Hot on the heels of the success of the Common-Rail Turbodiesel Sorento, Kia is launching a high performance 24-valve 3.5-litre V6 petrol version. Available only in the higher XS specification and with an automatic gearbox the car is priced at £21,995.
The Kia Sorento straddles the divide between offering the style of a premium 'off-roader' with the strength of a rugged workhorse. With a traditional separate chassis, Sorento has an impressive maximum towing weight of 2800 kg allied to the looks of a prestige 4x4 costing at least £10,000 more.
Sorento has now won awards in the media in the UK, France, Spain, Austria and the USA. Sorento was voted Best 4x4 by Diesel Car magazine in the UK and has won two prestigious awards in the United States: 'Best Overall Value' SUV by the Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAP) and AutoPacific has named the Sorento as top SUV in its 2003 Vehicle Satisfaction score round-up.
The 3.5-litre V6 is the standard specification for Sorento in the United States, which is Kia’s largest export market. Nearly a quarter-of-a-million Kias were sold in the United States in 2002.
Paul Williams, Managing Director of Kia Motors (UK) Limited, said: "The Sorento has been exceptionally well received since its launch in February. While our expectation is that the fuel-efficient diesel will be the biggest seller in the UK it is very much in keeping with the style of the vehicle to offer a petrol derivative. The 3.5-litre V6 is ideally suited to the car endowing it with the power and refinement that the sheer presence of the car demands."
Sorento represents a new level of international integration for Kia with components and expertise sourced from top automotive names around the world. The list includes suspension tuning by Porsche, four-wheel drive system components from Borg Warner (manufactured in South Wales), shock absorbers and self-levelling suspension from Sachs, ABS and fuel injection systems from Bosch, and airbag technology from Autoliv.
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