NEED to move up to seven people in comfort and relatively quickly – then you want KIA’s family sized SUV the Sorento.

The brilliant seven-seat SUV comes with loads of standard equipment, even in entry level Vision trim, and great practicality and there is a choice of a diesel engine or petrol powered hybrid (HEV) or plug-in (PHEV).

Our test car was the PHEV in range topping Edition trim which means a bigger battery and more powerful electric motor giving a 0-62mph time of 8.7 seconds and a fully charged electric only range of up to 35 miles.

Unlike some hybrid cars the Sorento switches smoothly from electric to petrol power while the automatic gear changes are also smooth and the brakes are well weighted and progressive – even in our PHEV, which has the option of more aggressive regenerative braking.

If you like a tall driving position you’ll love the Sorento, with the driver’s seat having electric adjustment as standard and four-way adjustable lumbar support plus a memory function. Heated seats are fitted all round and there is even a heated steering wheel.

All versions have a clear 12.3in-digital display behind the steering wheel and 10.3in central touch screen but there are still good old-fashioned knobs and switches for volume control and interior temperature.

To help make parking easier every Sorento comes with front and rear sensors and a rear-view camera (upgraded to a 360-degree bird’s eye view if you go for Edition trim).

There is also a blind-spot camera amongst a raft of safety kit and infotainment is controlled via that central touchscreen with DAB radio, Bluetooth, built-in sat-nav, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring plus wireless phone-charging.

There’s little not to like when it comes to the Sorento’s interior quality with lots of upmarket plastic, chrome and piano-black trim – everything feels well screwed together.

To make things even plusher there are leather seats and door cards plus window blinds for rear-seat passengers who will appreciate the amount of space they get to relax in as the Sorento boasts one of the roomiest interiors in its class.

Then there is the Sorento’s party piece – a third row of fully adult-sized seats which have more room than a Land Rover Discovery Sport and switches in the boot to fold down the second row of seats remotely to make loading bulky items easy, also helped by a smart power tailgate

All Sorento’s trim levels come well-equipped, even the entry-level Vision comes as standard with heated front and outer rear seats, keyless entry and start, a power tailgate and lots of other kit.

Edition trim gets every bit of standard kit that you could imagine, including Nappa leather upholstery, a customisable head-up display, ventilated front seats, remote park assist (which allows it to drive in and out of spaces without you at the wheel) and that upgraded parking camera plus blind-spot monitoring system.

All models also have lots of active safety kit including lane-keeping assistance and automatic city emergency braking, which can detect pedestrians and cyclists as well as other vehicles.

Then there is parking collision avoidance – low-speed automatic emergency braking that aims to stop parking prangs.

With prices from £45k for the diesel version to £51,525 for our 261bhp PHEV, which has a 1.6 petrol engine and 67Kw electric motor meaning four wheel drive and a standard equipment list which puts more expensive rivals to shame.

Then there’s Kia’s 7 year 100,000 mile warranty for extra peace of mind.

More info at

By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth