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2018 Kia Sorento: Which spec is best?

By David Bonnici, 01 Nov 2017 Car Advice

2018 Kia Sorento: Which spec is best?

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

Kia’s highly acclaimed large SUV is considered excellent value for money, with plenty of standard features. Its seven-seat interior provides ample room for bigger families, though it isn’t overly bulky to drive.

The 2018 Kia Sorento brought a number of improvements to ride, steering and handling, a new eight-speed automatic transmission and driver assistance technology, such automatic emergency braking, active cruise control and lane keeping assist, as standard.


When Kia updated the Sorento in late 2017 for the 2018 model year, it reduced the number of variants from five to four. The top-spec Premium model was dropped, leaving the GT-Line a permanent feature at top of the range. Meanwhile, the Si Limited, which was positioned just above the entry-level Si, was renamed Sport.

The Sorento still has two engine choices: a 3.5-litre V6 petrol and 2.2-litre turbo diesel. Each is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Petrol-powered Sorentos are all front-wheel drive, while diesel versions (which command a $2500 premium) gain all-wheel drive for greater traction and stability.

The diesel powertrain is considerably more fuel efficient – 7.2L/100km compared with 10.0L/100km for petrol-powered variants – and offers more muscular performance.

All variants are available with the petrol or diesel engines except for the GT-Line, which is a diesel-only offering.

Pricing starts at $42,990 for the Sorento Si petrol (above), which comes with plenty of standard features including automatic emergency braking, active cruise control, lane-keeping assist, satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, 8.0-inch touchscreen, reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors, auto headlights, LED daytime running lights, hill-hold assist, 17-inch alloy wheels and Kia’s class-leading seven-year warranty.

Like the Si Limited it replaced, the Sorento Sport has a few extras over the Si including part leather interior and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The mid-spec Sorento SLi adds a smart key with pushbutton start, power adjustable driver’s seat, hands-free power-operated tailgate, an improved, 10-speaker sound system and LED tail-lights. You can also choose between a black interior or two tone black and stone for no extra cost.

The Sorento GT-Line gains newly designed 19-inch wheels, LED headlights with auto levelling and steerable headlamps that pivot when the front wheels are turned to help see into corners. It also features LED ‘ice cube’ style fog lamps, panoramic sunroof, rear cross traffic alert, a 360-degree top-down camera view, paddle shifters and part black leather seats with grey stitching and GT-Line logos.

  • Sorento Si petrol - $42,990
  • Sorento Si diesel - $45,490
  • Sorento Sport petrol - $44,990
  • Sorento Sport diesel - $48,490
  • Sorento SLi petrol - $46,990
  • Sorento SLi diesel - $50,490
  • Sorento GT-Line diesel - $58,990


The diesel versions are significantly better suited to a large SUV that is likely to carry loads of people and things on a regular basis and the $2500 additional cost also includes all-wheel-drive. Of the different specifications, we like the SLi because it strikes a pleasing balance of price and equipment. If you don’t need all the SLi features but like the idea of a more durable leather interior, the Sport will save you some cash.


  • Premium paint - $595