Kia Launches First UK Commercial Vehicle - Sorento XE-C

Kia Motors (UK) Limited has launched its first commercial vehicle onto the UK market, based on the top-rated Sorento.

The Kia Sorento XE-C is derived from the 2.5 CRDi XE Sorento and comes with an outstanding specification including air-conditioning as standard and all at a class-leading price tag of £14,999 (Commercial Vehicle On The Road).

The Sorento XE-C will have all the same specification as the current XE model, including part-time Electric Shift Transfer 4WD for severe driving conditions.

Outstanding strength

Built on a ladder chassis with a dual frame body construction the Sorento XE-C has outstanding strength and a braked trailer towing capacity of 2800kg.

Aimed at commercial site managers, the farming community and fleet customers, the Sorento XE-C combines the exterior styling of the existing Sorento with the interior space and versatility required by the commercial SUV buyer.

The Sorento XE-C’s 2.5-litre diesel engine incorporates Bosch common rail technology and delivers maximum horsepower of 138 bhp at 3,800 rpm and a muscular 343 Nm of torque at 1850-2500 rpm.

The engine is mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed sports H-matic automatic transmission.

The manual diesel produces an extra urban fuel consumption of 43.5 mpg and a combined figure of 36.7 mpg, compared to 41.5 mpg and 33.6 mpg respectively for the automatic.

The cargo area has maximised the space in the Sorento’s passenger cabin and gives users a load height of 930 mm, a maximum load width of 1370 mm and a length of 1610 mm. The cargo area is easily accessed from the passenger side doors, tailgate and flip-up tailgate glass.

Number 1 for customer satisfaction

The Sorento was voted Number 1 4x4 for Customer Satisfaction in the 2005 J.D. Power Survey and achieved a five per cent market share within the large SUV sector in 2004. Commercial conversions accounted for just below 6,500 units of the large SUV sector during the same year, representing 6.14% of the mix.

Howard Slade, Director of Sales Operations said: “The Sorento is already a firm favourite with large SUV buyers and we have been asked about a commercial conversion by many independent operators and fleet customers who recognise the Sorento’s abilities but want a more utilitarian alternative.

“The Sorento XE-C will allow us to enter the commercial vehicle market for the first time in the UK and provide a realistic alternative that combines Kia’s traditionally high level specification with the workability that these vehicles need in the commercial market place. We are aiming to reach 300 unit sales in the first full year of availability,” he added.

The Sorento XE-C is available to purchase through all of Kia’s 164 dealer outlets across the UK.

Published : 02/08/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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