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Expert Rating

Kia Sorento

(2020 – present)

Expert Rating

New car score:

67
%
B

Used car score:

62
%
C

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

71
%
B

Safety Rating:

74
%
B

Eco Rating:

68
%
A

Reliability Rating:

37
%
E

Running Costs:

54
%
D

How are our Expert Rating scores calculated?

Expert Rating

New car score:

67
%
B

Used car score:

62
%
C

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

71
%
B

Safety Rating:

74
%
B

Eco Rating:

68
%
A

Reliability Rating:

37
%
E

Running Costs:

54
%
D

Summary


The Kia Sorento is currently the Korean brand’s flagship model though shortly to be replaced in that role by the electric EV 6. The large SUV has been on sale since 2002 and is now in its fourth generation – the all-new latest model launched in 2021 with its first hybrid powertrains and the promise of a plug-in hybrid joining the range later.

Reviewers praise the Sorento’s combination of bold design and practicality – the car has great road presence, while also offering excellent interior space and the ability to perform well off-road.

The latest version has managed to incorporate the hybrid powertrain while still retaining mechanical all-wheel-drive, which Autocar states places it ahead of several rivals from European premium brands. The Sun says the “classy Sorento” is just like a Volvo but much cheaper.

Kia claims that the latest Sorento interior “represents a step-change in quality and design for Kia cabins” and reviewers tend to agree, many highlighting a definite step up in quality and a clear bid to challenge premium rivals in this area. Interior space also comes in for praise too, except for the third row of seats which are only suitable for children.

Engine choices range across a 1.6-litre petrol hybrid and a 2.2-litre diesel, with reviewers tending to recommend the diesel for its extra pulling ability. In fact, most seem to be waiting for the plug-in hybrid engine – our own review on The Car Expert concludes “the best engine isn’t available yet.” The petrol unit does get marked down for its intrusive audio presence at high revs.

Reviewers generally like the Sorento’s ride, although some consider it slightly too stiff and say it can be unsettled by poor road surfaces.

As of January 2024, the Kia Sorento holds a New Car Expert Rating of B, with a score of 67%. It scores highly for its low CO2 emissions (thanks largely to the plug-in hybrid model), but running costs are high and the Sorento has historically poor reliability.

Sorento highlights

  • Plenty of ability on and off road
  • Plenty of interior space
  • Quality fit and finish
  • Mostly comfortable, refined ride on the road

Sorento lowlights

  • Very limited electric-only range
  • Some surfaces unsettle the ride
  • Hybrid petrol engine thrashy at high revs
  • Third row of seats strictly for youngsters

Key specifications


Body style: Large SUV/crossover
Engines: diesel, hybrid, plug-in hybrid
Price: From £49,495 on-road

Launched: Autumn 2020
Last updated: N/A
Update due: TBA


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

The Car Expert

+

Auto Express

+

Auto Trader

+

Autocar

+

Business Car

+

Car

+

Carbuyer

+

Company Car Today

+

Daily Mirror

+

Fleetworld

+

The Sun

+

The Telegraph

+

What Car?

+

Safety rating


Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

Overall score: 5 stars
Date tested: December 2020
Read the full Euro NCAP review

Adult protection: 82%
Child protection: 85%
Vulnerable road users: 63%
Safety assist: 87%

The Kia Sorento gained a five-star rating when tested by Euro NCAP in 2020. Testers highlighted its active safety systems, not only the standard-fit autonomous emergency braking that performed well in several different scenarios, but a driver-alert monitor, lane-support system and camera-based traffic sign recognition. 

Eco rating


Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

No eco rating

As of January 2024, the Kia Sorento has not been lab tested by Green NCAP.

Reliability rating

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Reliability data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by MotorEasy

All data based on MotorEasy average workshop costs for extended car warranty claims

As of January 2024, the Kia Sportage has a poor reliability score of 39% based on warranty data provided exclusively to The Car Expert by our partner, MotorEasy. This score covers both the current model as well as previous (pre-2020) models, and is also taken from a relatively small number of vehicles to date. As a result, we may see significant shifts over time as more data is added.

To date, the average repair cost for the Sorento is pretty much par for the course in the large SUV market at just over £750. That’s obviously a lot more than a used car warranty, which is worth keeping in mind if you own a Sorento or are considering a used car. The good news is that Kia provides a seven-year new car warranty on all its UK models, so you shouldn’t need to purchase a used car warranty for a while yet.

Running cost rating

Clear Vehicle Data logo close crop

Monthly cost of ownership data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by Clear Vehicle Data

Fuel consumptionAverageScoreVariationScore
Diesel models43 mpgC38 – 43 mpgC – D
Hybrid models38 mpgD38 – 41 mpgD – D
Plug-in hybrid models177 mpgA177 – 177 mpgA – A
CO₂ outputAverageScoreVariationScore
Diesel models173 g/kmC173 – 196 g/kmC – D
Hybrid models168 g/kmC158 – 169 g/kmC – C
Plug-in hybrid models38 g/kmA38 – 38 g/kmA – A
Battery rangeAverageScoreVariationScore
Plug-in hybrid models35 milesE35 – 35 milesE – E
Insurance groupAverageScoreVariationScore
All models32C24 – 50B – F
Service and maintenanceCostScore
Year 1£221B
Year 2£505B
Year 3£865B
Year 4£1,006A
Year 5£1,375A
Overall£3,972B

The Kia Sorento has a mixed bag of scores when it comes to running costs. The fuel economy for the regular hybrid engine is poor, while the diesel is better but still only average. The plug-in hybrid looks good on paper, but this is because the EU/UK government lab testing protocol is rubbish. There’s no way a large seven-seat SUV is going to travel 177 miles on one litre of petrol and some electricity…

Insurance is also pretty much average, while servicing costs provide some good news – especially for potential used car buyers, as the Sorento’s servicing gets more competitive as it gets older.

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the Kia Sorento has received

2023

  • EcoCar Electrified Top 50 – Best Hybrid Large SUV + Best Plug-in Hybrid Large SUV

2022

  • Auto Trader New Car Awards – Best Seven-Seater Car
  • Company Car Today CCT100 Awards – Best Large SUV
  • What Car? Awards – Best Tow Car

2021

  • Carbuyer Awards – Best Large Family Car
  • DieselCar & EcoCar Top 50 – Best Large SUV
  • iF Design Award
  • News UK Motoring Awards – Best Large SUV (PHEV)
  • Parkers New Car Awards – Best Large Family Car
  • Red Dot Design Award
  • Scottish Car of the Year Awards – Best Large SUV
  • What Car? Awards – Best Large SUV
  • Women’s World Car of the Year Awards – Best Large SUV

2020

  • Carbuyer AwardsCar of the Year

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Kia Sorento, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Honda CR-V | Hyundai Santa Fe | Land Rover Discovery Sport | Mitsubishi Outlander | Nissan X-Trail | Peugeot 5008 | SEAT Tarraco | Skoda Kodiaq | SsangYong Rexton | Subaru Forester | Suzuki Across | Toyota Highlander | Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace


More news, reviews and information about the Kia Sorento at The Car Expert

Everything you need to know about Kia

Everything you need to know about Kia

Refreshed Kia Sorento available to order

Refreshed Kia Sorento available to order

Limited edition Kia Sorento ‘Vision’ now available

Limited edition Kia Sorento ‘Vision’ now available

Kia slims down Sorento range

Kia slims down Sorento range

Kia Sorento test drive

Kia Sorento test drive

New Kia Sorento steps up its game

New Kia Sorento steps up its game

Most new diesel cars still pollute beyond legal limits

Most new diesel cars still pollute beyond legal limits

Kia extends scrappage deal as part of Spring offers

Kia extends scrappage deal as part of Spring offers

Kia Sorento GT-Line review

Kia Sorento GT-Line review

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The new Kia Sorento is a real step-up, with quality and space that sees Kia getting close to, though not quite challenging, premium rivals. Kia Sorento