Korean manufacturer Kia has returned to the UK LCV market after a gap of 10 years — following the demise of the Pride Van — with a commercial version of its Sorento 4x4 SUV.
There’s just the one model available — the five-door 2.5CRDi XE-C — and the common rail turbodiesel produces 138 bhp (at 3,800rpm) and develops a very healthy peak torque of 343Nm across a 1,850-2,500rpm plateau. Drive to the rear wheels is provided via a manual five-speed transmission or an optional five-speed H-matic automatic.
Four-wheel drive can be engaged electronically when necessary and a rear limited slip diff is fitted as standard. Suspension is springs and dampers all round — self-levelling — and ventilated disc brakes are to be found at each corner. ABS is standard and the steering is power assisted, of course.
Devoid of rear seating, the Sorento provides a load area 930mm high, 1,370mm wide (max) and 1,610mm long. Once the rear hatch is raised it leaves an aperture 930mm high and 1,200mm wide. Additional access is provided by the two hinged rear side doors. With a gross vehicle weight of 2,600kg the XE-C has a gross payload of 544kg and is capable of towing a braked trailer weighing up to 2,800kg.
As it’s based on the XE specification passenger car, the Sorento LCV comes very well equipped as standard. On top of the aforementioned items it also comes with air conditioning, an eight-speaker CD/radio player, alloy wheels, front fog lamps, remote central locking, electric front windows and door mirrors, twin front airbags as well as side curtain airbags and an immobiliser.
Kia’s standard warranty is three years with unlimited mileage and you get three years Roadside Assistance. Servicing is required every 10,000 miles which is a bit frequent for our liking.
The Sorento LCV is great value on paper and was updated at the end of 2007.