dates : 5th September 2004
9th September 2004
ago, the two vehicles featured in this informal
comparison would not have been considered family
vehicles at all.
The Chrysler would have been rated as a van, used by
people like plumbers and bakers, while the Kia would
have been the preserve of game rangers.
Chrysler makes a good claim to inventing the MPV or
multi-purpose vehicle concept with its Voyager, and this
version, the Grand Voyager SE with a diesel engine,
marks the twentieth anniversary of the Voyager range.
Kia certainly didnít invent the SUV, but this Sorento
follows in the tradition of vehicles like the Suzuki and
Toyota RAV 4 in being an urban 4X4 with a degree of
However with low range included, the Sorento has some
serious off-road aspirations.
|As a family
vehicle, the Chrysler is definitely the most practical
choice, especially in Grand Voyager format, which gives
it a longer wheelbase and an extra rows of seats.
The use of the newly-introduced 2,8-litre four-cylinder
diesel engine increases its practicality.
The Voyager can now add good fuel economy to its many
attributes, the Voyager CRD being rated at around 8,3
litres per 100 km in general use.
Diesel power also gives the Sorento acceptable fuel
economy as a family vehicle. Our test model was fitted
with the five-speed automatic gearbox, and an overall
consumption figure of 10,3 litres per 100 is estimated
by Car Magazine.
The Sorento is a good-looking vehicle with good
dynamics. But there are two short-comings.
The steering is particularly vague, the power assistance
robbing it of any feel. And there
is too much throttle-lag when moving away from rest, a
tendency shared by many turbo-diesel vehicles fitted
with automatic gearboxes.
The Chrysler CRD has surprisingly little throttle lag
from rest, despite also being fitted with a rather basic
four-speed automatic gearbox.
However if too much throttle is used when exiting sharp
corners, it does tend to spin its front wheels
Weekend usage for the Kia will see it suited to
game-viewing and farm-road travel, although the low
range gives it some ability on serious off-road trails.
Short overhangs and good ground clearance, as well as
good torque from the motor once itís in the powerband,
makes it ideal for visiting out-of-the-way places
accessed by poor dirt roads.
The Voyager is all about space. And if loading up the
local soccer team is part of your weekend schedule, this
is the vehicle for you.
It feels a little dated when compared to some of the
latest MPV offerings from the likes of Volkswagen and
Toyota, but as this shape has been around since 1997, it
is well sorted.
Two very different types of family vehicles in the same
mode. The only thing they have in common are diesel
engines, a taller than average ride height which appeals
to many people, and price.
Car Torque is