THE new, ultra-modern and stylish KIA So-rento is the ideal Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) for busy men and women - whether staying at home, out at work, pulling up in style to an exclusive event or navigating mountai-nous terrain during a weekend getaway.Capable of quickly transforming from a 7-seater commuter to a miniature removal truck or an adventure facilitator for travellers and their equipment, the Sorento can fit all members of the family and still leave space for hitting the supermarket or storing luggage and sports gear. No matter the configuration, comfort and sophistication rule the day.Even though it is an SUV, complete with all-wheel-drive and raised seating position, the driving experience is far racier. The direct response to driving commands will make you forget you are in something that can go off-road. The Sorento creates a superior feeling of calm, coupled with serene driving dynamics. It takes you to exciting new places and offers you the equipment to make the journey with style and confidence.You truly get the best of both worlds.A test drive of the Sorento, which is loaded with good handling, comfort and safety features set in an attractive design inside and out, proved quickly that this vehicle is sure to give vehicles in this competitive market, a run for their money.ExteriorAs I am a fan of sporty muscular SUV design, the Sorento’s sophisticated, yet rugged, design impressed me at first glance. Its upmarket, elegant look attracted many admiring glances and questions about this SUV.The robust nature of an SUV blended with some sporty features and flowing side contours, creates a surprising and distinct ae-sthetic. It’s rugged yet refined in all the right places, muscled yet toned.With its newly elevated headlamps and bonnet, the Sorento cuts a bold and substantial figure on arrival. At the rear, bright LED stop lamps integrated into the tail lamps, communicate instantly with following traffic.A handsomely contoured rear spoiler helps to manage airflow over the rear of the vehicle and incorporates a High-Mounted Stop Lamp (HMSL).The new grille designs feature the famed KIA look, while bringing out the confident character of the Sorento.The extended wheelbase and wide stance in the front and back not only create the impressive roomy interior, but also contribute to a stable ride.InteriorWith its fine craftsmanship, sleek instrumentation and powerful, targeted ventilation, the roomy Sorento interior is a refuge of sophistication. The Sorento offers a high standard of comfort and luxury, featuring finely crafted seats. For all-weather comfort, EX and SX models offer heated first row seat cushions and seat backs. On warm days, the driver and passenger can enjoy soothing airflow through the seat cushions and seat backs.To offer support and comfort for long-legged drivers, the cushion of the driver’s seat can be extended up and forward at the push of a button on the seat base (SX only).Not only does the interior radiate elegance and serenity, but there is an impressive amount of technical equipment on offer. Features include an LCD touch-screen audio system, Bluetooth Handfree, MP3 sto-rage/ playback functions (LS and LX only), simpler floor console design, satin-chrome finishes, rear air ventilation and power supply, Auxillary, USB and iPad connections, electronic parking brake (EPB) and steering wheel audio remote control.Tapping into the power of the latest sensing technology and intelligent processing, the Sorento helps you stay aware of your position on the road, as well as the movement of the vehicles around you, enhancing your comfort and peace of mind.The rear tailgate opens automatically when the Smart key is detected nearby for three se-conds or more (SX only).There are cup and bottle holders, as well as storage compartments, aplenty.Alongside predictable KIA-levels of comfort and refinement, come the kind of space you only get in an SUV. Powerful and efficientThe petrol and diesel engines available on the Sorento offer middle and low range torque with smooth, quiet operation. Their enviable fuel economy is aided by ingeniously precise transmissions that balance power and efficiency, whether you are in town or out on the open road.The 2.4 Petrol MPI (127 kW @ 6 000rpm) and 2.2 Diesel CRDi (147 kW @ 3 800 rpm) are avai-lable in a 6-speed automatic and manual transmission.Drivers can choose normal, eco or sport mode to suit their preferences (automatic), or switch between the two steering models normal and sport (manual).