Kia Sorento (European model)

Kia has face-lifted the Sorento, which I drove with a European-market 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel that makes 194 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. My test car was equipped with a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. The interior makes a leap forward with expensive-looking leather and vinyl trim accentuated by costly stitching. The chassis has been heavily revised with stiffer front and rear subframes, longer rear trailing-arms, larger bushings, and more-direct steering. All of this doesn’t turn the Sorento into a Porsche Cayenne, but it’s noticeably more agile than before. Kia is on the right track, and we’re looking forward to an upcoming Pro_cee’d with a 1.6-liter turbo four that makes about 200 hp. That model should go a long way in proving Kia’s sporting aspirations.

By Jens Meiners