2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line Diesel AWD Review
Price & Equipment: 7.5
Performance & Economy: 8.5
Ride & Handling: 9
Interior & Practicality: 8.5
Service & Warranty: 9
What we like:
  • Still an excellent all-rounder
  • Absolutely loaded with standard equipment
  • Spacious and practical interior
What we don't like:
  • Dual-clutch auto is hesitant at low speeds
  • Third row is a kid-only zone
  • Not cheap to buy
8.5DiscoverAuto Rating:

Definitely one of the centre pieces to Kia’s model lineup, the Kia Sorento is one of our favourite large SUVs on the new car market. It’s a great all-rounder with plenty of space, technology, a solid driving experience and good value for money, and it’s no wonder that there is still a healthy waitlist for buyers. Kia recently gave the Sorento a mid-life update and here, we’re testing it in top-spec form with the optional diesel engine. Is the 2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line Diesel AWD the seven-seat large SUV to buy?

2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line front 3/4

There are a lot of large seven-seat SUVs at various price points to choose form, including the new Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-90, Volvo XC90, Skoda Kodiaq, Ford Everest, Isuzu MU-X and Toyota Kluger. How does the Sorento stand out from those rivals? Let’s find out.

How much does the 2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line cost to buy?

The 2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line is the top dog in the current Sorento range. Priced at $65,590 plus on road costs for the petrol model and $68,590 plus on-road costs (or around $74,500 drive away, depending on location) to get into the diesel model tested here. There are more Sorento models on offer for more budget-conscious buyers: the S, Sport and Sport+ all sit lower in the range.

Sorento GT-Line standard equipment:

  • 20-inch alloy wheels with a full-size spare wheel
  • Automatic dusk-sensing LED headlights
  • LED daytime running lights, LED front and rear fog lights
  • Automatic rain-sensing wipers
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Roof rails
  • Keyless entry and push button start with remote vehicle moving function
  • Heated and auto-folding mirrors
  • Synthetic leather steering wheel with paddle shifters
  • Black Nappa leather seat upholstery
  • Power adjustable front seat with power lumbar adjustment
  • Heated and cooled front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated outboard rear seats
  • Automatic dual-zone climate control with second-row air vents
  • 64-colour LED cabin ambient lighting
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen
  • Wireless and wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Satellite navigation
  • AM/FM/DAB+ digital radio
  • 12.3-inch digital driver’s display
  • ‘Kia Connect’ connected car services, including remote start, geo-fencing, vehicle location, etc
  • Power rear tailgate with kick-to-open functionality
  • 6x USB-C ports and 2x 12V sockets
  • Wireless phone charger
  • 12-speaker Bose sound system
  • Alarm
  • Eco, smart, sport and normal driving modes
  • Snow, mud and sand terrain modes

Sorento GT-Line standard safety equipment:

  • Eight airbags (including a front centre unit)
  • Auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian, cyclist and intersection assistance
  • Lane keeping assist with lane departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality
  • Matrix adaptive high beam
  • Driver attention alert
  • Intelligent speed limit assist
  • Safe exit warning
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert (both with braking)
  • Blind spot cameras
  • Remote parking assist
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • 360-degree surround view camera
  • Digital rear view mirror
  • Tyre pressure monitoring

The Sorento range received a five-star ANCAP rating in 2020 with scores of 82 per cent for adult protection, 85 per cent for child protection, 63 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and 89 per cent for safety assist.

Sorento GT-Line colour range:

  • Clear White: $0
  • Aurora Black: $695
  • Gravity Blue: $695
  • Mineral Blue: $695
  • Volcanic Sand Brown: $695 (fitted to our test car)
  • Cityscape Green: $695
  • Steel Grey: $695
  • Snow White Pearl: $695
  • Silky Silver: $695

Even though there are a lot of other large seven-seat SUVs to choose from, we consider the Sorento GT-Line’s main competitor to be the Mazda CX-8 D35 Asaki, which is priced from around $75,500 drive away (depending on location). Over the Sorento GT-Line, the CX-8 Asaki adds tri-zone climate control but the Sorento is otherwise much better equipped as it has larger wheels, a digital rear mirror, a wider range of active safety features including a blind-spot camera, live functionality for the infotainment system, a panoramic sunroof, remote start, two extra speakers, a fully-digital driver’s display and two extra airbags. That makes the cheaper Sorento much better value than the CX-8, in our opinion.

How fuel efficient is the 2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line?

The standard engine in the 2024 Kia Sorento range is a 200kW 3.5-litre petrol V6 that drives the front wheels, but our test car was fitted with the optional 2.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 148kW of power (at 3,800rpm) and 440Nm of torque (between 1,750rpm and 2,750rpm). Power is sent to an all-wheel drive system through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The CX-8 has a similar 2.2-litre diesel engine that makes 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque, but is matched to a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

Mechanically, the 2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line is unchanged compared to the pre-facelifted model, but that’s not a bad thing because the engine is nicely refined and is grunty as well, with peak torque hitting from just 1,750rpm. Of course, it’s no performance engine and the 200kW/332Nm 3.5-litre V6 engine option will run rings around it for speediness, but the diesel is more refined, and is a better all-rounder in our opinion. There is also the Sorento hybrid on offer, but stock is quite limited.

The only transmission available on the Sorento diesel is an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and in our opinion, it’s the only weak part of the drivetrain. At speed, it shifts smoothly and quickly, but at low speeds and when taking off, it stumbles and becomes annoyingly indecisive. Those traits are nothing new of dual-clutch transmissions and we wish the excellent eight-speed torque converter auto in the petrol V6 Sorento featured in the diesel to make it smoother. Regardless of non-hybrid engine or model chosen, the Sorento’s braked towing capacity is 2,000kg.

The big reason to choose the Sorento diesel over the V6 is fuel efficiency. While the V6 is old and thirsty – its claim is 9.8L/100km but you’ll likely see almost double that around town – the four-cylinder diesel is much newer and much more efficient at a claimed 6.0L/100km on the combined cycle (the same as the CX-8 D35 Asaki) with claimed emissions of 158g/km, which are pretty good numbers for such a large non-hybrid car. In our mostly-urban testing, we achieved 7.2L/100km, which isn’t far off the urban claim. Helping the Sorento’s range is a big 67-litre tank meaning that highway journeys will give more than 1,200km from a tank.

What is the 2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line like to drive?

As we saw with the pre-facelifted Sorento, the 2024 Kia Sorento rides and handles really nicely, even in this GT-Line with its large 20-inch wheels. Consistent with Kia’s local tuning efforts, there’s a really good balance between comfort and fun in the way that the Sorento drives – the CX-8 may be a touch sportier, but we think the Sorento is more comfortable. Quite simply, it goes about its business exceptionally well, particularly on country roads with big undulations and complicated road surface changes where a floaty ride can be ponderous and almost dangerous. The Sorento GT-Line feels planted all the time, and it’s also quite confident in its driving experience.

While the Sorento isn’t a sports car, it can be reasonably fun to drive thanks to a good chassis and lovely steering that displays good weighting and feel. A back road can be a surprisingly fun time in the Sorento, but that’s no surprise given how well the current shape model drives. Its road noise levels are nicely subdued, while visibility is also good as well. As for active safety equipment, the Sorento’s systems are well tuned and although the active speed warning system has been improved with a lower volume, it’s still not great and can be annoying. We’d love a permanent switch off button please, Kia. Visibility is a little hampered rearwards, but luckily, the Sorento’s cameras are excellent.

How practical is the 2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line?

The interior of the 2024 Kia Sorento has been improved compared to the pre-facelifted model thanks to the addition of new screens, new technology and a more cohesive dashboard layout. Being a mid-life facelift, the changes aren’t huge, but further cement just how practical and well thought out the current generation Sorento’s cabin is. Even in top-spec GT-Line form, the Sorento’s cabin is a dark affair, with little in the way of colour, but the quality is good and everything feels good to touch. Having said that, a CX-8 Asaki’s materials feel a bit more premium throughout.

2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line

Centre of the facelifted Sorento’s cabin is a new 12.3-inch touchscreen that connects seamlessly to the digital driver’s display. It features Kia’s latest infotainment software and is much smoother and the screen quality is greater than before. It also features satellite navigation, DAB+ digital radio, weather reporting, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, which worked quite well in our time with it. The 12-speaker Bose sound system is pretty good too, though Mazda’s is better.

Storage in the Sorento is excellent, with big central cup holders, a big tray underneath the centre console, a huge bin underneath the central armrest, big door pockets and a big box underneath the centre armrest.

The second row of the Sorento is spacious and comfortable. Space on offer for six-footers is ample, while a third adult will fit without much trouble. For child seats, there are three top-tether points and two ISOFIX points too. The seats themselves are also reasonably sculpted for good comfort as well, and occupants will find many features to amuse themselves on road trips: air vents, two USB-C and a 12V sockets, bottle holders and sun blinds in the doors, heated seats, a centre armrest with cup holders, two map pockets and door pockets.

The third row of seating in the Sorento is best described as a kids-only zone – more so than the CX-8 – and there are cup holders and a light storage tray, as well as USB-C ports and air vents with a fan speed controller. But annoyingly, airbag coverage doesn’t extend to the third row. At least the seats are nicely bolstered, and the middle seat tilts and slides forward at the press of a button for easier access. Importantly for some families as well, the third row of seats feature two top-tether points for child seats.

The boot of the Sorento is healthy for its size, with a reasonable 179-litres of space with all rows of seating erect, which opens up to a healthy 608L with the third row folded and a huge 1,996L with the second row folded – that’s in comparison to the 242L/775L third row up/down capacity in the CX-8. The boot also features under-floor storage, buttons to fold the second-row seats, a 12V socket and a few hooks and tie down points, plus, a full-size alloy spare wheel lies underneath.

What warranty covers the 2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line?

Being a new Kia, the Sorento is covered by a seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. Roadside assistance is offered for a single year upfront, but at every scheduled service through a Kia dealership, a further 12 months is added for up to eight years in total. Servicing the 2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line diesel AWD occurs every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first, and the cost to service the Sorento over the span of five years or 75,000km is $2,632 ($526.40 per service).

2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line

The Mazda CX-8 is covered by a five-year/unlimited km warranty with five years of roadside assistance included. Five years/50,000km of servicing costs $2,440 ($448 per service), which is less expensive than the Sorento, but that’s to 5,000km less annually thanks to the Mazda’s shorter intervals.

Should I buy a 2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line?

Kia doesn’t need to panic: the Sorento is still one of the best seven-seat SUVs on the new car market. Again, thanks to its fierce all-roundedness, families will love the Sorento’s versatility, its practicality, its value for money, its efficient and gutsy turbo-diesel engine and its good quality interior. Add in its long warranty and it’s clear that the top-spec Sorento GT-Line diesel has a lot to offer new car buyers.

2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line

Counting against it is an unrefined low-speed driving experience thanks to its hesitant dual-clutch transmission, that the third row of seating is not huge and best described as a kids-only zone and that while it’s very well equipped, it’s not exactly cheap to buy. But those issues aside, the 2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line diesel AWD is a great product that needs to be on your test drive list if you’re after a large seven-seat SUV.

About The Author

Jake is the veteran automotive journalist in the DiscoverAuto team having been in the industry since 2017. His first word was Volvo, he nitpicks every piece of practical design and has an unhealthy obsession for cars that feature rain-activated headlights.

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