What is it?
It’s always so tempting, whenever Kia launches a new model, to contemplate just how far this manufacturer of cheap and occasionally not-so-cheerful cars has come over the years.
From a design and general appeal point of view, it’s light years ahead of where it once was and, with the launch of its fourth-generation Sorento SUV, things are getting better still.
This handsome new brute represents quite a step-change from the previous Sorento. Not only is it the first model to sit on Kia’s latest mid-size SUV platform, but also it’s now available with a hybridised petrol engine and there will be a plug-in hybrid launched later this year.
The standard hybrid tested here mates Kia’s 1.6-litre T-GDi four-pot engine with a 59bhp electric motor that draws its drive energy from a 1.49kWh lithium ion battery housed beneath the front seats. A combined system output of 226bhp and 258lb ft is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox.