Kia Sorento

Luxury 4x4 motoring at an affordable price will soon be a reality when the new Kia Sorento is launched in the UK on 1 December this year. Sorento's prestige design, supreme equipment levels and powerful engines are certain to enhance the Kia brand image in the UK and expand Kia's range appeal to new audiences.

Mark Quinn, Managing Director for Kia Cars (UK) Limited, said of the new vehicle: "Sorento is an exceptionally capable all-round vehicle, which can deliver in the expanding 4x4 market what Sedona has achieved for Kia in the large MPV market. Three years since launch our Sedona MPV is taking up to 10% of the large MPV market ahead of long established competitors. Sorento has all the ingredients to succeed in this image conscious market."

Key equipment and specification details are yet to be confirmed, but when Sorento is launched there will be a choice of three trim levels and two engines, plus an extensive list of standard equipment, including driver, passenger and side curtain airbags, ABS with EBD, self-levelling suspension, limited slip differential, front fog lamps, alloy wheels and roof rails. The highest specification model is likely to be fitted with such luxuries as in-car DVD player and satellite navigation system.

Kia expects to attract the interest of image-conscious buyers who recognise the value, looks and capabilities of the Sorento. Indeed, through the Kia website ( ) more than 1200 potential buyers have already registered for further information on Sorento. This is an outstanding level of interest in a vehicle so far in advance of launch.

But Sorento will be more than just a pretty SUV. Underneath the bonnet will be a choice of two engines. A 2.5-litre common rail diesel engine will be available with an option of either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. A 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine will be available only with the four-speed automatic 'box. Couple the powerful engines with the solid rear beam axle, and Sorento will have outstanding maximum towing weight of 2800kg.

Excellent driving comfort both on and off-road is maximised thanks to the double wishbone suspension on the front axle and the five-link solid rear axle with gas shock absorbers to provide stability over rugged terrain. Sorento's suspension has been fine tuned by Porsche for optimum handling and ride comfort.

Serious off-road driving will be possible with either part-time 4WD or full-time 4WD.

The Kia Sorento 2.5-litre CRDi is expected to be on sale on 1 December, while the 3.5-litre V6 powered car will be available later around February 03. Prices are expected to be between £18,000 and £22,000 and will be confirmed, together with full specification details, nearer to launch.

Published : 12/07/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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