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Journeys : Dec2011 Jan2012
Best SUV Over $40,000 Kia Sorento Sli $46,190 Driveline : 2.2 litre; 4 cyl; 6 speed; Automatic transmission Fuel economy: 7.4L/100km; Diesel Safety Features: DFSA, CA, ABS, TCS, ESC. ANCAP: GVG: Consistency is the name of the game in winning an Australia’s Best Cars category, and mid-sized SUV’s are no different. Although not topping the tables in any of the three scoring categories, this didn’t prove an obstacle for Kia Sorento to accumulate more than enough points to be a clear winner for the second year in a row, adding further kudos to one of the most improved automotive manufactur ing brands globally. Class-leading running and repair costs as well as above-average score for Kia’s five year unlimited kilometres warranty provide a solid footing in value for money stakes. Sorento takes a bit of a hit in depreciation compared to similar priced vehicles from other makes, but the judges rated build and finish quality well above average so we would expect resale to improve in the coming years. Powered by a 2.2 litre diesel engine matched nicely to an in-house designed six-speed auto transmission, it effortlessly eats up the highway kilometres. Engine noise is well suppressed at highway speeds and although you do hear the diesel clatter in stop-start dr iving it is never intr usive. With 145kW of power and 422Nm of torque on tap from 1,800 rpm, Sorento is never short of grunt to get you moving, but not sacr ificing economy returning an official combined cycle of 7.4L/100km. Off road performance was equally impressive with the ability to lock in the all-wheel-drive mode and engage hill descent control for those steeper slopes. An area where Kia has improved significantly, which also assisted the Sorento getting over the top of its cousin Santa Fe, was ride and handling. There was clear separation between the two in this area with Sorento offering a firmer and more compliant ride and better steering characteristics. The judges liked the ergonomics of the Sorento everything fell to hand easily with buttons and controls easily distinguishable and tactile in operation. The positioning of the foot operated park brake was the only negative comment on ergonomics. Sorento offers seating for seven although the third row would be more suited to children. Best SUV Under $40,000 Volkswagen Tiguan, 103 TDI, $34,490 Driveline: 2.0 litre; 4 cyl; 7 speed; DSG transmission Fuel economy: 6.2L/100km; diesel Safety Features: DFSA, CA, ABS, TCS, ESC ANCAP: GVG: Last year’s winner, the Volkswagen Tig uan has just received a mid-life refresh and pr ice reduction, which builds on an already solid foundation and further strengthening its hold on the Australia’s Best Cars crown. It is the Tiguan’s strong all round ability that keeps it ahead of the pack. Despite still being one of the more expensive vehicles in what is the largest and most hotly contested ABC category, the 103 TDI Tiguan’s quality engineering, comfort and all-round ability, both on and off the bitumen, far outweigh the premium purchase pr ice. The 103 TDI is a well proven 2.0 litre turbo-diesel engine that can be found in a variety of strong performing vehicles across the Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda family. Teamed with a seven-speed DSG transmission, which combines the convenience of a conventional automatic with the efficiency of a manual transmission, the Tiguan delivers a pleasing blend of performance and fuel economy. The diesel engine’s strong mid-range pulling power with a handy 320 Nm of torque on tap from 1750 rpm to 2,500 rpm, provides excellent flexibility for effortless ever yday driving. Fuel consumption according to the official ADR test cycle is a low 6.2L /100 km, while the Euro 5 compliant engine features a particulate filter to ensure clean burning and low emissions. It is also one of the better cars in the class for smoothness and quietness. Much of the credit for this can be attributed to the refined suspension that delivers a well-insulated, comfortable ride, together w ith class-leading handling. For the more adventurous who like to head off the bitumen occasionally, Tiguan will get you further than most of its peers, but it is still only a compact size SUV so serious rock crawling is out of the question. Volkswagen’s electronically controlled 4Motion system is a sophisticated and well proven all-wheel-dr ive system. Regrettably, Tiguan only carries a space-saver spare wheel. Tiguan has a solidly constructed feel and achieves an excellent five-star ANC AP safety score, while the high standard of fit, finish and trim material quality gives the interior a top class appearance. Australia’s Best Cars December 2011 / January 2012 55
Oct Nov 2011
Feb March 2012