Kia has struck an appreciably sensible handling balance with the latest Sorento. It doesn’t attempt to change direction with the heightened sense of agility or responsiveness you find in the likes of Mercedes’ GLB, or even Seat’s Seat Tarraco.
Instead, it matches a more lax attitude to body control with a medium-paced steering rack that builds resistance in a manner that feels well matched to its lateral roll rates. The weighting of the steering itself does come across as slightly contrived – particularly in Sport mode – but it nonetheless keeps you abreast of what’s going on beneath you reasonably well.
Which is just as well, because the Sorento doesn’t generate huge amounts of mechanical grip. On damp stretches of road, its nose will begin to push into understeer relatively easily, but such transgressions are calmly and quickly corrected by its ESC systems.
And if, for whatever reason, you’ve switched them off, a gentle lift of throttle is all that’s required to right its line. That said, even though the efficiency-focused Continental EcoContact 6 tyres fitted to our test car would have minimised the effort required to reach the limit of grip, this is a big, heavy car that you would instinctively drive pretty gently.
It keeps enough suspension travel up its sleeve to prevent it from severely glancing off any ruts you might encounter halfway round a bend, but its softer set-up doesn’t always play to its favour. On more uneven stretches of road, its body control can wallow in a way that’s particularly noticeable at speed.