Monday – Whippets on Board


Jessica   This car is a winner, there are no frills and somehow it does not feel like a massive compromise and purely on aesthetic value this car stands up against the 4wD 7 seater competition. The comparison would be buying a coat in Primark which becomes a wardrobe staple and when you admit to admiring friends where you bought it they all express shock and stop to consider the vast amounts they have spent on lesser coats of their own. It does make you reflect on perceived  value and actual value.

That said the gear box is positively old school and there is some difficulty finding first gear at a junction.  The steering is a little loose and the dash board trim only just misses being tasteless with its wood look finish(although luckily in black).

The car was fully utilised this weekend with 6 people and a brace of whippets on a Bank Holiday outing to the nail biting last day of the Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials where the passengers reported the back seats have good leg room but the centre seats are better suited to smaller occupants ( should have put the whippets there!).  The Kia looked the part alongside other county vehicles in the vast rows of the car park and did not make us feel we had to slink away from it in embarrassment.  Overall it is a solid car with an outstanding warranty which the Badminton testers agreed would make a suitable family (with pets) car without breaking the bank or screaming we have a cheap car because we have to!

Friday – Best of the Bunch


Jeremy I’ll be trying to head off for the Cotswolds early today before the Bank Holiday rush. The Sorento is already fully loaded and by dropping the rear two rows of seats, there is a cavernous boot space.

That’s the good side of being a big car. The downside is that the Sorento isn’t that nimble on winding country backroads. It feels ponderous and fidgety. Stick it on a motorway, however, and it will shift you and your family comfortably.

The 194bhp engine has enough grunt to carry a full load, although I think I would have preferred my Sorento with the optional six-speed automatic gearbox because I’m still struggling for smooth gear changes with the manual. You have to work the engine hard to get any real performance, not helped by the clunky gearbox.

Still, for the price, the Sorento represents excellent value for money. The Kia is definitely the best of the bunch if you are after a budget SUV capable of seating seven. Only the Hyundai Santa Fe can offer serious rivalry.