10 August 2018 · Kia Vehicle Reviews

What's the best Kia SUV for your daily drive in Sydney, NSW? | Phil Gilbert Kia

Not everyone driving around Sydney has the same needs, and that’s why Kia offers three different SUVs, one that’s sure to meet your exact needs and requirements. From the Soul to the Sportage to the Sorento, there’s a Kia SUV for every buyer, as each has different available engines, transmissions, seating, towing, and cargo capacities.

Engines and Drivetrain

In the Kia Sorento, engine options include a 2.2L diesel that develops 147 kW and 441 Nm of torque and a V6 3.5L petrol engine that delivers 206 kW and 336 Nm of torque, the most powerful engines in the Kia SUV line. The Sorento engines are matched to an eight-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission, with an as-needed AWD system with lock mode. Drivers are able to monitor the status of the system through the Torque Distribution display on the instrument panel.

The Kia Sportage offers buyers a choice of three engines, two four-cylinder units: an MPI D-CVVT petrol that develops 114 kW and 192 Nm of torque and an E-VGT CRDi diesel that produces 136 kW and 192 Nm of torque.  Available on Platinum models only is a 2.4L four-cylinder D-CVVt2 engine with an output of 135kW and max torque of 237 Nm. All engines come equipped with a Sportmatic six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, with optional Active AWD, which is an as-needed system with a lock mode.

As the smallest model, the Kia Soul is available with the 2.0L MPI CVVT engine that delivers 112 kW and 192 Nm of torque. Kia was thinking roominess when they made a conscious decision not to offer an AWD system in the Soul, as AWD options consume a great deal of interior space, space gained backed by making the Soul available in FWD only, as we’ll see shortly.

If AWD is on your shopping list, the Sportage and Sorento both meet that criteria.

Exterior Design

To best meet the tastes of potential buyers in each segment, the Soul, the Sportage and Sorento each offer surprisingly different exterior designs. The appearance of the Soul is angular, trend-setting and contemporary, the Sportage is bold and athletic, while the Sorento is more traditional and upright. The Sportage is 4480 mm in length and 1855 mm wide, while the Sorento is 4800 mm long and 1890 mm wide. The Sorrento rides on 2780 mm wheelbase while the Sportage rolls on a shorter 2670 mm wheelbase.

If exterior styling is important to you, the Sorento offers a more traditional SUV appearance, while the Sportage is bold and head-turning, while the Soul is not for someone who wants to slip by unnoticed.

Exterior Measurements

The Smallest of the three is the Sport, which comes in at 4140 mm in length and 1800 mm in width, the Sportage is 4480 mm in length and 1855 mm wide, while the Sorento is 4800 mm long and 1890 mm wide. The Sorrento features a 2780 mm wheelbase while the Sportage features a 2670 mm wheelbase while the Soul rolls on a 2570 mm wheelbase, nearly a 100 mm difference between each of the models.

While the Sorento provides plenty of width at 1855 mm, even the much smaller is spacious at 1800 mm.

Passenger and Cargo Space

The Kia Soul offers the same five-seating capacity as Kia Sportage; the Sorento has seating for up to seven. Taking a look at luggage space helps clarify the situation. The Soul offers 238 L of cargo room with the rear seats up while the Sportage offers nearly twice as much space as the Soul at 466 L while the Sorento offers a considerable 605 L with the third-row down. With all seats flattened the Sorrento wins outright with 1662 L versus 1455 L in the Sportage and 878 L with the rear seat down in the Soul.

Conclusion: It depends on the combination of people and cargo you’ll be hauling. In the Soul, with just a driver and front seat passenger aboard provides ample cargo space for a car its size. The Sportage can be converted from five-person people hauler to a two-seater cargo carrier, but with the loss of the second row. The Sorento provides the highest capacity for both people and cargo. With the second row up (five passengers), there’s still 605 L of storage, plenty for a family of five to take a vacation or a group of executives to carry laptop cases and projectors (or golf clubs) to an important meeting.


While it’s unlikely that someone would select a Kia Soul over the others for its towing capacity, at 11000 kg braked, it’s enough to pull a small camper trailer comfortably. The Sportage can tow up to 1,900 kg while the Sorento can tow up to 2,000 kg, both rating when each is properly equipped. While a 100 kg difference doesn’t sound like much, it’s probably about the weight of a week’s worth of groceries stuffed into your caravan.

So, if towing a small camper for a weekend trip is all you desire, the Kia Soul is up to the task. Otherwise, the choice is between the Sportage or the Sorento, with its greater cargo or passenger space and additional towing capacity.

To learn more about a range of Kia SUVs, stop into Phil Gilbert Kia and check them all over.