By Moses Akaigwe
Kia’s flagship SUV, the all-new Sorento, has made a strong start to the year, being named ‘Large SUV of the Year’ at the 2021 What Car? Car of the Year Awards.
This is good news for Kia lovers in Nigeria who will also be glad to know that the multi-award winning all-new Sorento is expected to start rolling off the Kia Motors Nigeria assembly plant in Isolo, Lagos, from May, 2021.
Up against worthy competition in the Large SUV category, the What Car? judging panel chose the Sorento for its impressive fuel economy, driving dynamics, high levels of standard specification, and exceptional build quality.
The variant chosen by the judges at What Car? was the 1.6 T-GDi Hybrid in the UK’s ‘2’ specification*, packed full of standard features such as a Reversing Camera System, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, and Forward Collision Avoidance with pedestrian, cyclist and junction detection.
Commenting on the Sorento win, Steve Huntingford, Editor of What Car? magazine said: “The Sorento’s hybrid tech combines good real-world fuel economy with comparatively low CO2 emissions, while the ride is comfortable and the steering accurate. Throw in a nicely made and well-equipped interior, and a driving position that’s lofty enough to make HGV drivers jealous, and the Sorento is an outstanding all-rounder.”
Won-Jeong Jeong, President at Kia Motors Europe commented: “It is always a great honour to receive awards for the vehicles that we produce, and particularly from such well-known and highly regarded publications as What Car? magazine. The fourth-generation Sorento is a car we are very proud of, particularly as it represents the first application of electrified power in our flagship SUV.”
The all-new Sorento has only been on sale in Europe for a short time, yet has already cemented itself as an important halo product in the Kia line-up, having also won ‘Car of the Year’ in the UK’s Carbuyer 2021 awards.
Just last month, the all-new KIA Sorento was awarded the highest-possible safety rating by Euro NCAP. The entire Sorento line-up, including the upcoming Plug-in Hybrid, achieved the maximum five-star rating from Europe’s leading independent safety testing organisation.
The Sorento achieved 82 percent for adult occupant protection, 85 percent for child occupant protection, 63 percent for pedestrian protection, and 87 percent in the ‘Safety Assist’ category.
Euro NCAP praised the Sorento for passenger compartments that remained stable in the event of a collision, as well as its ability to offer good protection for all critical body areas in the side barrier test.
The Sorento also scored highly for child occupant protection. Seat and head restraint tests demonstrated good passenger protection against whiplash injury in the event of a rear-end collision. The Sorento’s standard-fit Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist system also helped the car avoid impacts during testing for the ‘Safety Assist’ category.
Kia Motors Nigeria assembles most of the Kia vehicles sold in the local market at its assembly plant in Lagos, and is expected to introduce the new Sorento before the end of May this year.