Kia Sorento Platinum CRDi: Tow Test

By: Philip Lord, Photography by: Matt Fehlberg

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With a quiet engine, roomy interior and great handling, Kia’s latest Sorento Platinum is a solid all-round performer.


We tested the top-shelf model of the three offerings in the Sorento AWD diesel range – the Platinum – at $55,990. There are also entry-level Si and mid-spec SLi AWD diesel models, plus 2WD Si and SLi, both of which are powered by a 3.3L V6 petrol engine.

The Platinum has a competitive features sheet for its price. Like all Sorentos, the Platinum gets a rearview camera with in-audio screen display and dynamic parking guidelines, satellite navigation with traffic information, a 7in colour LCD touchscreen and a tyre pressure monitoring system.


The engine is a bit like the better European diesels in that it is pretty quiet and smooth, and is eager to rev. There is very little turbo lag and, unlike many turbodiesels, there isn’t a big wedge of torque in the mid-range. The power and torque delivery is quite linear and that’s a good thing. Nothing worse than having an engine that is too peaky in the mid-range, like some turbodiesels are.

The auto has a good spread of ratios and, unlike many six-speed autos, fifth gear has the direct 1:1 ratio, which augurs well for towing. Often it’s fourth gear that’s 1:1, with upper gears all overdrive ratios.

The transmission shifts smoothly and its sport mode is easy to use.


The Kia was quite frugal and we averaged 7.3L/100km with mostly highway driving. With a 1280kg camper behind, the Kia achieved a respectable 11.9L/100km.


The Sorento has a 2000kg maximum towing capacity but only a 100kg towball download maximum. Gone are the days of the 2008 BL Sorento, which had a 2800kg (and 280kg TBM) capacity.

This means the Sorento is somewhat restricted when it comes to towing. It would certainly suit some of the European vans with their low towball download mass to make the most of its 2000kg towing capacity. Otherwise, it is well-suited to campers, such as the wind-up Jayco we used on our test.

With the 1280kg camper behind (which had a 95kg measured TBM), the front of the Sorento rose 15mm and the rear dipped 12mm. Those are more than acceptable figures and hardly surprising giving the very light ball load imposed on the Kia.


Weights and measures

  • Length 4780mm
  • Width 1890mm
  • Height 1690mm
  • Wheelbase 2780mm
  • Ground clearance 185mm
  • Kerb mass 1985kg
  • Gross Vehicle Mass 2660kg
  • Gross Combined Mass 4660kg
  • Towing capacity (unbraked/braked) 750kg/2000kg
  • Towball (max) 100kg


  • Engine 2.2L inline four-cylinder turbodiesel
  • Transmission Six-speed automatic
  • Power 147kW at 3800rpm
  • Torque 441Nm at 1750-2750rpm
  • Gear ratios (:1)
  • 1 4.651
  • 2 2.831
  • 3 1.842
  • 4 1.386
  • 5 1.000
  • 6 0.772
  • Rev 3.393
  • Final drive 3.195

Options fitted

  • Towbar and brake controller


  • Fuel capacity 71L
  • Suspension Independent, coil springs (front and rear)
  • Brakes Ventilated discs (front); solid discs (rear)
  • Wheels 19in alloy
  • Warranty Seven years/unlimited kilometres
  • Roof load 100kg


  • $55,990

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The full test appears in Caravan World #550 June 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!