2024 Kia Sorento S Diesel (car review)

There’s little doubt Australia loves an SUV, with the Kia Sorento among the most popular. For 2024, the latest incarnation has had a facelift, designed to align it with other models in the range, and boost its credentials against its rivals.

The Sorento comes with a choice of two powertrains in most trim levels, including a cheaper, but surprisingly spritely petrol V6 that powers the front wheels, and a 2.2-litre diesel, which is paired to its all-wheel drive variants.

There are the four trim levels, starting off with the well-equipped, entry level S we’re testing here in Silky Silver, through to the mid-spec Sport and Sport+, and the range topping GT-Line.

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It can also be had in Steel Grey, Mineral Blue, Aurora Black Pearl, Gravity Blue, Snow White Pearl, Volcanic Sand Brown and Cityscape Green. Priced at around $57,820 drive away in the spec tested here, it rides on 17-inch alloys.

They feel seriously undersized for an SUV this large, but the fat 65 aspect ratio tyres soak up the bumps in the roads just that little bit more. We did wonder if they also contributed to the amount of sway you could feel in the vehicle.

That aside, the exterior still benefits from most of the visual upgrades featured across the rest of the range, including those snazzy right-angled head and taillights, and DRLs (daytime running lights).

Inside, the difference in spec may be a bit more obvious, with cloth seating and a few blanked out buttons and spaces that would indicate a function reserved for the “better” variants. The seats are still comfortable though.

No doubt there are some who would appreciate a cloth interior over a leather option too. USB ports are available up front, while the second and third rows get 12v outlets. That back section also nabs some cup holders.

There’s no climate control or zoning when it comes to air conditioning, but the basic setup can be accessed via a touch panel that also serves as the radio menu. Switching between the two can take a little getting used to, but it still performs well enough.

The transmission dial is straight from the Genesis parts bin, offering a bit of a premium feel for selecting your gear. The same can’t be said for the drive mode selector, which felt quite cheap in comparison to all the other gear.

dash
Inside the 2024 Kia Sorento S Diesel

A 4.0-inch information display offers various bits of data, but is hard to like. The graphics to indicate speed and revs around some sort of ‘dial’ provided nothing more than eye candy. It wasn’t as though each ‘bar’ represented increments of 2km/h for example.

It made no difference that changing drive modes altered the colours either. A more traditional dial representation would have been more useful in our opinion. Wireless Android Auto and Apply CarPlay is a nice inclusion though.

You do miss out on a wireless charging pad, and you will likely need to plug your phone into a USB port to avoid draining the battery. The sound system is adequate, with 7-speakers, but there’s no native satellite navigation on the 12.3-inch infotainment screen.

At S spec, the Sorento has an old-fashioned, manually opening tailgate, while boot space is a modest 179-litres with all three rows up. Drop row three and you get 608-litres, while a quick button press lays down row two, for 1996-litres of cargo volume.

Out on the road, the big Kia goes about its business will minimal fuss. The diesel engine offers plenty of go around town and on open roads, with the Korean car maker claiming 6.9-litres/100km. We managed an impressive 6.7-litres in real world testing.

second row
Inside the 2024 Kia Sorento S Diesel

That means you get nearly 900km out of a single tank, which in the current economic climate, is a blessing. Like most larger cars on sale, the Sorento hides its size well and is very compliant on our questionable road surfaces.

We did notice some creaking and vibration from the brakes and suspension on some cobbled and rougher roads, and the former were a little too touchy when coming to a complete stop.

On the safety front, blind spot assist is joined by rear cross traffic collision avoidance, lane keep assist, lane follow assist, autonomous emergency brake with forward collision warning and everyone’s favourite, the intelligent speed limit assist.

Surprisingly, this was not too annoying during our time with the car. There’s also the added convenience of front and rear sensors, and a rear-view camera with dynamic parking guidelines. It has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating and is backed by a 7-year warranty.

For those looking for a competent 7-seater SUV on a budget, the Sorento S is hard to go past given what it includes at this level. If you’re keen to know more, check out the Kia Australia website, or talk to your local dealership.

row three
Inside the 2024 Kia Sorento S Diesel

Our test vehicle was provided by Kia Australia for review purposes.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
7
Exterior styling
7.5
Interior look and feel
8
Technology and connectivity
8
Family friendliness
8
Value for money
8

SUMMARY

Pros - well equipped; capable; versatile seating layout; good fuel economy.
Cons - basic digital instruments; touching brakes; unforgiving suspension; limited room in row three.
Daniel Collins
Daniel Collins
Daniel has had a keen interest in cars since getting his first Matchbox toy as a young kid. If he's not car spotting while out on the roads, he'll be plane spotting watching the sky, or diving into one of his many favourite sci-fi universes.

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<strong>Pros -</strong> well equipped; capable; versatile seating layout; good fuel economy.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> basic digital instruments; touching brakes; unforgiving suspension; limited room in row three.2024 Kia Sorento S Diesel (car review)