2024 Kia Sorento review

Bruce Newton

Posted February 07, 2024


The Kia Sorento is a large seven-seat SUV that is targeted straight at family buyers. Is this Toyota Kluger and Hyundai Santa Fe competitor still one of the best cars to buy in the large SUV segment?

For 2024, the Kia Sorento large SUV has been substantially upgraded in terms of style, safety, driving experience and tech, without losing its core purpose or character.

The new Kia Sorento also retains a comprehensive model line-up, including both diesel all-wheel drive and petrol front-wheel drive powertrains.

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2024 Kia Sorento

The 2024 Kia Sorento is a rare seven seater. Image: Supplied. 


 

Kia Sorento pricing and features

There are four model lines in the 2024 Kia Sorento range – S, Sport, Sport + and GT-Line – and they have all been bumped in price more than $3000. The cheapest model in the range is now the $50,680 S petrol V6, while the most expensive is the $68,590 GT-Line diesel. All prices are before on-road costs.

The 2.2-litre diesel all-wheel drive powertrain adds $3000 to the cost over a petrol front-wheel drive. 

Here, we’re testing the Kia Sorento Sport+ 2.2L Diesel AWD as it is officially known, which is priced at $61,2340 plus on-road costs.

Key 2024 Kia Sorento upgrades include a revised exterior design featuring vertical headlights, upgraded infotainment tech led by a new integrated digital screen and instrument panel on the dashboard, the Kia Connect smartphone app with both safety and entertainment features, and a more sophisticated form of autonomous emergency braking.

It’s the infotainment updates that will be noticed pretty quickly by those familiar with the Kia Sorento. That’s because Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can now be connected via wireless, as well as cable for the first time. Sport+ buyers will also appreciate the upgrade to a 12-speaker Bose stereo.

The Kia Sorento Sport+ was already decently equipped. Highlights include leather-appointed seats with 10-way power for the driver and six-way for the front passenger. Front seats are also heated.

There is also dual-zone climate control with vents in each row, embedded sat-nav, AM/FM and DAB radio and Bluetooth streaming.

Some features are reserved for the top-spec Kia Sorento GT-Line that should be in this model, like a 360 degree rather than just a reversing camera, and wireless phone charging.

 

2024 Kia Sorento

The 2024 Kia Sorrento connects Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via wireless, as well as cable for the first time. Image: Supplied. 


 

Kia Sorento safety equipment

The 2024 Kia Sorento comes with a five star ANCAP rating based on 2020 protocols carried over from the old model.

The Kia Sorento also includes all-important autonomous emergency braking, which adds junction turning assist to its ability to detect pedestrians and cyclists, as well as vehicles.

There’s also an upgraded version of adaptive cruise control that can now bring the Sorento to a 'stop and go again' in traffic.

The new Kia Connect app includes safety and emergency-related functions such as automatic collision notification, emergency call via SOS, and stolen vehicle notification.

The Kia Sorento includes seven airbags, although note that the curtains don’t extend to row three. Other carry-over features include lane keep and following assist, blind spot collision avoidance, rear cross traffic avoidance assist, driver monitoring and intelligent speed limit assists.

It’s the last item that annoyingly comes on every time the 2024 Kia Sorento is started and noisily monitors over-speeding. It is switchable, but even using the shortcut button to shrink the steps involved is still a pain.

 

2024 Kia Sorento

The 2024 Kia Sorento comes with sizeable storage in the boot. Image: Supplied


 

Kia Sorento interior and design

While the revised infotainment display makes an obvious impact, the amount of overall change in the cabin is incremental.

Fundamentally, this remains a vehicle in which five adults can be housed across the first two rows – four comfortably because the middle rear seat is too high and hard – and two kids in row three.

The boot is sizeable, starting at 179 litres as a seven-seater, expanding to 608 litres as a five-seater and 1996 litres as a two-seater with row two split-folded pretty-much flat.

From the driver’s perspective, the new Kia Sorento remains an easy and comfortable vehicle to interact with. Steering adjusts manually for reach and rake, the seat is large and generous and sitting so high, the view out is expansive.

For 2024, a gear selection dial replaces the transmission lever in the Sport+, which declutters the centre console somewhat. Meanwhile, simple and legible digital instruments replace the old analogue needles and dials.

The adjacent infotainment screen is also quite straight forward once you learn what is where. Drill down, and there is an enormous amount of adjustment and information available.

With the aid of a sliding seat base, second row passengers can be generous or miserly with their own leg space and that of third row passengers.

Row three requires a level of contortion to access and exit that is doable for adults, but not desirable. The good news is the seats are very easy to set up and fold down

There are plenty of storage options in all three rows, as well as all-important USB-C plugs.

Kia Sorento exterior design

The 2024 Kia Sorento comes with nine paint colours, eight of which are cost options. It is protected by a seven-year/unlimited km warranty, up to eight years roadside assist, has a capped price service program and service intervals every 12 months/15,000km.

The 2024 Kia Sorento’s exterior design changes are led by vertical LED headlights inspired by the new Kia EV9 electric SUV. There’s also a boxier front-end and what Kia calls a ‘tiger’ grille done in black. At the rear, the brake lights are now linked and there’s a new skid plate.

Other design highlights include new 19-inch alloy wheels, roof rails and a power tailgate. At 4.815 metres long, 1.9m wide and 1.7m high, this is a sizeable vehicle. 

 

2024 Kia Sorento

The 2024 Kia Sorento interior. Image: Supplied


 

Is the Kia Sorento good to drive?

As already pointed out, the 2024 Kia Sorento is a big vehicle. It’s also pretty heavy at about 2.0 tonnes before you start loading people and their stuff onboard.

That means there are certain limitation to the way it drives and reacts. But with the aid of its local tuning program, Kia has made the Sorento confident and capable, if not nimble.

Cornerstone of the improvement are new shock absorbers that help deliver a decent ride, while also stopping the body from rocking and rolling about too sloppily in corners.

Retuned steering is light and pleasant. It helps make the Kia Sorento more useable around town than its size initially suggests.

The diesel engine combines with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic to deliver a broad and deep level of response. It’s got the sort of low-down pulling power that really helps these types of heavy vehicles drive more easily.

The petrol V6 needs more revs to operate at its best, and that makes for a more intrusive driving experience as gear changes are more frequent and obvious.

The diesel is also impressive when it comes to economy. The claimed average is 6.0L/100km, and we ended up at 7.8L/100km over nearly 1000km of varied testing.

Speaking of gears, the new selector dial proved a mixed blessing. It was possible sometimes to beat the shift and be revving in neutral when expecting to be in reverse. Not good in a busy car park.

 

2024 Kia Sorento

The 2024 Kia Sorento was impressive economically during the test drive. Image: Supplied


 

What is the Kia Sorento like off-road?

The 2024 Kia Sorento has some off-road pretensions in diesel all-wheel drive guise, but forget about anything more than formed gravel road in the V6 front-wheel drive. It will very quickly run out of traction - so don’t kid yourself.

If you want true off-roading capability, then the diesel is not the vehicle for you either – it’s not got the ground clearance, gearing or traction for that.

It’s also not a leading choice for towers. At 2000kg, it has a low braked towing capability.

 

2024 Kia Sorento

The 2024 Kia Sorento is the latest family SUV in the series. Image: Supplied


 

How does the Kia Sorento compare?

Direct competitors for the 2024 Kia Sorento include the Toyota Kluger and Nissan Pathfinder, while a new generation of the closely related Hyundai Santa Fe is on the way. The Sorento is the only one among that lot to offer a diesel engine.

But the real sales action in the large SUV class is among heavy duty off-roaders such as the Toyota Prado and Ford Everest, which can go properly off-road and tow much bigger loads. The downside is a less refined on-road drive experience than the Kia Sorento.

 

2024 Kia Sorento

2024 Kia Sorento interior. Image: Supplied. 

Should I buy a Kia Sorento?

Price rises are never a good thing, but at last the 2024 Kia Sorento accompanies that negative with a positive level of improvement.

It drives better than before, has improved tech levels and more safety equipment.

All things considered, it remains one of the best seven-seat family SUVs you can buy.

 


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