Kia Sorento GT-Line is for those who want their Sorento Platinum with a little more bling
What is it?
The Kia Sorento GT-Line is the new flagship for the rather brilliant Kia Sorento range. Based on the Kia Sorento Platinum which the GT-Line usurps as the Sorento kingpin, the GT-Line can be distinguished from the Sorento Platinum by way of its “ice cube” LEDs in the front bumper, chrome alloy wheels, side steps, flappy paddles mounted on the back of the steering wheel and a raunchy red leather interior.
What’s it cost?
A Kia Sorento GT-Line will set you back $58,490, or $1900 more than the Sorento Platinum. And, apart from all the bling we mentioned earlier, you still get Platinum’s extremely generous equipment list which includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, satellite navigation, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, rear sunblinds to keep UV rays out of the kids eyes and a panoramic roof to keep them mesmerised.
Only one drivetrain option is available – and it’s a good one – Kia’s 2.2 litre turbo diesel, mated to a six-speed automatic which can drive all four wheels via a part-time four-wheel drive system.
What’s it go like?
We’ve heaped praise on Kia’s 2.2 diesel before and we’ll heap praise on it again. The engine produces 147kW @ 3800rpm and 441Nm @ 1750-2750rpm which is more than enough to lob around the Sorento GT-Line and, seven passengers and their associated stuff.
Unladen, the Sorento’s performance is almost brisk, and it pulls away from a standstill smartly. The six-speed automatic shifts smoothly and helps to get the best from the engine and should you wish to change gears yourself – this is a GT-Line after all – you can swap cogs via the steering wheel mounted paddles. That said, we never felt the need. We just left the transmission in “D” and let it do its own thing.
Kia claims that the Sorento GT-Line will sip 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres across a combined cycle of city and highway driving. We managed between 8.5 and 9 litres, which isn’t appalling for a full-sized seven seat SUV.
Whilst punchy, nice to drive and relatively frugal, the oil burner is a bit clattery, noisy and could do with a little more polish in terms of refinement. That said, it wouldn’t put us off buying one.
Ride and handling are also impressive. Make no mistake, the Sorento GT-Line is no sports SUV, but local input from Kia’s suspension boffins means that body roll is pretty much kept in check, the ride is nearly perfect, rarely losing composition and preventing shocks reaching the base of passengers’ bottoms.
Overall, the Sorento GT-Line – and probably all members of the Sorento family – are more pleasant to drive than something like a Toyota Kluger.
What we like:
- The extra fiscal presence – little changes give the Sorento GT-Line more presence
- Value for money and equipment. You get a lot of car for around $60k
- Ride and handling combination
- Space and comfort – those rear seats are a doddle to raise and lower too, far easier than those in the (almost) doubly expensive Volvo XC90
- Accomplished drivetrain
What we don’t:
- Bluetooth system in our test car was frustrating, simply refusing to work on a number of occasions
- Those chromed wheels are a little, well, chintzy
- We’re unsure if people will stump up the extra $1900 for what effectively equates to cosmetic changes and accessories
- Those sidesteps are going to get in the way if the track to your favourite campsite is rough
- Honestly, nothing else. The Sorento is a pretty impressive package.
Sale or no sale?
There’s nothing at all wrong with a Sorento Platinum. However, if you want to stand out from the crowd, the GT-Line could be for you.