So, it’s a while since I’ve driven a Kia SUV so I thought I’d take one for a spin at the SMMT test day.
I haven’t expected the instruction the press team gave me as they handed the keys to me: “You can only take it out as long as you bring it back with mud on!”
It seems all the other press members that had driven it that day had kept to the Hill route. Now the hill route is great fun and a short but good test of a vehicle’s road holding and power. It is a good drive in an SUV but lets face it, we all want a spin round the off-road course.
After a lap of the hill route (comfortable and solid) I then turned towards the off road routes. Immediately I was flagged down and stopped by a marshal. Apparently the Kia wasn’t on his list of vehicles approved to go and play in the mud. It was. It was on the official list, had the correct brown square sticker in then window and of course, fully had the blessing, nay, insistence of the press department that it go. So, after a phone call the the boss marshal, minor confusion cleared up and all good to go.
And go it went. Obviously, the Kia doesn’t have a massive ground clearance, less than a Subaru Outback I believe, so I kept away from the really steep approaches, break-overs, ruts and so forth, after all, I’m happy to get a press car as muddy as possible, but I’m not willing to damage one!
Now whilst the standard off road course at Millbrook isn’t a particularly difficult one (the black route sorts the 4x4s from the toys), it does put a car through its paces, far more so than I hazard 99.9% of all SUVs will ever encounter in the real world. It’s a far cry from a grass fete field. And the very comfortable Sorento handled it all in its stride. You hear the grass brushing the underside at some points be the steep inclines and declines it handled as well as any other 4×4. Even the tricky sand-bedded downhill slope it took with style.
What about the interior. It’s cavernous, comfortable, well finished and it handles as well as you would like.
This was a very quick one hour test but I’ll tell you something, whatever conceptions you have about Kia, I’ll almost guarantee that they are wrong. This is a really nice car. Spacious, stylish, comfortable and not afraid of the slippery stuff. A worthy SUV to give many others a run for their money and win. Give one a try, you won’t be disappointed!
With prices from just over £30,000 with a 7 year warranty, this is a lot of car for the money. Visit Kia here to see more.