Because Kia offers few individual options on its cars, there has been no way to spend truly premium SUV money on a Sorento before.

You wouldn’t imagine that would trouble many Kia owners, but it apparently rankles with Sorento devotees. And that has been the justification for cranking up the kit level – and the price – of upper-trim cars to the point where a flagship Sorento KX-4 is within £2000 of an entry-level BMW X5.

Vicky Parrott

Deputy reviews editor
If you don't mind paying more, have a KX-2, which gets heated leather seats, sat-nav and a reversing camera

Thankfully, the opposite end of the trim spectrum looks a lot more reasonable. Fleet drivers interested in keeping more of their own cash in their wallets should question the temptation to buy any version other than the bottom-rung, manual-equipped KX-1.

Not only is it the sole derivative with a price of less than £30k, but it’s also the only one fitted with 17in alloy wheels and therefore the only one that qualifies for company car tax at 27 percent, fully 6 percent lower than an automatic-equipped car on bigger rims.

The manual KX-1 is a compelling tax-saver, not just on company car tax but also up to £80 a year on road tax compared with higher spec models. If you don't mind paying more, have a KX-2, which gets heated leather seats, sat-nav and a reversing camera.

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Kia’s seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty makes residual values on the car quite competitive, and fuel economy is entirely reasonable. Our True MPG testers produced 34.6mpg, a new Discovery Sport diesel, with similar power, torque and overall kerb weight, averaged 33.9mpg.

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