2023 Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD: Agile driving, punchy powertrain, premium comforts

By THOMAS HUONG | 7 December 2023


THE local automotive industry has been introducing new three-row seating vehicles that are always popular with large families or those wanting spacious vehicles on a regular basis.

The fourth-generation Kia Sorento’s cabin is a very nice, premium and comfortable place to be, especially on long commutes.

What’s more impressive is the agility and composed handling of this three-row sports utility vehicle (SUV) on winding roads, and the lively responsiveness of its 2.5-litre 177hp/232Nm petrol mill, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Our test drive unit was the all-wheel drive (AWD), six-seater petrol-powered variant priced at RM235,498 on-the-road without insurance.

Shod with grippy, premium Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 tyres sized 235/55 on 19-inch wheels, this Sorento 2.5L AWD variant has a 1,771kg kerb weight.

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD


The locally assembled Sorento is also offered in a two-wheel drive (2WD), seven-seater petrol-powered variant (priced at RM211,498) and a 2.2-litre diesel AWD, six-seater variant (priced at RM255,228).

The higher-priced six-seater variants has upgrades including 19-inch wheels, roof rails, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, heads-up display, rear window shades for the second row, leatherette seats, 12 Bose audio speakers, a surround view monitor (SVM) system, and Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM).

The 2.2-litre diesel AWD variant adds on paddle shifters, and a Terrain drive mode.

The high-quality and roomy cabin impresses with smooth plastic surfaces and leather materials.

Six-seater variants offer captain seats in the second-row, where occupants can relax.

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD


For extra privacy, there are fitted window sunshades for second-row occupants.

Also, using the buttons on the side of the front passenger seat, second-row occupants can recline and move the seat forward or backward.

The dark leatherette seats feel solid and comfortable, and the Sorento makes sure there are rear air-conditioning vents and cup holders for every occupant.

When seated in the third-row, we found adequate headroom for 1.7-metre people.

For convenience, located next to the third-row seat (right side) are controls for rear air-conditioning, a 12V power outlet, and buttons to fold down flat the second-row seats.

To charge electronic devices, there are six USB-A ports and two 12V power sockets in the Sorento.

We also enjoyed the convenience of the 10.25-inch touch-screen infotainment system which has voice recognition, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.

Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels are well suppressed and we found engine, road and wind and external traffic noise to be quite muted.

This allowed us to bask in the crisp sound quality of the 12-speaker Bose premium audio system.

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD


The Sorento has four drive modes – Comfort, Eco, Sport and Smart.

We kept the car in Comfort mode most of the time, to enjoy the lighter steering feel and smoother drive.

There was ample power and quick acceleration on tap whenever we demand, and the six-speed automatic is responsive and buttery smooth.

We found solid handling during spirited spurts of driving on winding roads, and the Sorento always felt well-planted, with minimal body roll when tackling road curves.

Ride quality always felt reassuring and we never experienced any hint of clumsiness, when we were heavy-footed on the accelerator pedal.

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD


A surround view camera system makes the job of moving the 4.8-metre Sorento accurately into a parking box a lot easier.

Also, using the turn indicators will result in a side view of the vehicle, which are displayed on the digital speedometer (left view) and tachometer (right view).

A raft of safety and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) is fitted here too.

Our verdict? As befitting its price tag which caters for those with deep pockets, the Sorento 2.5L AWD delivers premium comfort and motoring refinement in spades.

SPECIFICATIONS
Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD
Engine: 2,497cc, Smartstream MPi (multi-port injection), 4 inline cylinders, DOHC
Maximum power: 177hp at 6,000rpm
Maximum torque: 232Nm at 4,000rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Fuel tank capacity: 67 litres
Suspension: Front MacPherson struts; rear multi-link
Features: Six seats, all-round disc brakes, motor driven power steering (MDPS), dual LED projector headlights with automatic on/off function and manual levelling, LED daytime running lights, rain sensing wipers, smart keyless entry, smart powered tailgate, roof rails, front and rear parking sensors, electronic parking brake (EPB), all windows with one touch (up and down), heads-up display, tilt and telescopic steering, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, rear air vents, two 12-volt power outlets, rear sunshade (second row), 8-way powered front seats, leatherette seats, 10.25-inch touch-screen with voice recognition, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, 12 Bose audio speakers, 6 USB ports, surround view camera system, wireless charger
Safety features: Six airbags, Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Multi-Collision Brake Control (MCB), Hill-start Assist, Auto Hold Function, Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)
Advanced safety features: High Beam Assist (HBA), Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with junction turning, Lane Following Assist (LFA), Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Stop and Go
Price: RM235,498.40 on the road without insurance
Warranty: 5 years manufacturer’s warranty or 100,000km (whichever is first), 5 years free maintenance including labour, parts and lubricants or 100,000km (whichever is first)

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Moving and still photos of Kia Sorento 2.5L for Thomas Huong— RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Kia Sorento 2.5L AWD

Keywords

Overview

Styling
70%
Comfort
80%
Performance
80%
Safety
80%
Value
80%

CarSifu's Rating: 7.8