BLACK is definitely the new well, black, with Kia’s special edition Sorento, with South Korea’s second largest auto manufacturer offering a few extra goodies in 2020, including some unique to this limited run model.
These include the blacked out front grille, side mirrors and 19-inch alloy wheels, door accents and side skirts, the fantastic panoramic sunroof, privacy glass, ice-cube shaped fog lights, a premium leather steering wheel, and leather seats.
Aside from those extras, the Black Edition is a limited run version on the Si spec of the Sorento, and by limited, we mean there is no definite number that has been mentioned by Kia regarding how many will be produced.
But because it’s based on the Si, you won’t get a smart key or electric adjustment in your seats, or a plethora of other goodies you’d expect in a car at this price ($48,990 drive away), unlike say the Mazda CX-8 ($43,910) and the Hyundai Santa Fe ($45,990).
The latter two are plus on-roads, but you get the point. A previously award winning car, the Sorento is good looking and drives very nicely. The exterior styling is neat and streamlined, and panels match up to each other like pieces of a puzzle.
It isn’t overly modern but at the same time isn’t overly outdated, It’s everything you’d expect a family-sized SUV to look like. Daytime running lights in-built into the headlights, LED tail lights and front and rear lips to break up the colour scheme.
The exterior is aggressive, while the interior feels refined. A quick look around inside tells us it’s spacious and comfortable, with black leather appointed seats and a premium steering wheel with audio, voice and settings controls.
An 8-inch touch screen, which feels not dissimilar to what you might find in a Hyundai or Genesis, given the duo’s connection to Kia, includes satellite navigation, DAB digital radio, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s a nice panoramic sunroof too.
Being a family-friendly car, there is plenty of storage, two centre console compartments with two cup holders, and drink holders and storage trays on all four doors. Boot space is limited to 142 litres with the rear-most seats up, then 660 litres once those are folded.
Drop the second and third row though, and you get a whopping 1,732 litres of cargo space, and this doesn’t even include the hidden under-floor storage. Technology is big in the Sorento Black Edition too.
There’s dual zone climate control via a 3.5-inch LCD display under the touchscreen, with the main screen controlling most everything else in the car. The Bluetooth is outstanding, with immediate connectivity.
Satellite navigation works seamlessly, although has a bit of trouble finding new and remote locations. Considering the size of the car, it drives quite well, and feels planted on the road, despite its perceived bulk.
Thanks to Kia’s improvements to the suspension, it certainly doesn’t feel as long or as wide as it looks. Road, tyre and wind noise are kept at a minimum within the cabin, as well.
It travels over little bumps and dips in the road with ease, while larger potholes you’d generally want to avoid aren’t so bad either in all but the rear-most seats, where you’ll feel as if you’re being punished.
Travelling off road is fairly straightforward, and the wheels and suspension absorb most of the terrain. It’s impressive to say the least, and you almost feel as if you’re riding on a cloud for most of the ride.
The 3.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol V6 (it’s also available in a diesel) makes 206kW of power and 336Nm of torque, and delivers heaps of power to the two front wheels precisely and responsively.
For those who can appreciate a good engine note, the V6 growl at higher RPMs sounds similar to Kia’s Stinger, but if you’re looking at buying a Sorento, the sound the engine noise is probably not a deciding factor.
Fuel economy however is, and Kia’s claimed 10.0-litres/100km was a hard target to reach, even in comfort and eco drive modes. It can be thirsty and costly to run if you don’t watch your driving style.
The 8-speed Sportsmatic transmission works superbly though, moving up and down through the gears responsively, and without any jerking action. The adaptive cruise control system works a treat too.
It fits harmoniously with the lane-keep assist and autonomous emergency braking system, while a 5-star ANCAP safety rating means your family will always be in good hands in the Sorento.
An impressive safety list is one of the standout features of the Sorento, which also includes three top-tether and two ISOFIX anchor points, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot detection, and a driver attention alert system.
The 2020 Kia Sorento Black Edition is good value, fulfilling all the family car and most SUV requirements you might have, as well as having an extensive list of safety features on offer.
It’s key challengers include the CX-8 and Santa Fe we already mentioned, the Mazda CX-9 ($46,420 plus on-roads) and Toyota Kluger GX (at $44,850 plus on-roads), with a couple of those offering better features and technology.
Overall though, the Black Edition is a compliant and sturdy vehicle, both on and off-road. What adds to its appeal is its 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and Kia’s capped price servicing.
Our 2020 Kia Sorento Black Edition (2WD Petrol) was supplied by Kia Australia. To find out more, contact your local Kia dealer. Images courtesy of J_Hui Design/Photography.