Sorento has no problem with demand. Information about rare cars in stock is transmitted by word of mouth, and those customers who are ready to wait lined up in a semi-annual queue, without even having an idea how much the crossover will cost at the time of delivery. I don’t see any reasons to dissuade them, and hardly anyone will listen – the price ratio to what is commonly called the number of cars is too attractive.
And which version should I choose? The coveted turbodiesel 2.2 CRDI is equipped exclusively with a preselective “robot” with two clutches (see “Technique” below), surrounded by prejudices. Nothing is known about the resource of this pair yet, but it has already been banned from sales due to incorrect software. In turn, the traditional “automatic” is put only to the gasoline atmospheric 2.5, with non-issuing passport data and the already established reputation of a lover of burning butter.
More often people are interested in diesel, despite the fact that it is more expensive, since it is available only in two top-end trim levels: Premium and Premium+ (as a test). But only they offer an electronic parking brake with a Hold function, and the buyer of any gasoline version has to put up with an archaic “scissor”. In addition, the top “Plus” has a projection display and adaptive cruise control. The latter is far from ideal, but in the absence of a limiter, it is better than nothing.
Diesel Sorento has two problems offhand. Firstly, it is equipped only with large diameter wheels: 19-20 inches. In our case, the silver car is shod in Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 SUV tires of dimension 255/40 R20. And the suspension is already not soft: the chassis reproduces in great detail the small and medium irregularities of the canvas. In addition, it’s a little noisy in the cabin. Low-profile wide tires both hum more obtrusively and aggravate the vibration pattern, even though in the cold the pressure drops by a couple of tenths relative to the prescribed 2.4 atm.
The second problem is related to the behavior of the robotic box in traffic and parking modes. She is in a hurry to open the clutch at any gas release at low speed, and when she tries to add revs again, she turns on the transmission with a delay. Sometimes you hang without a moment for a good second, and the restoration of traction is accompanied by a jerk. However, the software of the “robot” is constantly being improved. The next service campaign to update the software became known in April.
The diesel crossover, when starting from two pedals, raises the rpm to 2000, but starts with a hitch and breaks the power flow, switching up. The stock of dynamics is still enough to gain 100 km / h one and a half seconds earlier than gasoline: for 9.3 seconds according to the Reislogic against 10.8.
In normal flow and on the highway, it is not possible to find the optimal mode for turbodiesel. Here, the silver Sorento seems to be significantly lighter than the red gasoline one due to the ability to accelerate without strain on the move. I spend most of my time driving a diesel crossover: it is more convenient in the city with it. However, if you suddenly need to rush, Kia demonstrates inertia that goes beyond the bounds of decency. With active aerobatics, you should not count on adjusting the trajectory with thrust, because after the gas is released, the Sorento keeps revving for some time.
Finally, on the off-road, the “robot” is more reinsured than the usual “automatic”, and as a result, Sorento is helpless in harmless situations like a simple diagonal hanging. Moreover, despite the greater choice of off-road modes, the only appropriate one on an unstable surface is a sporty one that preemptively locks the clutch.
Ironically, it is because of this that Sport turns out to be the most uninteresting on the icy handling track. The clamped ass gives the crossover a pronounced understeer, and under the gas it is only accentuated. And the diesel Sorento is noticeably vibro-loaded at idle, whereas in a gasoline car it is quiet and smooth. But customers are ready to put up with this, because in addition to the trump equipment on the diesel side, there is also better dynamics with less fuel consumption. During the test, according to gas station receipts, Sorento 2.2 CRDI required an average of 9.5 liters / 100 km, and 2.5 MPI – 13.2 liters.
The asset of a gasoline car is the adequacy of responses to the fuel supply and a more predictable operation of the “automatic” in difficult situations. There was also no significant loss in controllability or lack of information in the electric booster located on the steering shaft compared to the one installed on the rail of the diesel Sorento. For ease of comparison, both cars are shod in tires of the same model.
I think the design differences are primarily due to the peculiarities of the integration of the amplifier with driving assistants. In particular, the diesel Sorento Premium+ is able to park independently in cramped spaces. Even drives into the garage, although not every crossover voluntarily gets in there because of the hysteria of parking sensors. Kia listens to commands from the key and on uneven surfaces, but there is still a certain limit on effort. The system turns off the car if it understands that overcoming an obstacle requires so much gas that the stopping path cannot be predicted.
Gasoline Prestige is half a million cheaper and can’t boast of anything like that. There is not only a foot parking brake, but also the usual transmission control lever instead of an elegant rotary washer. In my opinion, it is more convenient and allows you to turn on the desired gear faster. However, it limits the level of automation. Despite the 380 thousand surcharge relative to the “Prestige”, the traditional selector is also preserved in the Premium diesel version, although instead of analog scales, for example, there is already a 12-inch display.
From the set of Drive Wise auxiliary systems, those that require an advanced front radar are excluded: adaptive cruise, remote parking, protection of cyclists… Nevertheless, it is Premium without a plus that is most in demand by buyers of diesels, which generally accounted for about 47% of Sorentos sold in the first quarter of 2021.
It is characteristic that the greatest demand in the gasoline line is not Prestige at all, as one might think, but the five-seat version of the Luxe. It is distinguished from the test “Prestige” by simpler optics, front windows without noise-absorbing film, a smaller multimedia screen, eight no name speakers instead of twelve with a Bose mark. There is no ventilation of the front seats, and the passenger seat has no electrical controls.
For everything – 2.7 million according to the price list: that is, Luxe is almost 200 thousand cheaper than Prestige and 600 thousand cheaper than Premium diesel. And although there was no such version on the test, in absentia it seems to me to be the most balanced. The atmospheric 2.5 is not so stunted and voracious as to justify more than half a million extra for the closest diesel in the hierarchy. KIA dealers are already pulling customers like a stick. In addition, the interior of the gasoline Sorento is warmer during short winter trips. And the owners recommend putting a pre-heater on diesel, despite the presence of a factory electric heater…
If there is something that worries potential buyers more than the resource of a diesel with a robot, it is the prospect of Russian sales of the Sorento with a gasoline V6 3.5. This is the most popular question among the subscribers of our Instagram @drive_ru in the comments to the announcement of this test. There is such a version in the Approval of the vehicle type, and although the exact dates are not called, the representative office hopes that the flagship 250-horsepower model with an eight-speed automatic will enter our market by the end of 2021. It is unlikely that it will greatly affect the dominant position of the Luxury 2.5, and diesel versions will have an alternative.