2018 Kia Sorento

kia sorento

There's a lot to like about the 2018 Kia Sorento.

The previous model was a good and its new-generation successor improved on the formula when it launched in 2015.

Now, for the 2018 model year, the Korean manufacturer's big seven-seat flagship SUV has been made better again. Standard-fit safety is improved, ride and handling has been given a good going-over, and the infotainment offering is enhanced, too.

Four variants are offered in the updated range, starting with the Si and moving through SportSLi and the top-shelf GT-Line. And, while the equipment list has grown, pricing has too. The range now opens $1000 dearer at $43,000 for the Si, and that theme continues for all models except for the GT-Line, which is 'only' a bit more than before at $59,000 before on-road costs.

Upgrade highlights include a new eight-speed automatic transmission of Kia's own in-house design, and a new 3.5-litre petrol V6. Improvements have also been made to ride and handling, thanks to both the global engineering team and Kia Australia's own efforts.

On the styling front, Sorento gets new bumpers at both ends, a subtly new black-and-chrome design for the grille, new LED daytime running lights up front and a new look to the LED signature of the tail-lights. The GT-Line also gets full-LED headlights that turn with the steering wheel.

New-design 17-, 18- and 19-inch wheels are featured for each model, along with a new steering wheel and gear-knob design.

Our opinion is it is a winner all round and the drive is both good on-road and to a lesser extent but still quite good off-road.

Engine options include the Hyundai group's now familiar 'R Series' 147kW/441Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, along with  a return to the 3.5-litre version of the 'Lambda II' petrol V6 family.

Strangely slightly fewer gadgets than the smaller cousin Sportage but a genuinely roomy vehicle and great for families or just a nice cruise on your own on the open highway.