The main focus of Kia’s UK SUV range is the top-selling Sportage mid-size and, increasingly, the Stonic small crossover. But the firm does sell a third SUV, the range-topping Sorento large SUV seven-seater. And, to give it a boost for 2018, it’s bringing in a sporty-look new GT-Line Series.
Offered in GT-Line and GT-Line S guise, the fancy new Sorentos have 19-inch alloys and red brake calipers, Kia’s distinctive ‘ice cube’ foglights, twin exhausts and either GT-Line projection headlights or, on the S, full LED lamps.
Both cars also have black leather seats with contrast grey stitching, perforated leather steering wheel and a GT-Line leather gearshifter for the eight-speed auto. Yes – an eight-speed auto, which keen Sorento watchers will know is two more gears than before.
This new eight-speed gearbox improves average fuel economy of the 2.2-litre CRDi turbodiesel to 43.5mpg combined, with a subsequent (small) cut in CO2 from 174g/km to 170g/km. Unlike many who offer eight-speed automatics, this isn’t ZF-sourced technology, but is an in-house Kia-Hyundai design.
You even get standard paddleshifters on the new GT-Line models.
If you don’t mind a bit of physical input, the six-speed manual alternative averages up to 49.6mpg and emits as low as 149g/km CO2; all Sorentos use the same 197bhp CRDi motor.
Changes elsewhere are more limited, with KX-1, KX-2 and KX-3 models continuing with the same equipment lines, including standard all-wheel drive. Kia has, however, added standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to all models, to the undoubted delight of smartphone users.
2018 Kia Sorento prices
2.2 CRDi KX-1: £28,995
2.2 CRDi KX-2: £32,695
2.2 CRDi KX-2 auto: £34,695
2.2 CRDi KX-3: £36,695
2.2 CRDi KX-3 auto: £38,695
2.2 CRDi GT-Line auto: £36,495
2.2 CRDi GT-Line S auto: £41,995