The new 2.5-litre common rail diesel engine incorporates Bosch technology. The engine delivers a maximum horsepower of 140 PS @ 3,800 rpm and a muscular 314Nm of torque @ 1850-2500 rpm. The engine is mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed fuzzy logic controlled automatic transmission.
The diesel engine has been designed for low vibration and exceptionally smooth power delivery, as well as low noise characteristics.
The manual diesel produces an extra urban fuel consumption of 40.9 mpg and a combined figure of 33.2 mpg, compared to 38.7 mpg and 31.7 mpg respectively for the automatic.
A 3.5-litre V6 engine, producing 193 bhp, with standard automatic gearbox will be available by the summer.
The four-wheel drive system incorporates technology from Borg-Warner with components manufactured in South Wales. Either an "Electric Shift Transfer" part-time or a full-time, active torque transfer, system is offered.
The part-time EST (Electric Shift Transfer) four-wheel drive system allows the driver to manually select three alternative modes (two-wheel drive High, four-wheel drive High and four-wheel drive Low). The Low range gives a gear ratio of 2.48:1 compared to 1:1 for the High range, making it ideal for very steep descents and ascents.
The full-time ATT (Active Torque Transfer) torque on demand system automatically transfers the optimum power between the front and rear wheels according to road conditions, from a maximum 100% rear-wheel drive up to 50% front and 50% rear wheel drive. This is also fitted with a Low range.
The Sorento features double wishbone suspension on the front wheels for secure ride and handling, while the five-link setup at the back provides stability on rough surfaces. Gas filled shock absorbers developed by Sachs are fitted on all four wheels, absorbing vibration at faster speeds and providing a smooth ride on mixed road surfaces.
The standard self-levelling suspension system also incorporates Sachs technology. The system automatically adjusts the rear suspension when the vehicle is pulling a trailer or carrying a heavy cargo load, maintaining the ground clearance at the rear and keeping the front headlights level.
The Sorento’s suspension system was fine tuned by Porsche following road testing in Spain and Germany. The set-up has paid particular emphasis to directional stability and ride quality at motorway driving speeds.
The Sorento meets or exceeds all European and North American safety standards and has been internally tested to five star level in both front and side impact tests.
The ventilated disc brakes fitted to the both the front and rear wheels of the Sorento will bring this 2,000 kg vehicle from 60 to 0 mph in only 43.7m. The car is fitted with ABS with EBD, developed by Bosch, providing the most effective stopping power and ensuring the driver can maintain complete control in more challenging conditions. All UK cars are fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels with 245/70R16 tyres.
The airbag safety system in the Sorento incorporates side-impact sensors developed by Siemens and airbags from Autoliv, the US-based industry leader in vehicle safety systems. Driver and passenger airbags are fitted on all cars along with curtain side airbags that provide protection for front and rear seat occupants. Seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters hold passengers secure in the event of a sudden deceleration or collision.
The Sorento is fitted with deadlocks and an immobiliser as well as driver operated switch to lock windows and doors.
The Kia Sorento goes on sale on Friday 14 February.
All Kia cars benefit from a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty, which can be extended to up to five years, and three years’ European roadside assistance for complete peace of mind motoring.Published 13 February 2003