Kia’s style focus pays off in NZ market

July 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Kia Motors focus on style is starting to pay dividends in the New Zealand market.

Latest figures show new models like the Kia Cerato Koup and Kia Sorento R are being purchased from Kia Motors dealerships as buyers fall for their designs as much as their value.

The arrival of the sculptured Cerato Koup has given Kia the lead in the sporty vehicle segment of the New Zealand market, outselling other 2-door vehicles like the VW Eos, Audi A5 and Nissan 370Z. In fact, the Cerato Koup has revitalised the sports segment, helping to lift sales by almost double in the first five months of 2010.

“Cerato Koup has been an outstanding success for Kia in New Zealand and, at times, we have run out of stock completely,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand.

“The excellent response from customers has caused us to lift our target for Cerato Koup sales by 50% for 2010.”

Continue reading “Kia’s style focus pays off in NZ market” »

Kia’s 2010 big game commercial

April 29th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

See Kia’s first big game commercial, starring the All-New 2011 Sorento, and an unbelievably colorful cast of characters.

Kia Sorento 2010 Movie

December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

World class premium Sorento R, a promotional video

Kia Sorento

December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Kia Sorento: Bringing you to ends of the earth.

Kia Sorento From Seoul

December 21st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

The New Kia Sorento

2010 Kia Sorento revealed

March 10th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Kia Sorento fq

The first official photos of the 2010 Kia Sorento have just been released, and from the looks of things, it’s in keeping with the other improvements the automaker has been making to its lineup. The current Sorento has received praise for its looks with a shape that’s evocative of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. In the new Sorento Kia retains a traditional SUV profile but you can see that a thick D-pillar now sits after the side glass. The new, larger Sorento will have a seven-passenger capability.

The new Sorento doesn’t appear to mess with success, retaining the same basic shape while incorporating Kia’s new corporate face and a shaped hood. Its public debut is predicted for the Seoul Motor Show next month, and reports say that the the new SUV will be available with a Euro 5-compliant 2.0-litre clean diesel making 200 horsepower and 295-lb-ft of torque. In the states engines will include a 170-horsepower 2.4-litre four and and a 3.8-litre, 260-horse Lambda V6.

Kia Sorento Sports comes to New Zealand

July 7th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham


A limited edition Sports model has been added to the Kia Sorento range in New Zealand.

The new Kia Sorento Sports will be available only for a short time and Kia Motors is expecting them to be snapped up quickly once buyers eye the package.

The Sorento is already among the best equipped 4×4 vehicles in its class and the new Sports model is bristling with additional features that include:

* Body-coloured running boards that add to the sleek styling and also provide a step into and out of the vehicle
* Larger 18″ alloy wheels fitted with high performance tyres
* Tinted windows to reduce summer heat
* Chrome door mirror caps
* Upgraded audio system featuring 6 CD stacker
* Tow bar system with detachable towball
* Unique Sports badging.

Price for the new Sorento Sports is $57,450 — very attractive considering the additional equipment.

All Sorento models are powered by the frugal 2.5-litre DOHC turbocharged Common Rail Diesel engine that delivers 125kW of power and 392Nm of torque. Also standard is the 5-speed automatic transmission equipped with sport shift.

Other equipment in the Sorento Sports includes dual zone climate control, full leather upholstery interior, heated front seats, power driver’s seat, leather steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, reversing sensors, electronic stability control with ABS anti-lock braking, front and side airbags, selectable 4WD with high and low range, front and rear fog lamps, rear spoiler etc.

The Sorento makes an ideal towing vehicle with its strong, separate ladder chassis providing it with the capacity to easily and safely pull 2.8 tonnes.

Sorento continues to receive critical praise from both the motoring media and the car-buying public. Recently it was the top rated mid-size SUV with customers, according to US vehicle research company AutoPacific Inc, which surveyed more than 34,000 owners. Sorento was also picked by respected US publication The Car Book as a “Best Bet” in the mid-size SUV category.

Kia Sorento Limited 2007 Review

July 17th, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

Kia Sorento 2007 rq

When I first moved to Auckland I kept getting lost. It’s a confounding city of roads that diverge insidiously, so that an east unknowingly becomes a south and all of a sudden Sandringham is Manukau, even though you may have been racing to your girlfriend’s place in Glendowie because her parents were out.

The roads may be able to fool me, but they can’t fool Kia’s latest Sorento. It knows where east is and tells you so in a natty multi-purpose trip computer device located (unusually) near the rear-view mirror¦where it’s difficult to see except by the rear passengers.

Anyway, a compass isn’t anything new, but I found myself once again in a position of not being in the place I expected to be. You see, when us journos get cars to review we occasionally forget to transfer the necessities from our usual daily drives (in this case my map and parking money). Andy the Hit Man and I had been to Muriwai to see how the Sorento Ltd dealt with soft roads (see the videos), and then I thought it would be great to head to Orewa, which is east¦sort of.

Along the way, I had a chance to reflect on the morning’s driving, how far Kia has come and that if you stuck another brand’s badge on the front of it you’d probably pay $20k more for exactly the same. Starting out on the motorway at 6:30 in the morning I was impressed at how comfortable the Kia felt. It’s not quick, but there is sufficient power for the onramps from the 2.5-litre diesel (125kW, which is 21% more than the outgoing model). Visibility is excellent and the entire interior is of extremely high quality.

For the urban warrior, the EX has heated front seats, powered driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, electric sunroof and an MP3-compatible, six-disc CD changer. Cruise control and stereo control buttons are on the steering wheel and column. The stereo’s speaker setup in the front is exceptional, the bass is solid and the treble crisp, and right through to maximum volume it was relatively distortion free.

Most of the time you’ll leave the Sorento in rear-wheel drive, but if you want to get more adventurous than the kerbs outside little Timmy’s school, the Sorento has four-wheel drive in high and low ratios and it’s more than capable of handling the rough stuff. But it’s this compromise that makes it a bit fidgety once off the motorway on the twisty stuff.

Apart from the slightly nervous ride, there’s really not a great deal wrong with the Sorento. The gearbox lags a bit and if you want the auto to kick down coming out of a corner you need to plant your foot before the apex. The cruise control just did not work — set it at 105kph and it varies between around 112 and 100, constantly accelerating and decelerating. Finally, the position of the aforementioned trip computer was designed by an idiot, which is my excuse for eventually having to stop and ask directions, like every good bloke does.

But, you probably won’t care about these minor niggles (or my temporary blokish embarrassment) because, especially in black with its colour-coded bumpers, the Sorento has a huge presence. No longer is Kia the runt of the litter. Even our barely-in-her-twenties, highly fashion-conscious receptionist said it was cool. For the money this is an overachiever. However, you’ll need to bring your own map.
Price: from $54,800

Interested in purchasing a Kia Sorento? This website has secondhand ones for sale

We like:

  • Styling inside and out
  • Price
  • Quite rugged and capable, for its looks
  • Meets Euro 4 emission standards

We don’t like:

  • Nervous ride on less-than-perfect tarmac
  • Gearbox a bit slow
  • Cruise control didn’t work well

Words Darren Cottingham, photos Adam Croy

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