Kia has released new images and more information about the all-new version of its flagship Sorento SUV. The fourth generation of the family vehicle is first being built on Kia’s new mid-size platform that will allow for an electrified drivetrain with conventional diesel engines.
Deployed to take on the likes of Skoda Kodiaq and Hyundai Santa Fe, Sorento will only come on as a seven-seater when it arrives in the second half of the year.
The styling of the new model has had an impact on the big telluride in the US. The earlier soft edges have been replaced with a bolder, more angular style designed to make the car larger but sportier than before. The trademark Tiger Nose Grille is now running backward blends in wraparound headlights and sharp creases, along with more geometric shapes in the panels and lights to make it look more aggressive than the outgoing model.
The new car is only 10mm longer and wider than the outgoing one. Still, thanks to fewer overhangs, a longer wheelbase, and slick packaging, Kia says it offers significantly more room inside for passengers in all three rows.
The interior is as well repaired to be more luxurious, sophisticated, and high-tech than before. The metal trim, leather upholstery, mood lighting, and “satin effect” surfaces look and feel of the cabin, while a new two-screen setup puts more detail at the driver’s fingertips. The 12.3-inch digital instrument display sits in front of the driver and is blended into the central media and navigation touchscreen — eight or 10.25 inches depending on the trim level.
Kia says that Sorento is its most high-tech model yet as well as the usual Internet-connected infotainment system; it’s a head-up display, tie together for two smartphones, cruise control that uses Saturn nav info. The predictive offers changes to its speed, a BMW-style self-parking function, and Kia’s first multi-collision brake system.
At launch, the Sorento will come with a new 2.2-liter “SmartStream” diesel engine or 1.6-liter petrol hybrid.
With 199bhp and 325lb / ft, the diesel will come as standard with a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and the option of two or four-wheel drive.
The hybrid will be four-wheel drive only and will feature a conventional six-speed auto gearbox. The 1.4-liter turbo petrol engine is paired with a 44.2 kW (59bhp) electric motor to produce a total of 227bhp and 258lb / ft.
A plug-in will join the hybrid lineup later in the year.
Kia says the four-wheel-drive variants of the new Sorento are more capable off-road than previous models, which look out for sand, snow, and mud.
The car will be announced closer to launch in the third quarter of the year, with prices, economy, and emissions details.
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