The Sorento’s cabin design and specification is fundamentally fine, but shows evidence of Kia cutting corners when it comes to final execution. 

 

Vicky Parrott

Deputy reviews editor
KX-3 has keyless entry and a slot between the seats to plug the key in. Starts just as well with it in your pocket…

The car is an effective seven-seater. It doesn’t need the Land Cruiser’s electrically powered third row of seats, because one tug on a single strap is all that’s required to pull them into place. We’d certainly recommend paying the extra for the added functionality that the third row brings. These are occasional seats, but comfortable ones too for the children who will invariably occupy them. There’s even a little space (270 litres) behind for small bags or some shopping. And you can fold them away just as easily and do the same to the reclining middle row of seats to create a convincingly spacious and conspicuously well shaped load area, capable of holding up to 1900 litres of gear. So far so good.

 

In the front, the driving position is respectable for all bar tall drivers, who may find the steering wheel too far away despite its standard reach adjustment. Meanwhile, those sitting behind said tall driver will find knee room limited, though this is mitigated somewhat by the ample space for your feet under the seat.

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Where the Sorento’s cabin falls short is in the finish. All the plastics on the dashboard are hard, of a quality you wouldn’t find in a Volkswagen Golf costing less than half as much. The interlocking dials are smart enough, but the supplementary display in the middle of the dash has ugly orange graphics, while the minor switches are sensibly sited but again of a quality you’d raise an eyebrow at in a car costing 10 grand less than this.

 

However good the product may be, the reputation Kia is trying to overcome is that of a manufacturer of cheap and often not so cheerful cars, so it’s perhaps not the best strategy to ensure that the first things its customers see and touch upon entering the Sorento are materials that fit the historical stereotype all too comfortably.

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