17 December 2020

Kia Sorento 2020 Car Review

The new Kia Sorento is a real game changer and perhaps one of the best new SUVs to be launched in the second half of 2020. If you’re in the market for a large SUV, then the Kia Sorento is one you should definitely try out.

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Kia Sorento 2020
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Kia Sorento 2020
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Kia Sorento 2020
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Kia Sorento 2020
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Kia Sorento 2020
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Kia Sorento 2020
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Kia Sorento 2020
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Kia Sorento 2020

The Sorento is now in its fourth generation and has undergone quite a change since the last model. It’s now grown up enough to put up a competitive fight against some of the luxury SUV marques.

It’s also the first vehicle to be based on Kia’s next-generation large SUV platform. Paired with a larger muscular body to maximise cargo space, the platform ensures the Sorento is one of the most versatile and spacious three-row SUVs on the road, providing ample room for seven occupants and their luggage.

That grille!

The more assertive ‘face’ of the Sorento incorporates a new interpretation of Kia’s hallmark ‘tiger nose’ grille. Wider and more expansive, it wraps organically around the integrated headlamps on each side. The headlamps themselves feature a new ‘tiger eye’ LED daytime running light, adding extra focus to the design by depicting the intense impression of the lines around a tiger’s eyes.

Because of the new platform, overall vehicle dimensions have grown 10mm in length and width, while the wheelbase is 35mm longer. This creates greater leg and shoulder room for middle and rear row passengers, as well as delivering 32% more cargo space with all seats in place.

Next level safety upgrades

The 2021 Kia Sorento also takes a major leap forward in terms of safety thanks to Kia’s comprehensive Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) programme.

A number of new safety technologies are introduced on Sorento, including Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM) to eliminate a driver’s left and right-side blind spots, Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) and the latest Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA) technology. Pedestrian, cyclist and vehicle detection, which now also detects oncoming traffic when making a turn at a junction, are also included. And, should a new Sorento be involved in an accident, the new Multi-Collision Brake (MCB) System is designed to prevent unpredictable movements of a vehicle after the initial collision to substantially reduce the danger of secondary crashes.

This is the first time we’ve seen the BVM cameras physically project images into small circle screens inside the digital instrument cluster, and is a feature we expect to see more of over the coming years. Another great new safety feature that’s included in the Sorento, and seems to be catching on with other new cars coming onto the market, is an airbag that inflates between the two front seats to prevent the heads of the front occupants coming into contact in the event of a collision.

The drive in the Sorento was great and it didn’t feel as large to drive as it looks outside. It feels very tight on the road and responds well around tighter corners – something that cars lower to the ground tend to do well.

The rear two rows of seats were easy to fold down, and they allow you to fit two mountain bikes inside with ease. After a few hours of riding in the forest on a hot sunny Saturday, it was very pleasant returning to the car and turning on the cooling system in the seats.

Small, clever details like a USB port in the rear side panels for the third row occupants and the back of the front seats for the centre passengers to access are all welcome additions. The funky hashed line accents on the door panels and dashboard, and large display screens really elevate this Kia to a more premium-feeling vehicle. The front air vent panels remind us of an alien spaceship and help add a futuristic vibe.

Technologically advanced

Top Sorento models also have a wireless smartphone charger that sits at the base of the centre console and are equipped with a powerful BOSE® 12-speaker surround-sound system that provides a more immersive in-car audio experience.

The infotainment system also allows Bluetooth smartphone pairing for two phones concurrently, enabling separate phones to be used for phone calls and music. Mood Lighting is also added for the top models which emits soft ambient down lighting from beneath the dashboard and door trim, creating a lounge-like feeling and greater sense of space(ship) and security.

At a glance

Model tested

Kia Sorento


Smartstream 2.2L Common Rail Diesel


From $59,990 (+ORC)

ANCAP safety rating



148kW, 440Nm


Eight-speed wet double-clutch transmission

Fuel economy


Towing capacity

2,500kg (Braked), 750kg (Unbraked)


Active AWD

Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

616L (With third row seats down)

Safety systems

  • Seven airbags
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
  • Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA) - Car/Pedestrian/Cyclist/Junction
  • Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA)
  • Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) 
  • Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
  • Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS) - Line/Road Edge
  • Lane Follow Assist (LFA)

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