IMPROVEMENTS everywhere will be the catch cry of the 2016 Kia Sorento SLi, an all new model for this year that is packed full of enough upgrades and updates for any skeptic to take a first, second and third look.
It really is that good. The Korean car maker has done well with the new Kia Sorento SLi, which is powered by a 2.2L four cylinder turbo diesel producing 147kW of power and 441Nm of torque, and coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission.
We had a lot of fun with the Sorento, especially in sports mode and there is definitely plenty to like about the new model, that makes good on the brand’s promises to fix long standing issues with previous incarnations of the large SUV.
Kia has put in a lot of effort and energy into making this SUV a more comfortable car for day-to-to use, particularly over previous versions of the same model, and has improved noise vibrations along with a much improved interior and exterior.
Feature packed, the Sorento SLi includes key less entry start, electronic park brake, leather appointed seats, dual climate control, USB port, wood look trim steering wheel and excellent surround sound.
The Kia is very spacious and can comfortably seat 5 adults and 2 children. It also features hands free smart tailgate technology, and adaptive cruise control that is among the best we’ve seen in an SUV.
There’s also a solid infotainment system, with a fantastic 10 speaker audio system, that is very easy to use (with the constant speed limit warnings the only annoyance). Outside you’ll also find machine finished 18-inch alloy wheels.
Adding to the list of things that impressed, the quieter fuel efficient diesel managed 7.8L/100km in consumption (with the 3.3L petrol version (not tested) also holding a reasonable fuel consumption rating of 9.9L/100km).
As with other new Kia models, the Sorento also features a Drive Mode Select system which adjusts transmission shift points and steering assistance depending on the option: Eco, Normal and Sport.
On the road, we noticed there was a slight lag with the turbo, particularly in Eco and Normal mode, which was only negated when we switched the drive mode to Sports mode, with the Sorento responding noticeably better.
Sluggish brakes at low speeds also scored a tick in the ‘not so great’ column but overall this is a genuinely impressive SUV that is build for all-purpose family driving. The two tonne towing capacity (braked) is not bad for a seven seater (although some of its competitors are more impressive).
It’s up against some serious competition in the seven seat SUV market, with its main rivals including the Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Prado, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Priced well at the base model level, the Kia might be considered expensive by some for its SLi and Platinum models.
The Kia Sorento SLi starts at $54,086 drive away and the Platinum hits the road at $60,911 drive away (both for the diesel variants – the petrol SLi is a little over $50,000). It comes with a five star ANCAP safety rating and Kia’s now legendary 7/7/7 coverage – seven year warranty, seven year capped priced serving, and seven year roadside assist.
It is available in Clear White, Show White Pearl, Silky Silver, Metal Stream, Platinum Graphite, Aurora Black and Sunset Red.
Our test vehicle was provided by Kia Australia. To find out more about the 2016 Kia Sorento SLi, contact your local Kia dealer.
Road Test: 2016 Kia Sorento SLi
Pros – comfortable spacious interior; fuel efficient; great fun in Sports mode.
Cons – sluggish braking; price point; turbo lag in eco and standard drive modes.