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Read and compare reviews on the Kia Sorento 2015 – 2019 Model from top New Zealand automotive journalists on trusted websites.

Kia Sorento EX: Huge can be little


The core of the NZ Herald lair is typical contemporary open-plan office space.

Fourteen different kinds of chair are strewn through lunch areas and meeting rooms, copious amounts of corporate speak echo between glass walls, and a coveted toasted sandwich maker sits in the kitchen waiting to be stolen by another department.

The Driven hub attracts all manner of car chat. From people seeking advice on their next purchase, to “have you seen Lewis Hamilton’s latest tweet?” to things of an deeper nature.

Just the other day, an innocent discussion on seven-seaters took a surprising turn when a colleague proclaimed her hatred for her old Honda Odyssey. Not because it was bad, but because of the symbolism. To her, owning a “minivan” was a signal of defeat — a signal that life’s little pleasures and big surprises were all in her rear-view mirror.

She then relayed that, in short time, it was replaced with an SUV.

In this vein, the explosion of SUV sales, including vehicles such as the new 2018 Kia Sorento, begin to make sense.

I say new, but really this is a midlife refresh. Mild generally triumphs wild, but there are slight differences if you know where to look.

Kia Sorento 2018 Car Review


Kia recently updated its seven-seater SUV, the headliner being an eight-speed auto transmission that was designed in-house for stronger acceleration, and reduced emissions.

But it also got subtle alterations to the look via revised bumpers, head- and tail lights, and new alloy wheels – 18-inchers in our EX test vehicle.

Inside the front pews get better lumbar control, a new design for the steering wheel and instrument cluster, and for tech-heads, there’s full Smartphone integration plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

But to be honest, few buyers will be attracted by the changes as much as they are to the practicality of what is effectively a big, all-wheel-drive wagon along the lines of Mazda’s CX-9.

That new transmission lets you choose different drive modes, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Smart, which basically tailor engine response between better fuel economy or stronger acceleration, as well as the ‘weight’ felt at the steering wheel. Can’t be bothered? Smart should work it out for you, taking readings of driver input and road to deliver what the electronic nannies figure will best suit.

But forget electronic nannies, they won’t keep the kids quiet come carpool time, and that’s when the extra row of seats will come in handy.

Long term report – Sorento’s time to shine?


Our long term Sorento continues to impress, and we wonder why it’s not a better seller in its segment.

Kia is enjoying a boom in sales, riding the market trend upwards, but it’s well ahead of the average growth curve, with retails up more than 50 per cent over the past year. While some refer to the SUV market as a whole, it’s a different beast as you progress up through the price points. Kia’s big seller is the Sportage, and this is driven by the 2WD Urban variants, raising the Sportage nameplate up to the third most popular passenger car of the year. It would likely be second if you removed the Rav4’s rental numbers.

Contrast this with Sorento, which is not quite the sales darling, selling around a quarter as many in total as Hyundai manages to sell Santa Fes and third of what Toyota does with the Highlander. We’re not sure why either. Previous to our long term experience, we stated we preferred the Sorento in this class, but perhaps those brands are better at sharpening the pencil come time to strike a deal, but Sorento deserves better patronage.

While 2WD sales dominate the Sportage numbers, it’s the opposite when talking big SUVs like Sorento where the front-wheel drive models make up only a small per cent of the total.

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