The Sorento Edition is offered with a choice of three powertrain and three colour options

If you had the best part of £50,000 burning a hole in your back pocket and you were in the market for a seven-seat SUV, would the fourth-generation Kia Sorento make it on to your shortlist?

For similar money you could quickly and easily make the step up from mainstream car ownership to something more glamorous – but bosses at the South Korean manufacturer are confident the introduction of a new trim called ‘Edition’ will ensure the decision isn’t necessarily going to be a straightforward one. 

Starting at £49,495, ‘Edition’ replaces the previous entry-level ‘2’, mid-range ‘3’, and high-end ‘4’ examples of the Sorento and it comes with mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrains that send their respective power to each axle via a rather slow-to-react six speed automatic transmission. Opt for the 190bhp, four-cylinder 2.2-litre ‘CRDI’ turbo diesel, and the gearbox introduces two additional ratios.  

Our test car was finished in ‘Graphite’, although owners can also choose from ‘White Pearl’ or ‘Midnight Black’. All three are accompanied by black exterior detailing for the front grille surround, mirror caps, roof rails and side window trim, whilst the 19-inch rims on petrol cars grow to 20-inches for diesel versions. A full-length panoramic sunroof and an electrically-assisted tail-gate also offset the hefty asking price. 

There is not much in the way of change inside the Sorento in terms of appearance save for soft black leather seats that have a heating and cooled function for the driver and front seat passenger. Those in the back are looked after as well as the outer seats are heated as well, with three-zone climate control making longer journeys in Spring and Summer time a tad more bearable for weary parents. 

In keeping with Kia’s claim this new Sorento is “desirable and modern”, a customisable head-up display, 360-degree Around View parking system, a 12-speaker surround sound Bose stereo, and wireless charging for the latest smartphone devices are included.

And that is before you consider the long list of active driver safety aids: Blind-spot Collision Avoidance, Driver Attention Warning, Highway Driving Assist, Lane Follow Assist, Multi-Collision Brake Assist, Trailer Stability Assist, and a tyre pressure monitoring system are all present and correct.

The mild hybrid-powered Sorento Edition we sampled sits in-between the diesel (£49,950) and plug-in hybrid (£56,995) versions when it comes to asking price (£51,055) – but it fails to make a compelling case for itself as a daily driver.

The self-charging option is under powered even though it receives a leg up from the 1.49kWh onboard battery that takes total output to 226bhp for a 0-60mph time of 9 seconds dead. On a more positive note, e came to matching the quoted 39.7mpg.

We were also pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the Sorento was and how easy it proved to manoeuvre being such a large car. Light steering and decent all round visibility help, especially in and around town, and although the suspension falls down on the wrong side of firm it still shelters those in the cabin from any jarring or thuds.

Dynamically, this is a car that won’t leave you breathless – but it doesn’t disgrace itself either, with all four wheels acting as a reassuring safety net by finding optimum grip on all surfaces.

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