All-new Kia Sorento unveiled

The KIA Sorento is a favourite of ours because it offers decent space, an impressive diesel engine and all-wheel drive. These features make the Sorento a versatile and appealing option within the segment. Now though there is a new model, which by the looks of it is going to set new standards within the segment. Here is what you need to know.

The design

The Kia Sorento’s redefined exterior design – with sharper lines, high-tech details, and elongated proportions – gives it a more confident and mature presence. Inside, its attractive cabin also introduces premium-quality materials, cutting-edge infotainment technologies, and a stunning new design. Stylish and modern, the Sorento is the flagship for Kia’s reinvigorated global SUV line-up, alongside the Stonic, Seltos and Sportage, as well as the Kia Telluride available in North America. The new model is the result of a collaborative design effort by Kia’s worldwide design network and the first vehicle to be based on Kia’s new-generation midsize SUV platform. Paired with a larger body to maximise cargo and luggage space, the platform ensure the Sorento is one of the most versatile and spacious three-row SUVs on the road.

The front of the Kia Sorento evolves with a new interpretation of Kia’s hallmark ‘tiger nose’ grille, displaying a wider shape which organically wraps around the integrated headlamps on each side. The headlamps themselves feature a new ‘tiger eyeline’ LED daytime running light, adding extra focus to the design by depicting the intense impression of the lines around a tiger’s eyes. This sharper, more assertive appearance is complemented by a wide, rectangular lower air intake, bookended by wing-shaped air curtains to channel air around the car. A sharp bumper lip is also capped with a skid plate, enhancing its robust appearance. The new model is 1,900mm wide, 10mm wider than the third-generation Sorento.

n profile, the proportions of the Kia Sorento are subtly adapted to make it appear longer. The new model is 10mm longer than its predecessor (now 4,810mm), yet it features shorter front and rear overhangs. The additional length is found in the wheelbase which has grown by 35mm to 2 815mm. This subtly adapts the visual character of the Sorento, making it look longer and ‘faster’, despite being 10mm taller. It also extends the length of the bonnet, drawing the A-pillar 30mm further back from the front axle.

Inspired by the Telluride, the Sorento adopts new vertical tail lamps which wrap around the side of the body. Sharper lines in the bodywork echo the straight, technical appearance of the front of the car, with horizontal shapes used to make the vehicle appear wider and more imposing on the road. Trim on the sporty lower rear bumper embodies the appearance of dual tailpipes and, like the front, features a skid plate to add to its tough SUV aesthetic.

Interior

The interior of the fourth-generation Kia Sorento represents a step-change in quality and design for Kia cabins. From the first-generation 2002 Kia Sorento, which provided occupants with a practical, robust and utilitarian space, the Sorento today provides owners with something altogether more striking, desirable and comfortable.

One of the highest quality interior spaces found in any Kia to-date, the intuitive, tech-oriented cabin of the Sorento is fitted with premium-quality materials and cutting-edge infotainment. At the same time, it retains the spaciousness and versatility that has characterised the Sorento over its 18-year existence.

The attractive, upscale cabin introduces a sophisticated next-generation design, based around twin digital displays in the dashboard. The 12.3-inch digital driver instrument cluster is twinned with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system at the centre of the dashboard. These display information clearly within the driver’s line of sight, and create an innovative wide-screen user experience. The car’s many functions can also be controlled with new haptic buttons on either side of the screen, which also feature further down the dashboard for the climate control system. The focal point of the dashboard is the eye-catching vertical ventilation stack, with a chrome-effect surround that extends onto the centre console below.

The cabin of the Kia Sorento subtly integrates a range of other technologies, including an available Mood Lighting system. This emits soft ambient downlighting from beneath the dashboard and door trim, creating a lounge-like feeling and greater sense of space. A wireless smartphone charger also sits at the base of the centre console, while a powerful BOSE surround-sound system is also available to provide a more immersive in-car audio experience.

Practicality

The Sorento offers generous space for up to seven passengers as well as one of the largest luggage capacities in its class – up to 821 litres (for seven-seat models) or 910 litres (for five-seat models), depending on specification. This means the car can accommodate five people in comfort, and a significant amount of luggage. In seven-seat models, with all seven seats in place, boot space is also increased by 32 per cent compared to its predecessor, to 187 litres

While Kia South Africa is remaining tight lipped about what engines we will be getting, reports suggest that there is a new diesel engine. The new four-cylinder 2.2-litre ‘Smartstream’ diesel engine is also available for European customers, producing 148kW and 440Nm torque. With a new aluminium block, 19.5kg lighter than the cast iron block of its predecessor, the new engine is 38.2kg lighter compared to that found in the third-generation Sorento. Furthermore, it is paired with Kia’s new eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission (8DCT).

When will it come to SA?

The new Sorento should be on its way to South Africa this year and we will be sure to keep you informed about its arrival. It is also worth noting that the vehicle has already won an award.

The all-new Sorento, has made a strong start to the year, being named ‘Large SUV of the Year’ at the 2021 What Car? Car of the Year Awards.

Up against worthy competition in the Large SUV category, the What Car? judging panel chose the Sorento for its impressive fuel economy, driving dynamics, high levels of standard specification, and exceptional build quality.

Commenting on the Sorento win, Steve Huntingford, Editor of What Car? magazine said: “The Sorento’s hybrid tech combines good real-world fuel economy with comparatively low CO2 emissions, while the ride is comfortable and the steering accurate. Throw in a nicely made and well-equipped interior, and a driving position that’s lofty enough to make HGV drivers jealous, and the Sorento is an outstanding all-rounder.”

*Images and specs shown or referred to are not confirmed for South Africa

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