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In-depth reviews

Kia Sorento review - Practicality, comfort & boot space

Lots of space and features focused on everyday usability make the Sorento a fine family car option

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

4.8 out of 5

Price
£44,930 to £50,935
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Cabin space is a real strength of the Kia Sorento, it makes good use of its sizable exterior dimensions, translating them into a spacious and user-friendly cabin. There’s generous space for four adults, and the two extra seats in the back are more comfortable than you’ll find on many rival seven-seaters.

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Storage space isn’t in short supply, either, because there’s plenty of room in the centre console with cup-holders and a large area for charging devices. Speaking of charging, there are loads of USB sockets all over the cabin, with one for every occupant to keep their device topped up.

In the middle row, occupants get individual cup-holders in the door plus a second cubby lower down that could hold a drinks bottle. The centre armrest has more cup-holders, too, but because the middle seat is a little narrow this is probably best used as an armrest. The hybrid models position their batteries under the cabin floor, so there’s minimal boot-space penalty on these Sorentos compared with the diesel. 

Size 

This is a big vehicle, but it’s not up there with the largest seven-seat SUVs on the UK market. The Kia Sorento is 4,810mm long and 1,900mm wide, which is longer and slightly wider than a Skoda Kodiaq (4,699mm and 1,882mm). It’s also significantly longer than the 4,597mm Land Rover Discovery Sport, but smaller than the full-size Land Rover Discovery (4,956mm long and 2,000mm wide).

Leg room, head room & passenger space 

The cabin generally feels spacious, and there is plenty of head and legroom for adults in the second row, even sitting behind a tall driver. The floor is flat, so there’s space for the feet of a middle-seat occupant, but the centre seat itself is narrow meaning only small children could use it for any length of time. 

When we pitted the Sorento against a Nissan X-Trail we found the Kia makes a much better job of accommodating seven. Access is much easier; the middle seat back electrically drops and slides forward at the touch of a button, and the gap to climb into row three is larger. The third-row seats are fine for kids, and adults can squeeze into them in an pinch but they won't want to spend too long back there. At least Kia has included ventilation controls and USB charging points for third-row occupants to use.

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As long as middle-row passengers are willing to sacrifice some space, the Sorento has an extra 100mm of kneeroom over the X-Trail, and similar headroom. However the seat bases are close to the floor, which means your thighs are forced upwards and away from the cushion. 

Boot 

There’s a 616-litre boot in the diesel Kia Sorento with the third-row seats folded down, and that drops to 608 litres in the hybrid models. The amount of space is competitive for the class, and if you drop all the seats in the second and third rows, you’re looking at 2,011 litres (1,996 litres in the hybrids).

Even with the Sorento’s third-row seats raised, there’s still luggage space behind measuring 187 litres in the diesel or 179 litres in the hybrids. You could fit a couple of holdalls back there, or a row of shopping bags. It’s also still possible to make use of the plastic-lined compartment under the boot floor that would be handy for muddy boots or similar. The second-row seats can be flooded down at the touch of a button from the boot area.

Towing  

If you want to tow with a Kia Sorento, the diesel model offers a 2,500kg braked-trailer towing capacity with a maximum towball weight of 100kg. The petrol-hybrid models can manage significantly less, with the standard 1.6 T-GDi capable of towing 1,650kg and the plug-in hybrid 150kg down on that at 1,500kg. A Trailer Stability Assist function is standard on all models.

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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