Large SUVs are not our thing. In France, we ride small. Kings of segments B and C, in sedans and crossovers, we go our way and a beast of 4.80 m, 2.1 tons and 7 seats will find its place more easily in the Midwest than on our departmental roads. But in this case, why does Kia persist in importing its fourth generation Sorento in France? Even if its objectives are modest (2,000 cars per year) just like the extent of its range (a single plug-in hybrid engine), the Korean intends to impose its large family vessel in our regions. Perhaps the success of the Peugeot 5008, of which 26,000 copies were snapped up in 2019, gave Korea some ideas? Because the Sochalien also has 7 places. Still, it is 25 cm less and weighs 400 kg less than the new Sorento and is not entitled to a mixed thermal and electric version.
Is the great Korean ready to face the French reluctance for large SUVs? To observe it closely, it gives in any case the means.
If it is massive, it does not impose too much, thanks to a line less drawn with a hammer than some other crossovers. Obviously, the design remains rather square and aggressive, but it softens on the sides, with its small chrome inserts on the front profile, and these boomerangs at the rear to emphasize the rear quarter windows. The traditional bean, traditional Kia grille tends to disappear here, because very widens up to the almond lights.
An increasing wheelbase
The whole, even if it is mastoc, is perfectly homogeneous. By the sole grace of the designers? Not really. What visually saves this Sorento is its wheelbase of 2.81 m, increased by 35 mm compared to the previous generation and which avoids any unsightly overhang by rejecting the wheels at the four corners of the body.
When you step aboard, you remember the first two Sorentos, since this SUV has been around since 2002. You also remember the rough assemblies and terrible materials. Suddenly, we measure the path traveled by the third generation first, then by this fourth which is happening these days. It is not premium, of course, but we approach it damnably. Especially since the integration of the many equipment is perfectly controlled and ergonomic.
A chest the size of a cathedral
On board, it is not only the driver who is satisfied thanks to a perfectly tuned driving position and accessibility of the controls, but his passengers too, even if they are 6. The rear seat slides and folds down. in 60/40 mode and the folding seats in the third row do not make up the figure. Despite a somewhat short seat, they allow you to travel in good conditions.
As for their tenants of an hour or a longer trip, they even benefit from a USB socket and air conditioning control, failing to be able to enjoy a safe worthy of the name since, when they are in place, it does not exceed 137 l. On the other hand, in the 5-seater version, the latter is worthy of a cathedral stay, since it explodes all the records of the genre with 898 l.
7-seater family SUV
265 hp plug-in hybrid engine
From 48,990 euros