2021 Kia Sorento Sport+ CRDi overview

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Is the center man of the Kia Sorento seven-seat SUV vary the candy spot in terms of efficiency and worth for cash? We put that query to the take a look at on a 2500km spherical journey to Sydney with the household. 

  • Comfy and succesful seven-seat SUV
  • Robust but fuel-efficient powertrain
  • Good inside, loads of tech
  • Misses some nice-to-have tools
  • Restricted boot with three rows of seats in play
  • Low-speed crawl is jerky

2021 can be remembered by me because the 12 months of the Kia Sorento. Not solely did it win the Drive Automobile of the Yr 2021, however I spent a good portion of my 12 months test-driving totally different Sorento variants.

It began with the Kia Sorento GT-Line diesel long-termer that spent three months within the Drive Storage, the identical three months during which my household grew from three to 4. You’ll be able to learn these evaluations right here: Half 1: Welcome, Half 2: Household Life and Half 3: Farewell.

Then Kia launched the brand new Sorento plug-in hybrid electrical automobile (PHEV) model in October, which I additionally discovered myself driving in early November. Lastly, the Kia Sorento Sport+ fell into my fingers for a three-week street journey to Sydney and again to participate in Drive Automobile of the Yr 2022 in early December. 

So, by my depend, that’s three Sorentos, 4 months and greater than 5000km. 

To grasp the place this 2021 Kia Sorento Sport+ CRDi matches in, let’s recap the vary. The Sorento vary kicks off with the Sorento S priced from $50,790 drive-away with a 3.5-litre petrol V6 and 2WD, or $53,790 drive-away with a 2.2-litre turbo diesel and AWD. 

The Sorento Sport comes subsequent costing $3000 extra in each petrol 2WD and diesel AWD types, after which the Sport+ duo which might be $4600 extra once more. The GT-Line tops each the petrol and diesel line-ups commanding a $7600 premium over the Sport+. The GT-Line can also be accessible as a plug-in electrical automobile paired with a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, six-speed automated and all-wheel drive priced from a heady $81,990 drive-away.

The one choice fitted to our take a look at automotive is the Gravity Blue premium metallic paint that raises the worth by $695.

Key particulars 2021 Kia Sorento Sport+ CRDi
Worth (MSRP) $61,390 drive-away
Color of take a look at automotive Gravity Blue
Choices Premium paint ($695)
Worth as examined $62,085 drive-away
Rivals Hyundai Santa Fe | Mazda CX-8 | Toyota Kluger

Life is fairly good inside a Sorento. For starters, the cabin is suitably premium for a automotive charging over $60K. It’s a full leather-based inside with heated entrance seats, a powered driver’s seat, multi-zone local weather management, a good sound system and a great deal of helpful space for storing.

The Sport+ will get dual-zone local weather management with vents in each the second and third rows, and controls within the again. The entrance seats have a heating operate however not cooling. 

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Entry to the second row is straightforward by way of the massive however not heavy doorways, and entering into the third row is as straightforward as could be anticipated when you flip the outboard seat ahead. Each the second and third rows have ISOFIX anchors within the outboard positions and top-tether anchors in all 5 spots, though we had the third row stowed for everything of our Sydney journey due to the mountain of bags we wanted to hold. 

The boot is a comparatively small 187L with the third row of seats in place, however grows to spectacular proportions with the third row folded flat into the ground and the second row slid ahead considerably.

I reckon we used each one of many Sorento’s 616L of bags area on this configuration. It swallowed a double pram and a single pram, two transportable cots and bedding, a conveyable change desk, three weeks’ value of nappies (for 2), two folding child seats, medicines for each recognized and a few undiscovered toddler illnesses, child screens and white-noise machines, and all the garments and different life necessities for 2 boys and two drained mother and father. Oh, virtually forgot the combined nuts, barbecue shapes, snakes, water and different necessary street journey sustenance. 

There’s an image of all our gear on a lodge trolley proper subsequent to the boot, and I promise you all of it match, though the Sorento’s electrical boot-closing operate did want some persuading to latch totally. It was additionally difficult arranging it in such a manner that nothing might fly ahead into the second row if we needed to brake abruptly. In future, a cargo barrier is value contemplating.

All Sorento variants include a full-size alloy spare wheel below the again.

Now, as I spent lots of kilometres within the range-topping GT-Line, here’s a record of things that I observed the Sport+ doesn’t get. I’ll depart it to you to determine in the event that they’re necessary or not. Personally, I missed the Bose sound system, smartphone charging mat, second-row retractable blinds and driver’s head-up show essentially the most. The remaining are good in case you have them, however I might dwell with out.

These lacking gadgets embody: the motive force’s seat doesn’t have vertically adjustable lumbar help or seat-cushion extension, neither is there a reminiscence operate to your driving place when your companion screws with it. The jewelled rotary gear selector is changed by a traditional T-bar, there are not any paddle shifters on the wheel, and the wing mirrors don’t dip to indicate you the gutter when you choose reverse. 

The GT-Line’s very cool 12.3-inch multi-information show within the driver’s instrument binnacle is changed by two typical dials for pace and engine pace, and a small 4.2-inch digital display within the center displaying fundamental journey info. There isn’t any sunroof and solely the motive force’s window has auto up/down operate. Within the boot the bags web isn’t there, however the retractable and detachable tonneau cowl is.

Another stuff is reserved for the GT-Line, however is little greater than visible bling, like 64-colour inside temper lighting and alloy door scuff panels.

2021 Kia Sorento Sport+ CRDi
Seats Seven
Boot quantity 167L seats up / 616L third row folded / 2011L 2nd row folded
Size 4810mm
Width 1900mm
Top 1700mm
Wheelbase 2815mm

Infotainment and Connectivity

The Sorento Sport+ has Kia’s large and exquisite 10.25-inch centrally mounted touchscreen infotainment show, which is an aesthetic affair and a breeze to make use of. 

Talking of breeze, each time I began the Sorento Sport+ the multimedia system defaulted to the built-in Sounds of Nature playlist, which incorporates tracks referred to as ‘working stream’ and ‘mild breeze’. If that’s not a refined type of torture, I don’t know what’s. I think about there’s a setting in there to get it to default to radio or smartphone as a substitute, however I couldn’t discover it. 

Other than the bladder-busting Sounds of Nature, the system incorporates Apple and Android smartphone connectivity methods through wired connection, satellite tv for pc navigation, AM/FM/DAB+ radio, journey computer systems and different digital must-haves, together with an intercom to the again seat that may have been helpful if I wanted to speak to the bags.

The Sorento’s vary of lively security options is in depth, and all of the necessary gadgets are included, resembling lane-keep and lane-follow help, lively cruise management, autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance and blind-spot collision avoidance. 

The Sport+ doesn’t get the GT-Line’s parking collision avoidance help in reverse, nor does it have a blind-spot view monitor or 360-degree digicam – it solely has a reversing digicam plus entrance and rear parking sensors. It does have LED headlights and fog lights entrance and rear, and dusk-sensing headlights with high-beam help.

As for passive security, the Sorento was given a five-star ranking by ANCAP, together with 82 per cent grownup occupant safety, 85 per cent little one occupant safety, 63 per cent weak street person safety, and 89 per cent for security help.

2021 Kia Sorento Sport+ CRDi
ANCAP ranking 5 stars (examined 2020)
Security report Hyperlink to ANCAP report

The Kia Sorento comes with a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee, together with 12 months of complimentary roadside help. That may be prolonged for as much as eight years by merely having your Kia serviced at an authorised Kia supplier yearly. 

Servicing intervals are each 12 months or 15,000km, and price $3463 for the primary seven years, averaging slightly below $500 per 12 months.

At a look 2021 Kia Sorento Sport+ CRDi
Guarantee Seven years / limitless km
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
Servicing prices $1287 (3 years), $2393 (5 years), $3463 (7 years)

As for normal working prices, the Sorento diesel’s gasoline consumption retains this to a good minimal. After I test-drove the GT-Line for a few months round Melbourne – which included common freeway journeys to the in-laws in Geelong – I averaged 8–9L/100km. 

The Sport+ comfortably beat that on this three-week journey to Sydney and again, throughout which we lined 2512km, together with 1800km on the Hume Freeway. On the finish of the journey, the Sport+ reported a 7.0L/100km common, and please keep in mind that the majority of that was with two adults, two children and near 100kg of bags. It’s not onerous to think about this quantity sliding into the sixes with a lesser load.

Gas Utilization Gas Stats
Gas cons. (claimed) 6.1L/100km
Gas cons. (on take a look at) 7.0L/100km
Gas sort Diesel
Gas tank dimension 67L

All Sorento AWD fashions are powered by a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel with 148kW and 440Nm that has one of many extra responsive throttles amongst at the moment’s diesels. This engine produces peak torque from 1750rpm and is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission making for easy, easy acceleration.

It’s an exquisite powertrain that works fantastically and quietly just about all the time. My solely problem is round extraordinarily low-speed manoeuvring, resembling inching ahead in a automotive spot, when it feels slightly jerky. It is just evident when the dual-clutch transmission is on the cusp of partaking, and is one thing I’d categorise as an inconvenience slightly than a difficulty. 

For our tarmac-only journey between Australia’s two most populous cities, the Sorento’s all-wheel-drive system was by no means actually examined. Traction was by no means in brief provide except you depend the gravel carpark on the Holbrook motor inn.

The Sorento’s plush however managed suspension tune made our long-distance drive a easy and cozy affair. The Sport+ has 19-inch tyres with an even bigger sidewall in comparison with the GT-Line’s lower-profile 20s, and I really feel like this took the sting off some bumps that the GT-Line would let by way of. In different phrases, it’s a preferable package deal if consolation is your focus. As for the way these tyres affected dynamism, you strive testing that on the Hume Freeway and let me understand how you go. 

Truthfully, although, I don’t assume there’d be sufficient of a distinction to sway a purchaser someway. At its core the Sorento is a reliable and comparatively agile automotive, and one inch of sidewall diameter isn’t going to radically alter that. 

Key particulars 2021 Kia Sorento Sport+ CRDi
Engine 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel
Energy 148kW @ 3800rpm
Torque 440Nm @ 1750-2750rpm
Drive sort All-wheel drive
Transmission Eight-speed dual-clutch automated
Energy to weight ratio 77.6kW/t
Weight (tare) 1908kg
Tow ranking 2000kg braked, 750kg unbraked
Turning circle 11.6m

For simply over $60,000 on-road, the Kia Sorento Sport+ is lots of automotive for the cash. It has a formidable record of security options, is spacious sufficient to deal with the standard Australian household, and is economical to run and repair. It strikes a very good stability between ease of use and depth of options, and has every little thing an individual may wish – if not need.

To get every little thing you possibly can need means stepping up one other $7600 to the GT-Line, and whereas a lot of these options are undoubtedly worthwhile, you will not miss them when you by no means have them.

After spending greater than 5000km in a GT-Line and a Sport+, I’ve realized that Kia’s product planners have structured the Sorento vary with acuity. Like a practised fly fisherman touchdown the lure simply in entrance of the hungry trout, the Sorento vary tempts you to stretch simply that little bit additional to get the goodies you by no means knew you could not dwell with out.

Does that imply the Sport+ is unworthy? Completely not. It might match or beat its rivals in just about each measure for the worth, which makes it an astute purchase. However having tasted the GT-Line and the high-life it presents, I’ve been spoiled, and that may take a while to regulate to.

Fortunately, I began that journey after I left Melbourne heading for Sydney with the household on board, and by the top of the journey I realised that the Sport+ is a really comfy, very well-equipped, and really succesful machine that delivers nice worth for cash.

I’ve additionally realised that you may purchase window shades aftermarket, and telephones could be charged by plugging them in.  

Rankings Breakdown

2021 Kia Sorento Sport+ Wagon

8.6/ 10

Inside Consolation & Packaging

Infotainment & Connectivity

Budget Direct

Insurance coverage from


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Glenn Butler

Glenn Butler is one among Australia’s best-known motoring journalists having spent the final 25 years reporting on automobiles on radio, TV, internet and print. He is a former editor of Wheels, Australia’s most revered automotive journal, and was deputy editor of Drive.com.au earlier than that. Glenn’s additionally labored at an government degree for 2 of Australia’s most distinguished automotive corporations, so he understands how a lot care and consideration goes into designing and growing new automobiles. As a journalist, he is pushed every little thing from Ferraris to Fiats on all continents besides Antarctica (which he sooner or later hopes to realize) and loves discovering every automotive’s distinctive persona and strengths. Glenn is aware of a automotive’s value is not indicative of its competence, and even the most affordable automotive can improve your life and broaden your horizons. 

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