2023 Kia Sorento Review

By Alexi Falson on 27 Sep 2023
image for 2023 Kia Sorento Review
OnlineAuto Rating
out of 10
  • Smooth, user-friendly driving nature
  • Fuel economy of hybrid options
  • Generous safety equipment list in base model
  • Practical interior layout
  • Thirsty V6 petrol
  • Compact boot with three rows standing
  • Some noticeably cheap interior trim pieces
    • 67L
    • 159
    • 3800 / 1750
    • 5 star
    • Automatic
Kia’s largest SUV, the Sorento, is the company’s one-stop-shop for family buyers.

Sitting at the top of the totem pole as Kia’s largest SUV, the Sorento has been updated with a choice of four engines, including a hybrid and plug-in hybrid range-topper for fuel-conscious buyers.

Just how good is the Kia Sorento when put under the family test? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

Kia Sorento Competition

Kia Sorento

Hyundai Santa Fe
Toyota Kluger
Skoda Kodiaq
VW Tiguan AllSpace
Nissan Pathfinder
Mazda CX-9
Mazda CX-90

Starting Price: $50,790

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How Much Does It Cost?

Kia’s entry-level Sorento S petrol is priced at $50,790, while the Sorento S diesel is priced at $53,790.

Stepping up to the Sorento Sport petrol brings the price up to $53,790, while the Sorento Sport diesel is priced at $56,790, the Sorento Sport+ petrol is priced at $58,390 and prices for the Sorento Sport+ diesel stand at $61,390.

Moving up to the Sorento GT-Line petrol brings the price up to $65,990, while the Sorento GT-Line diesel is priced at $68,990.

Kia’s hybrid range kicks off from $66,750 for the Sorento HEV GT-Line FWD, while the HEV GT-Line AWD is priced at $69,750.

Finally, Kia’s range-topping Sorento plug-in hybrid (PHEV) GT-Line is priced at $81,080.

Keep in mind that these retail prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.

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Kia Sorento (SPORT 7 SEAT) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Make KIA
Series MQ4 MY23
Variant SPORT 7 SEAT
Fuel type DIESEL
Transmission 8 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTC
Drive AWD
Engine TCDI
Engine capacity 2151
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 3800 / 1750
Cylinders DT4
Torque 440
KW 148
Fuel tank size 67.0
Fuel usage specs 6.1 / 0
CO2 159
ANCAP security rating 5

What Features Does the Kia Sorento Have?

Kia’s entry-level Sorento S comes riding on a set of 17-inch alloys, and receives LED headlights & fog lights, adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera with front and rear parking sensors, cloth upholstery, an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto and some active safety gear we’ll cover later in this review.

Stepping up to the Sorento Sport adds a set of 18-inch alloys and adds dual-zone climate control, a power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and an upgraded 10.25-inch infotainment display with satellite navigation.

The Sorento Sport+ picks up a set of 19-inch alloys, as well as leather upholstery, heated seats & steering wheel, an electronic boot lift, LED tail lights and 2 USBs in the second row.

Finally, the range-topping Sorento GT-Line comes packing 20-inch alloys (19-inches for hybrid variants - as well as a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, quilted Nappa leather upholstery, a head-up display, a panoramic sunroof, a wireless charging pad, ambient interior lighting, heated & ventilated seats, a surround-view monitor and a parking assistant.

Range Features:

  • 17-inch alloys 

  • LED headlights & fog lights 

  • Adaptive cruise control 

  • Rear-view camera with parking sensors 

  • Cloth upholstery 

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • 18-inch alloys (Sport) 

  • 10.25-inch infotainment display (Sport) 

  • Leather upholstery (Sport+) 

  • Electronic boot lift (Sport+) 

  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster (GT-Line) 

  • Quilted Nappa leather upholstery (GT-Line)

  • Panoramic sunroof (GT-Line) 

  • Surround-view monitor (GT-Line)

Is the Kia Sorento Comfortable to Drive?

While it might be the largest SUV in Kia’s ranks, the Sorento is no less approachable than its smaller SUV siblings, speaking to the user-friendly nature of the company’s family-friendly flagship.

All up, there’s four engines available for the Sorento range, with a 3.5-litre V6 petrol (200kW/332Nm), a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel (148kW/440Nm), and a hybrid that pairs a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with an electric motor producing a combined 169kW/350Nm.

There’s also the Sorento’s range-topping plug-in hybrid engine option, which pairs the same turbo four-cylinder with a more powerful electric motor and a larger 14kWh battery pack producing a combined 195kW of power and 350Nm of torque.

The driving experience in the base model is surprisingly perky thanks to the ample power from the V6 petrol, while the turbo-diesel offers more torque for some short bursts up to speed when needed.

Upgrading to Kia’s hybrid and PHEV engines add some instant electrical assistance up to speed which makes it feel more eager to pick up speed without a fuss, making for a worthy upgrade but not a completely necessary one.

For a vehicle of its size, the Sorento remains nice and user-friendly thanks to its featherweight steering rack, while the suspension works away at eating bumps around town without transmitting them into the cabin.

Hit the open road and you’ll notice the Sorento is comfortable on a mix of road surfaces, thanks to the fact Kia tunes the suspension hardware, giving it some versatility and true refinement on a road trip.

All up, the Sorento is a fantastic package both around town and on long-distance tours on the highway, with its user-friendly nature happy to welcome drivers of all confidence levels when it comes to piloting a large seven-seat SUV.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

If fuel efficiency is a key priority, you’ll want to step away from the 3.5-litre V6 which consumes 9.7L/100km on a combined cycle, making Kia’s 2.2-litre turbo-diesel a much more reasonable option with its consumption rates of 6.1L/100km.

The Sorento in hybrid form consumes between 5.3L/100km and 5.8L/100km in the case of the all-wheel drive hybrid, while the range-topping Sorento PHEV consumes a claimed 1.6L/100km on a combined cycle- so long as the battery is charged.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

The Kia Sorento is designed for families in mind, and as a result, is a super strong performer when it comes to space, practicality and family-friendly touches inside the cabin.

Up front, the driver and front passenger have a great deal of headroom and a decent view over their surroundings, with the tall cabin’s added ground clearance offering that nice lofty driving position and situational awareness.

Base models pick up cloth upholstery and a smaller 8.0-inch infotainment display, while stepping up to the Sport or higher adds a much more substantial 10.25-inch infotainment display and, in the case of the GT-Line, a digital instrument cluster, too.

The driver and front passenger are separated by a chunky centre console that houses a huge storage tray behind the gear lever, cup holders and added storage inside the folding armrest.

Move to the second row and you’ll find a generous amount of leg and headroom for those seated in the rear, with the bench seat able to slide and even recline for added comfort and easy access into the third row.

The second row picks up air vents, USB charging ports, a folding armrest with cupholders, boor bins and a pair of ISOFIX anchors with three top tether mounts behind the seats.

Move to the third row of the cabin and there’s more than enough space for kids to get cosy, with the added benefit of air vents to help them keep cool in summer, with the added benefit of two more ISOFIX anchors in the third row.

Finally, the Sorento rounds out its immensely practical package with boot space figures of 187L with three rows standing, expanding to 616L with two rows standing and a maximum of 2011L with all the seats folded flat.

Is it Safe?

The Kia Sorento has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, scoring 82% for adult protection, 85% for child protection, 63% for vulnerable road user protection and 89% for safety assist.

As standard, the Sorento comes fitted with autonomous emergency braking with cyclist and junction assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assistance, a rear-view camera with parking sensors, multi-collision braking and driver attention alerts.

Our Verdict: Is The Kia Sportage Worth it?

There’s something for pretty much everyone on offer in the latest Sorento, which comes with the added bonus of hybrid engine choices at the pointy end of the lineup.

The equipment lists are generous, particularly when it comes to safety equipment, while the cabin layout is super welcoming for large families.

If you’re in the market for a seven-seat SUV, be sure to add the Sorento to your shortlist, and on that note, if you’re on the hunt, reach out to one of our car-buying specialists who can help find you the best possible price.

Five Kia Sorento Specs You Need to Know

  1. Seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty 

  2. Four engines on offer, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines 

  3. Fuel economy figures of 1.6L (PHEV) 5.3L (HEV) and 6.1-9.7L/100km (diesel & petrol) 

  4. 179L boot expands to 608L with third row folded 

  5. Five-star ANCAP safety rating


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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