Simpson Desert Feedback

Has anyone done the Simpson Desert trek in a KIA Sorento ???
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Reply By: Member - Redfive - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 14:20

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 14:20
Ive done the Simpson 3 times not sure if a Sorento has low range if it does and you know what you are doing and you got with a 2nd 4wd you would be able to do it from Purnie Bore down the Rig Road to the Lone Gum i reakon you could drive a 2wd high clearance Ute depend on the sand and the weather if it rained you would be in deep thou and on one trip there were a heap of VW BUGS crossing it

AnswerID: 352155

Reply By: SimonW - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 16:37

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 16:37
Have done the Simpson before in a Jack & Cruiser but not in the Sorento, however we had a Sorento 3.5ltr for just on 4yrs & it went everywhere we need to travel & with a camper on the back no problem. I have no doubt it will do the Simpson with ease, they are a very underated vehicle with a good drive train & chassis. If you have the petrol I would advise to plan fuel consumption carefully based on the load you are taking, & if carrying a load I would advise upgrade the suspension, you will wish you did it sooner.

cheers Simon.
AnswerID: 352175

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 20:06

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 20:06
Hi Phd007
You would not believe what we have seen in the Simpson during our many crossings, all shapes and sizes. The question at the end of the day around the camp fire is "I wonder if they will make it to Birdsville?"

There is a lot of traffic out there these days and if you have trouble, there will always be someone along within a few hours or so.


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AnswerID: 352205

Follow Up By: dazza62 - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 22:03

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 22:03
IMHO I think I would prefer to know I could get there without relying on someone coming along in a few hours.

Whilst I appreciate accidents/break downs do happen it would not be a wise trip into the desert planning on someone else to get me out.

Planning and preparation is part of the exercise on going outback, hence the initial question asked.

Perhaps someone who has done the trip in a Kia would be able to provide some first hand advice.
FollowupID: 620452

Reply By: CJ - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 20:20

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 20:20
I reckon the key to the answer is the load.

Lighter duty 4wd will be able to go a long way with bigger cruisers and patrols, if they are loaded accordingly

Large 4wd handle overloading better than the smaller ones.

A Jack is a capable vehicle, once overloaded it on a desert trip and one thing after another gave trouble, starting with the shockies and ended with a sizable repair bill

Various car clubs often brag about where their cars go, but if you read carefully they are sensibly laden and often with backup vehicles to share the load.

AnswerID: 352207

Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 22:25

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 22:25
Having driven a Subaru myself to many places they aren't supposed to go I'd suggest with a few extra precautions a Sorento could drive the Simpson.
On the upside they have dual range & a reasonable power to weight, important for sand. On the downside the front & rear skirts will be vunerable, 80L tank too small, road tyres innapropiate & with a 500KG capacity the additional load will lower the ground clearance considerably less than the standard 200mm. This will make crossing the dunes extremely difficult as the poor ramp over angle will see it stuck often. Of course this can be fixed with heavier springs or taller AT tyres. Not totally familiar with Kia's 4x4 system but ensure the ESP can be turned off as it can be a PITA in sand.
Consider a practice run sand driving at places like Robe, the Big Desert or Stockton to get an idea yourself what they go like in the sand.
Keep weight to a minimum, travel with a friend & have a good time :-)
Cheers Craig.....................
AnswerID: 352234

Reply By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 09:27

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 09:27
We've taken Kia Sorentos a few places. The Kia will do the Simpson with a bit of care and knowledge.
AnswerID: 352274

Reply By: Axel [ the real one ] - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 12:46

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 12:46
Dont know about the Kia , but having seen an old Holden Kingswood come from the west and "do" BigRed with what looked like ease anything is viable , and no it was not a 'body'on a 4x4 chassis. 2002 Sat morning of the race w/end Birdsville.
AnswerID: 352316

Follow Up By: Holden4th - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:19

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:19
Big Red is not the Simpson, it's a straight drag race up the sand hill. When you get into those big dunes on the French Line where the track up is 'S' shaped then your Kingswood is going to have some serious problems. I"d suggest that the Holden went out from Birdsville, did a few dunes, and then came back.
FollowupID: 620623

Follow Up By: Axel [ the real one ] - Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 08:07

Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 08:07
Holden 4th , BigRed not part of the Simpson ? ?????? Your dreaming , the largest of the sand hills , a serious dogleg in 2002 and even if as you suggest the Kingswood only went for a days drive to "do"a few dunnes it shows that a fullon 4x4 is NOT always a requirement..
FollowupID: 620663

Reply By: jeff360 - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 16:47

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 16:47
4wd action did a fuel comparison across the simpson using 2 KIAS one petrol, one diesel, so it can be done, they did not really coment on how they coped.
AnswerID: 352347

Reply By: Holden4th - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:15

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:15
Simpson Desert, day 2 of our 07 crossing. We get to the third dune (a big bugger) and we see a vehicle stuck three quarters of the way up it. It has been totally bogged and the companion vehicle (an older Prado) is trying to winch him up those final 15 metres - impossible.

After waiting for about 30 minutes we wander up and find that the 4by is a Sorento and it can't go up any further. Wanting to press on we insist that he back down (after we dig him out). He starts to refuse - "I'm so close to the top!" We say 'No go mate' and we take charge by pushing him back down the dune. By this time he's frantic "if I don't get over this I'll never make it to Dalhousie."

In short, the Sorento is overloaded, doesn't really have the clearance and could be stuck there for ever. I offer to drive it up and over the dune provided he gets rid of all the passengers (Mum and two kids).

Without the weight of his family I get the Kia over the top but can feel it bottoming out on the sand and this is with tyre pressures of about 30 psi. ( I was reluctant to lower the vehicle any further)

Six days later we come across the Kia at the Stuart van park in the Alice. It's been sidelined waiting for a new fuel tank to replace the one that's been holed crossing the Simpson.

Please take this as a cautionary tale. They'll charge you over $7K to retrieve your vehicle from the desert if you get stuck. Don't bel sucked in by the stories about 2wd Fords crossing the Simpson. If you go in a vehicle that is not really suitable then expect problems. I don't think the Sorento is a suitable vehicle for many reasons.
AnswerID: 352399

Reply By: unko - Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 15:56

Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 15:56
AnswerID: 352572

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