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Car reviews - Kia - Sorento - 5-dr wagon range


Kia bowls up its first turbo-diesel Sorento, plus a thriftier new petrol V6

14 Aug 2007

WITH turbo-diesel engines accounting for a larger slice of the medium SUV market segment, Kia Australia is back in the main game with the introduction a new 2.5-litre common-rail direct-injection unit that the company expects will account for some 80 per cent of sales. The balance of new Sorentos will be powered by a new 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine that replaces the previous model's 3.8-litre variant, sacrificing performance in favour of better fuel economy, lower emissions and a not inconsiderable $3000 price reduction. The new Sorento seems to tick all the right boxes with good looks, performance and value for money. But on the road it fails to live up to the promise with steering, handling and refinement that does not compare with dynamically sharper rivals like the Ford Territory and Toyota Kluger. Nevertheless, Kia expects the latest Sorento will double sales and revive its sagging market share.
Model release date: 1 August 2007 to 1 August 2008

Previous model

Kia BL Sorento

Released: October 2004
Ended: August 2007
Family Tree: Sorento

The BL Sorento was first introduced in February 2003 and shares its drivetrain with sister company Hyundai's Terracan. Kia updated the Sorento in October 2004 with a five-speed auto in place of the previous four-speeder and added a bigger V6 petrol engine in April 2007. The 3.8-litre quad-cam V6 produced 196kW of power (an increase of some 35 per cent over the 3.5-litre unit) and 353Nm of torque (up about 20 per cent). Cabin revisions included a redesigned dashboard and centre console, and reshaped front seats, the latter offering a bit more legroom for rear-seat occupants. Rear seatbacks were also claimed to be easier to manoeuvre.

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