BUYERS IN this category sometimes prefer an SUV, and Kia’s seven-seater Sorento is an excellent option. Kia has managed to blend the things people love about a high-riding SUV with a people-mover’s functionality and versatility. The 2WD variants are power by Kia’s 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine, coupled with a smooth-changing six-speed automatic. With a healthy 199kW of power and of 318Nm of torque on tap, it has plenty of strong performance when needed. The down side, though, is fuel consumption. For a vehicle of its size, Kia’s local engineers have done a good job in tuning the steering, handling and ride to suit Australian conditions. Getting in and out is a bit more of a step up than the average family sedan, but once you’re there, comfort and space in the front and second row seats is good. The third row is useable but there are a few compromises. Access is a little awkward compared with the purpose-built people movers and the seating is close to the floor, meaning it is not as comfortable for long-legged people. Headroom is a bit tight and there’s not a lot of luggage space when all seats are occupied. Sorento drives well, has a reassuring five-star safety rating and the SLi, which is the top-selling 2WD version, is relatively well equipped.