Best AWD SUV $50,000-$65,000 - Kia Sorento Platinum

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

A win for a bigger, more refined Kia Sorento is just reward for a manufacturer that takes careful heed of what the market wants. For one thing, there’s been noticeable improvement in Sorento’s road and engine noise, with soundproofing added to the transmission tunnel and thicker soundproofing inside the dashboard. The other winning area for Sorento is running and repair costs.

The Platinum variant is $4500 more than previously, but you’re getting a lot more car. It’s longer and wider, and its refinement and premium build and finish add to the luxury feel. The interior is well appointed, with seven seats as standard. Leg room in the rearmost seats is excellent where there are even ventilation controls.

The Platinum’s 2.2L diesel now punches out 147kW and 441Nm – slightly more than the previous model.

Sorento also gets more safety kit, including a rear-view camera, curtain airbags all the way to the third row, hill start assist and brake assist. Extra safety systems on the Platinum include lane-departure warning, active cruise control, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert. But autonomous emergency braking isn’t available.