traffic when making a turn at a junction. Other tech includes adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, lane following assist, driver attention warning and a new blind-spot view monitor that displays the vehicle’s blind spots within the instrument cluster when an indicator is switched on.

The Remote Smart Parking Assist system is the novelty feature of the all-new Sorento. Integrated to your smart key, it starts the car remotely and allows you to control forward and backward movements of the vehicle. This conveniently allows easier parking or exiting from tight spaces and garages. Emergency braking is applied when the system detects any objects - very handy.


Step inside and the first thing that spots your eye is the high resolution 10.25 inch central touchscreen that responds to your touch on the console and the steering wheel. You can pinch, zoom and swipe - features usually only found in high-end luxury vehicles. Next to that the 12.3 inch high resolution digital screen in the gauge cluster lets you select one of 4 themes and is very clear in giving you all the information needed when on the road.

Now a hands-free power tailgate isn't new, but with a push of the button, you can also move the second-row seats forward for an easy entry into the third row. Aided by the platform’s longer wheelbase, the second-row seats now slide up to 45mm further, creating a wider point of entry to the third row and giving you 187L of cargo space behind the third-row seats. Fold the third-row flat to increase cargo space to 616L.

It's in the top-shelf GT-Line that the magic happens: 12 speaker surround-sound audio system, 8-inch colour head up display and ambient mood lighting: 64-colour LED ambient lighting lets you create an atmosphere to suit your mood. There is also 'quiet mode', allowing you to mute the rear speakers while the audio continues in the front row only. And with 'drive talk in-car intercom' you can communicate with 3rd row passengers through the 3rd row speakers. Very smart.


Whereas the range starts at $47k, the top-shelf diesel GT-Line comes in just under $65k. In between four equipment grades are offered: S, Sport, Sport+ and GT-Line. Thus there are eight variants and the line-up will include Kia's first plug-in hybrid and plugless hybrid powertrains in early and late 2021 respectively.

Every variant in the range comes equipped with alloy wheels; this includes the full-size spare and is covered by Kia’s seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, along with seven-year roadside assist and capped-price servicing. With servicing, diesel-powered Sorento models need to visit the workshop every 15,000km (or 12 months) and will cost $1287 over the first three years, and $2393 over five years.


It was about time that Kia upgraded the popular Sorento - and now that they did we couldn't be happier. It's better looking, still drives comfortably and is now fitted with the latest tech and heaps of luxury features that will amaze everybody that takes a seat inside.

Interested in a test drive? Motorama Kia is the place to be - so make sure you come and see the Motorama Kia team in Moorooka or Browns Plains.

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