By Malusi Msomi
The December holidays are for kicking back and relaxing after the hustle and bustle of working from January to early December. The guys at Kia had generously supplied us with the facelift Sorento 2.2 CRDi EX+ to spend time in during the festive season. We gladly named her “Snowy” well because festive season and everything.
On the outside, the Sorento sports a stylish, modern design that accompanied by LED headlights with LED day time running lights, 18-inch wheels, and privacy glass at the rear for that executive look. The Kia Sorento comes with a lot of road presence with its bold design. The bold look is courtesy of sharp lines with the front end dominated by its large signature “Tiger Nose” grille.
The interior is well put together and feels classy Kia using a blend of leather, soft-touch surfaces and high-quality plastics. Niceties in the Sorento includes a 8.0-inch screen that supports wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, power front seats, rear sunshade blinds, cruise control, and dual-zone climate control. There’s plenty of space with the third row supporting full-size adults. We love the 8.0-inch touch screen feels a tad small for the sheer size of the cabin. A bigger one is available as you move further up the range.
Driving down to KZN from Johannesburg, we encountered traffic due to an accident. As much as being stuck in traffic was a faf, it wasn’t too bad in the Kia Sorento. The great sound system kept the family jamming whilst the all-round air-conditioning kept us quite cool. At the rate we were covering ground, we were definitely going to have just one stop at Bergview in Harrismith if it was not for the traffic. I say we were going to stop just once is because one can never get enough of driving the Sorento because of how comfortable it is. The only drawback we have, which is also minor, is the wind noise, but overall it’s a great place to be in.
Powerful yet frugal engine
With the prices of fuel showing us flames, we were not complaining when it came to the Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi EX+. Driving down to KZN, we managed to average 5.8 L/100km which is excellent, as Kia claims 6.8 L/100km. The great fuel economy is accompanied by a smooth comfortable ride which irons out most, if not all road imperfections. Frugality aside, the engine is strong in the Sorento. The 2.2-litre makes 148kW/440Nm which is mated to a smooth shifting 8-speed dual-clutch automatic. It handles its weight well. With 7 occupants in the car and a bit of luggage, the Sorento did not bat an eye when hauling all passengers. One negative, however, is that the Sorento does suffer from a bit of torque steer when taking off in a hurry.
Returning the Kia Sorento keys was a bittersweet moment, but it also allows us to reflect on the pros and cons of our time with the vehicle. The bold exterior design, spacious and comfortable interior, and smooth, powerful yet fuel-efficient diesel engine were all highlights for us. The Sorento’s drawbacks were minor like some wind and tire noise. Despite this, we found the Kia Sorento to be an excellent 7-seater SUV for the money.
Leave a comment