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Kia Sorento 2,5 CRDi

Broadcast date : 24th September 2006

Car Torque’s test on this Kia Sorento previews the up-dated model due for an Auto Africa release at the end of October. Essentially it will be the same vehicle with a mild face-lift.

The Sorento comes in both 3,5-litre V6 petrol forms and with the 2,5-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine fitted to this test vehicle, developing 103 kW.

Both models have been around for three years now, and at the time of launch, Kia was confident that the Sorento would take on established players in the SUV market on quality, and not just price. On-road performance, at least, sees the Sorento somewhat lacking.

The Sorento is fitted with a proper low-ratio transfer gearbox, and this is the five-speed manual version. The rear axle has a limited-slip differential, and this particular on-off-roader is much better suited to the rough stuff.

The heavy un-sprung mass of the vehicle, thanks to a conventional live-axle design at the rear, makes for a surefootedness at low trail-driving speeds.

And the torque of 320 Newton metres in low-range makes traversing steep gradients a doddle.

The low range is particularly useful when travelling downhill, something that many other SUVs in this price range with conventional gearboxes can’t attempt.

The revised version of the Sorento is due to have an upgrade to the interior as well. The cabin has plenty of space, and it’s rugged enough to stand up to the rigors of quite serious off-roading. But counting against this current version is the fact that it’s not well integrated in terms of styling.

The new model will receive colour-coded bumpers and a redesigned nose. Our biggest criticism of the car was it’s wonky, wobbly on-road ride. If Kia can fix that with the new model, they’ll have a winner, come Auto Africa in October.

Kia Sorento 2,5 CRDi
  • Engine: Four-cylinder turbodiesel, 2 497 cc
  • Power: 104 kW @ 3 800 rpm
  • Torque: 320 Nm @ 2 000 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, low-range, four-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 14,6 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 170 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 11,5 litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R319 995


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