The 2019 Kia Sorento GT-Line

The forerunner 2019 Kia Sorento GT-Line is packed with stacks of gear at a relatively affordable price. It is clear Australian’s have a profound love for SUVs, and their popularity has risen substantially in the past decade. 

In fact, there are now over 100 more seven-seat SUV grades on the market than there were back in 2009. That’s a large degree of choice. Seven-seaters are becoming a popular choice for large families, for school runs, or for those who think it’s handy to have the extra space with two extra seats. 

The 2019 Kia Sorento is the largest among the Kia SUV line-up. With seven seats it’s a model that is often shortlisted by prospective buyers. The car we have on test is the 2.2-litre diesel GT-Line, which is the flagship model of the Sorento range

The GT-Line is fitted with a stack of equipment. Adding to the standard features across the range, including dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, AEB with forward-collision warning, and lane-keep assist – the top-of-the-range Sorento gets blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a 360-degree camera, 19-inch alloy wheels, and auto-leveling LED headlights with dynamic bending.

Inside, the Sorento features a panoramic sunroof, GT-Line seat logos, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and passenger seat with four-way lumbar support, thigh extender, two-position memory, ventilated front seats and heated outer rear seats. Plus, a GT-Line styling package that adds side steps, red brake calipers, and chrome dual exhaust tips.

Just when you thought Kia would draw the line with features, there is plenty more. Added perforated heated leather steering wheel with paddle shifters, gloss-black console trim, LED interior lighting, sunshade blinds for the second row, and a luggage net in the boot compartment. 

Kia’s 8.0-inch infotainment system is a breeze to use and includes satellite navigation, but if you prefer to stay connected to your phone at all times, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard. The enclosed centre console compartment is huge and hides a USB point, auxiliary, and two 12-volt outlets. 

The seats have three top cord and two ISOFIX points. Without a central floor hump, the legroom is ample and head room is perfectly fine, but toe room is tight. A fold-down armrest with cupholders, and USB and 12-volt connections round out a well-equipped second row.

If you think the third row won’t get much attention, you’re wrong. There is ventilation with fan speed adjustment, two cupholders, speakers, and storage bins. Even though leg room is okay, head room is tight and the seat base is low to the floor, so it is definitely a place reserved for children.

The Sorento packs a powerful punch with a 2.2-litre engine with its 147kW of power and 441Nm of torque. Maybe once the family has vacated the car, you can make use of the shift paddles with Kia’s new eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission, but really you wouldn’t think they would get much use in a large SUV.

There’s a Sport driving mode available, and even though the throttle response is sharper, it doesn’t make the Sorento any sportier or any more fun to drive. We bettered the claimed fuel reading of 7.2L/100km with a combined 6.9L/100km. Impressive stuff for such a large car.

In our last seven-seat SUV mega test, the Sorento’s all-wheel drive stood up well when driving up a grasslike slope with three adults on board, and did a better job than the new Hyundai Santa Fe. It rides on 19-inch alloy wheels, and with its local suspension tuning, it’s a comfortable ride. 

The quality of the rear-view camera with its 360-degree view is very good and is also clear at night. Speed camera alert is a handy feature and can be easily switched off. For longer family journeys, driver-attention alert is always welcome, and features like a digital speedometer and active lane assist are great for the daily commute.

In 2017, The Kia Sorento was tested by ANCAP and received a five-star safety rating. It comes with Kia’s famous seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. The Sorento is a smart-looking SUV that is comfortable, spacious, and can fit seven people. The Sorento is an all round safe and stunning car the family will love to have in their driveway.

Check out our Kia Sorento GT-Line demonstrator models: