Flagship Kia Sorento Platinum is top pick of the Sorento range
What we like:
- Excellent equipment levels
- Improved styling over mid-spec SLi
Not so much:
- Entry to third row seats still cumbersome
- No start stop
- No DVD player
- Misses out of Santa Fe Highlander’s auto parking system
Kia continues to kick goals with its all-new Sorento range, and it’s not difficult to see why – it looks great, it’s lovely to drive, it seats seven, is well made and good value for money. We certainly found this was the case when we tested the mid-spec Kia Sorento SLi late last year.
This time around, we’re stepping it up to the flagship Platinum and raising the question should shoppers shell out the extra $6,500 over the Sorento SLi. The Kia Sorento Platinum is aimed at primarily the Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander and Toyota Kluger Grande.
Price and Equipment
The Kia Sorento Platinum is only offered with Hyundai Group’s 2.2 litre turbo diesel paired to a six-speed automatic driving all-four wheels, depending on road conditions and is priced from $55,990 plus government charges.
Standard equipment over the SLi includes: adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, a clever lane departure warning, swivelling LED headlights, heated and cooled front seats, a 10 way electrically adjustable driver’s seat and eight-way passenger’s seat. a heated steering wheel, sunblinds for the rear passengers along with LED daytime running lights and attractive 19inch wheels.
On the surface the Sorento Platinum’s interior is much the same as that in the SLi – lots of of black leather and surprisingly tasteful woodgrain. Yet the Sorento Platinum’s cabin can be brighter and airier thanks to that huge glass roof and the heated and cooled seats help to take the sting out of more uncomfortable weather, as does the heating steering wheel.
The cooled seats were a particular treat on an unseasonably warm Melbourne Autumn day.
It’s a similar story in the back, where passengers in the middle row have access to window shades to shield their eyes from UV rays.
A key criticism of the Sorento Plantinum interior is that it doesn’t offer roof or seat mounted DVD screens, which could deter buyers with small children who intend to use the car for long family trips. The Kluger Grande has a roof mounted DVD screen and wireless headphones as standard.
Additionally, access to the to the third row of seats can be heavy and cumbersome. Electrically folding seats would be another welcome surprise and delight feature.
Engine and Transmission
The Kia Sorento Platinum features the same punchy 2.2 litre turbo diesel engine with a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. All performance figures and driveline characteristics remain the same. We averaged around 10 litres per 100 kilometres on a combined cycle during the test week.
On The Road
As per other models in the Kia Sorento range, the Kia Sorento Platinum demonstrates excellent driving dynamics for a large SUV. The steering is well judged, and the ride and handling have been perfectly calibrated for Australian conditions.
However, the Kia Sorento Platinum also benefits from LED daytime running lights and swivelling/cornering headlights that make night time driving just that little bit easier; although we would’ve hoped that the headlights would’ve been a little more powerful.
Highway driving is just that little bit easier too, courtesy of Kia’s radar guided cruise control which is responsive and almost intuitive in its braking and effectively maintains the preset distance to the vehicle in front.
Kia/Hyundai Group’s blind spot monitoring system is one of the best in the business, not only illuminating a symbol in the side mirror if there’s a car in one’s blind spot, but it also beeps if the driver flicks on the indicator and the Sorento thinks the driver may merge into an unseen car.
A reversing camera is of course fitted as standard, although the Sorento Platinum does miss out on the Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander’s automated parking system.
Aside from the active safety technology aforementioned, the Kia Sorento Platinum is fitted with anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control as well as dual front, side and curtain airbags.
The Kia Sorento Platinum is covered by Kia’s market leading seven year/unlimited kilometre warranty.
Kia Sorento Platinum Specs
Make and model: Kia Sorento Plantinum
Engine type: 2199cc turbo diesel four-cylinder engine
Power: 147kW @ 3800rpm
Torque: 441Nm @ 1750-2750rpm
Transmission: six-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Fuel consumption: 7.8 litres (combined)
Dimensions: 4780mm long, 1890mm wide, 1690mm high and 2780mm wheelbase
Steering: Rack and pinion
Country of Origin: South Korea
Options: Snow White Pearl paint, $595