Set to remain a fixture for those craving a premium feel

KIA bettered its record-breaking 2022 by registering 107,765 new cars in the UK last year.

The Korean carmaker’s electric vehicle (EV) range – comprised of EV6, Niro EV and Soul EV – claimed 5.5 per cent of the UK’s EV market, with 17,345 sales.

Kia’s continued shift to electrification means that the £65,025 EV9 is set to become its new flagship in 2024.

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While a new Sorento will land in the coming months, we wanted to bid farewell to the handsome 2023 version that appears to offer compelling value alongside the zero-emissions newcomer.

At 4.81m long, the long-time Kia range-topper can be bought in Vision and Edition trims with a turbodiesel, hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

Prices start from £44,995, with the plugless hybrid HEV Vision £46,595.

The drivetrain features a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a rather thin, small capacity soundtrack which makes itself heard when the square set Sorento is asked to work hard.

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It is not range’s quickest or most frugal (38.2mpg combined) option, but its 167g/km CO2 emissions are lower than the diesel and the nine-second dash to 62mph served up by a 229PS power output is quicker.

Kia’s Sorento HEV is quiet most of the time, and permanent all-wheel-drive adds a sense of security.

The Sorento feels prop-forward sturdy from behind the wheel, its sturdiness accentuated by the cabin’s wide centre console, which features a rotary gear selector and Terrain Mode selector, delivering access to Mud, Snow and Sand settings.

The Sorento also feels premium. Black leather is standard and Kia’s 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment combines with a 12.3-inch instrument cluster to attractive and functional effect.

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There are heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and a panoramic sunroof as standard. USB charging ports are present on all three rows of seats – seven in total.

In 2024, the Sorento will be shorn of its diesel option when the new version lands in showrooms and – facelift or not – it looks set to be somewhat upstaged by the striking EV9.

It is sure to remain a fixture for those craving family-sized accommodation and a touch of premium feel at a more palatable price.

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