When you drill right down, Kia’s Sorento is arguably THE best value SUV on the market right now, especially the top of the range, diesel only, GT-Line model driven at $58,990.

Compare it with anything you like at up to twice the price from Germany, the US or Japan  and the Kia comes out trumps on most scores. More luxury, more high tech driver assist technology, better performance, better reliability reputation, better looking, better warranty etc etc.

Sorento is popular for sure but not as popular as it should be.

That might have been addressed following a recent upgrade that brought with it even more features and an eight speed auto transmission along with styling tweaks and more kit.

The makeover ushered in mild changes to the exterior including a revised grille in gloss black, new bumpers front and rear, dual element LED headlights, new side steps, colours and revised tail lights.

Kia says they increased the height and length of the body for more interior room but we don’t see how that’s possible with a mid-stream makeover. They may have changed the roof headliner, don’t really know.

Bigger changes here with an upgrade on the GT-Line to Harman Kardon premium sound with 640 watts, a new steering wheel, new instrument cluster, Apple/Android connectivity for what it’s worth, new read out screens and more soft touch panels.

There’s even additional leather in the GT-Line for more of a luxury look and feel.

As the top of the line Sorento, GT-Line ticks all the boxes with;

4-mode drive select
Paddle shift
Leather upholstery
The H-K audio
8-speed auto
8-inch touch screen
Hardwired sat-nav
Hands Free tailgate
Heated wheel
Heated seats rows 1 and 2
Drive And Engine
Power comes from Kia’s venerable 2.2-litre turbo diesel four cylinder with a variable geometry turbo (VGT). It’s good for 147Kw and 441Nm of torque to push the Sorento GT-Line’s 2042kg bulk.

But the big news is the new 8-speed auto transmission providing quicker and smoother shifts with gains to fuel economy and performance.

The GT-Line can achieve as little as 7.2-litres/100km which gives a theoretical touring range in excess of 1000km. Drive is an on demand 4WD system with a lock up function provided.

The suspension is locally calibrated to offer a compromise between comfort and sporty feel.

Performance is strong across a wide speed range and the auto is almost imperceptible in operation.

Engine noise is minimal adding to Sorento GT-Lines luxury feel.

This model scores generous advanced driver assist features including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, driver attention assist, 360 degree camera, lane keeping assist and more.

Other Sorento models have some advanced driver assist technology.

Kia Sorento achieves a five star ANCAP rating with all that brings.

Of note is the fact that local calibration actually makes Sorento a safer vehicle because it responds predictably to driver input…. no surprises.

Good Bits
Looks impressive
Seven seats
Strong engine performance
Excellent fuel economy
New 8-speed auto a cracker
Value for money
Doesn’t miss out on much luxury kit
The best warranty in the game
Roomy and comfortable
Can tow up to 2.0 tonnes
Not So Good Bits
Don’t take it too far off road.
There isn’t much to criticise about the Sorento GT-Line. It goes well, rides comfortably and is crammed with features. The only problem remains a snobbish, irrational scepticism of Kias among plenty of car buyers. If you say `check out the Kia Sorento,’ the nose goes up in the air….

More fool them.

This is one of the best value SUVs on the market right now everything considered. Shop it against a similar size Benz and you’ll be shocked.

Why don’t we just let the South Koreans make all our cars and be done with it?

Facts And Figures: 2018 Kia Sorento GT-Line
Engine:  2.2-litre turbo diesel 147kW/441Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Warranty: 7yrs
Safety: Five-star
Origin: South Korea
Price: $58,990