Kia has taken the wraps off its all-new Sorento - the landmark vehicle that took the Korean brand onto the world stage - at the Seoul Motor Show.
Bold frontal styling incorporates Kia's new 'signature grille' that blends seamlessly into the new Kia Sorento's four-light, black bezel wrap-around headlamps. The profile's rising upper belt-line and the dynamic bevel treatment beneath the greenhouse plus the unique trapezoid C-Pillar adds tension and endows new Kia Sorento with a unique appearance. Extending the rear window to the outer edges of the simply styled tailgate hints at the spacious cabin and the large tail lamps enhance the sporty appearance.
During the development of the new Kia Sorento, engineers ditched the body-on-frame structure and designed an all-new unitary (monocoque) bodyshell with room for up to seven occupants. Building on those new foundations, they concentrated on eight key areas - class-leading performance, increased fuel economy, reduced emissions, improved on-road handling, more fun-to-drive responsiveness, greater cabin space and comfort, enhanced overall safety and the introduction of new technologies.
The real and perceived quality of the cabin is greatly enhanced and available high-tech features will include: keyless entry, engine start button, reversing safety camera, built-in sat-nav and panoramic glass sunroof.
The new Kia Sorento's interior styling echoes the sense of power and dynamism created by the exterior appearance. The thick-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel is becoming a Kia trademark feature and through it the driver can view another element of Kia's developing design DNA - the 'three-cylinder' instrument cluster. Similar to the cluster fitted to the latest version of Kia Magentis and the recently-launched Kia Soul, the new Kia Sorento's cluster has clear and precise graphics.
Depending on the model, the new Kia Sorento will be equipped with a six, eight or 10-speaker audio system, with MP3 and iPod connectivity, plus built-in or external amplifier and a new sat-nav system with a 6.5-inch screen. Remote controls for the audio system are mounted on the steering wheel.
The all-new 'R' family of turbo-diesel engines proves that Kia's engineering capabilities are indeed world-class. The 2.2-litre engine comfortably out-performs most four-cylinder and many V6 units from rival brands, while complying with Euro 5 emissions standards thanks to their third-generation common-rail fuel system. The R2.2 generates a maximum of 197 ps and 435 Nm.
New Kia Sorento buyers will be offered a wide choice of transmissions and drivetrains - depending on model. Five-speed and six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be offered. Both six-speed transmissions are new or upgraded.
New Kia Sorento buyers can select from two advanced drivetrains to 'best-match' the on-road and off-road abilities of their new Kia vehicle to their lifestyle. The 2WD drivetrain offers lower weight and enhanced fuel economy, while the 4WD drivetrain will be ideal for buyers who regularly face difficult driving conditions, tow trailers (weighing up to 2,500 kilos, depending on model) or go off-road.
Traction is also boosted by the available HAC (Hill-start Assist Control) which prevents the vehicle slipping backwards, and DBC (Down-hill Brake Control) that limits vehicle speed to just 5 mph on steep declines.
The new Kia Sorento is not expected to reach the UK market until 2010.Published 2 April 2009