Kia tweaks its range-topper
21 August 2006

Kia’s Sorento is one of our preferred cheaper SUVs – and the new tweaked version should keep it on our radar.

The Korean firm has had to make the Sorento’s diesel engine compliant with EuroIV emissions regulations, and has taken the chance to make small changes to its big 4x4’s styling and gearing.The 2.5-litre turbodiesel gets a 21 per cent boost in power and a 25 per cent increase in torque to 168bhp and 289lb ft. Just under 12 seconds to 60mph might not sound fast, but it’s a lot faster than the previous time of 14.5sec. Combined cycle economy has taken a 1mpg dip, which seems worth it given the increased performance on offer.

The 3.5-litre petrol V6 will be replaced by a new 3.3-litre unit in early 2007. It produces an extra 48bhp and will get the Sorento to 60mph 1.3sec quicker, at 8.9sec.

The petrol is only available as an automatic, but both manual and automatic gearboxes have higher top ratios for quieter and more economical cruising.

The body panels remain the same, with small tweaks to the front and rear including projector headlights. Inside, the dash has had a refresh and uses higher quality materials.

The impact on prices? Zero - the range still runs from £19,995 for the entry-level turbodiesel to £23,995 for a V6 with all the kit.

Our Verdict

Kia Cee'd

The Kia Cee’d is more than good enough to harry the opposition, which is an achievement in itself for the fiercely competitive family hatchback class

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