The redesigned 2021 Kia Sorento has earned a five-star rating from safety authority ANCAP, though it comes with a caveat.

    Unusually, the rating applies only to diesel models. ANCAP says it has yet to test the petrol models, which are front-wheel drive instead of all-wheel drive like the diesel.

    Typically, a rating applies to a whole range unless there’s a significant difference in safety equipment between variants.

    However, the V6 petrol variant isn’t available in Europe. That’s where the testing was conducted by Euro NCAP, with which ANCAP has harmonised its criteria.

    The diesel Sorento earned a Safety Assist score of 89 per cent, the highest score in that category yet since ANCAP introduced its tougher 2020 assessment criteria.

    ANCAP praised Kia for the inclusion of junction assist in its autonomous emergency braking system, as well as its fitment of driver attention monitoring.

    Besides the aforementioned safety assist score, the Sorento scored 82 per cent for adult occupant protection, 85 per cent for child occupant protection and 63 per cent for vulnerable road user protection.

    The technical report isn’t all green ticks, however. Protection of the driver’s chest and upper legs in the frontal offset test was rated Weak, while protection of a pedestrian’s pelvis – plus their head, if they strike the A-pillars – was rated Poor.

    All Sorentos, regardless of powertrain, boast blind-spot assist and rear cross-traffic assist.

    Other standard safety kit includes lane-keeping assist, lane-following assist, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection and junction assist, safe-exit assist, and front and front-side airbags plus a front-centre airbag.

    The Sorento also includes curtain airbags, albeit only for the first two rows.

    It joins another large SUV, the Land Rover Defender, in receiving a five-star rating though that vehicle’s five-star rating applies to both petrol and diesel models.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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