2017 Kia Sorento: Which spec is best

By David Bonnici, 19 Jun 2017 Car Advice

2017 Kia Sorento: Which spec is best

Which variant in the Kia Sorento range offers the best buy based on features, performance and value?

The Kia Sorento is a highly acclaimed seven-seat SUV that’s considered excellent value for money with plenty of standard features, particularly in the higher-spec models. Its comfortable seven-seat interior provides ample room for bigger families, though the Sorento isn’t overly bulky and is pleasant to drive, especially when powered by the frugal but gutsy four-cylinder turbo diesel engine.

Variants

There are five main Sorento model grades and two engine options to choose from: a 206kW/336Nm 3.3-litre V6 petrol and a 147kW/440Nm 2.2-litre diesel engine options. Each is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.  Petrol-powered Sorentos are all front-wheel drive, however diesel versions (which command a $2500 premium) gain all-wheel drive for greater traction and stability.

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The diesel drivetrain is also considerably more fuel efficient – 7.7L/100km compared to 11.6L/100km for petrol-powered variants – and offers more muscular performance.

The entry-level Sorento Si starts at $40,990 and comes with plenty of standard features including cloth seats, cruise control, satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, 7.0-inch touchscreen, reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors, auto headlights, cornering lights that shine into bends and LED daytime running lights, hill-hold assist, 17-inch alloy wheels and Kia’s class-leading seven-year warranty.

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Kia recently introduced the Si Limited (formerly called the Si Premium), which is said to add $3000 worth of extra value over the entry-level Si for no extra drive-away cost, including 18-inch alloy wheels, leather appointed seats, a premium steering wheel with wood-look trim and exclusive Limited badging.

The mid-spec Sorento SLi adds a smart key with pushbutton start, power adjustable driver’s seat, hands-free power-operated tailgate, an improved sound system and LED taillights.

Upgrading to the diesel-only Sorento Platinum brings an advanced driver assist package that includes automatic emergency braking, active cruise control, blind spot monitor, lane change assist, lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert.

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Extra creature comforts include power adjusted front passenger seat, heated/ventilated front seats, heated second row seats, panoramic sunroof, brighter HID headlights and 19-inch alloys.

The range-topping GT-Line is essentially a Sorento Platinum with more flamboyant styling including red-leather trim and red brake calipers, plus the addition of paddle shifters to the steering wheel.

  • Sorento Si V6 petrol FWD - $40,990
  • Sorento Si diesel AWD - $44,490
  • Sorento Si Limited V6 petrol FWD - $43,990
  • Sorento Si Limited diesel AWD - $47,490
  • Sorento SLi V6 petrol FWD - $45,990
  • Sorento SLi diesel AWD - $49,490
  • Sorento Platinum diesel AWD - $56,990
  • Sorento GT Line diesel AWD – $58,490

Our pick

The mid-spec Sorento SLi strikes a good balance of price and equipment and is a lot of SUV for around $50,000. It’s hard to go past the diesel because it has more grunt, the added assurance of all-wheel drive and uses less fuel.

If advanced driver assist features such as auto emergency braking are important to you, the Sorento Platinum is a very well equipped family SUV, but with a driveaway price beyond $60,000 it starts coming up against some stronger competitors. It’s a shame Kia doesn’t offer its advanced safety systems as part of an optional pack so you can have extra safety in the lower-spec models without having to fork out for the upper-spec models.

Available options

Premium paint - $595