Kia Sorento finally gets global launch

By CARSIFU | 18 March 2020

SEOUL: The flag-ship fourth-generation Kia Sorento received its global unveiling and has been touted to have been engineered to take on everything life throws at it.

This sport utility vehicle from South Korea can be had in either five or seven-seater configuration and will be made available in Europe with 10 colour choices while UK specifications will be announced at a later date.

The new Sorento will roll out of the company's Hwasung, South Korean production plant for the European market as well as in West Point which is located in the US.

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European sales are due to commence in the third quarter of 2020 and the car will be available to order in most of Kia’s global markets by the end of the year.

The Sorento will be accompanied by a unique seven-year, 162,000km warranty (whichever comes first) as standard. The UK on-sale date, pricing and specification will be announced in due course.

The exterior has received sharper lines, high-tech details and elongated proportions to give it a more confident and mature presence.

It sits on a 2,815mm wheelbase while measuring in at 4,810mm-long (+10mm), 1,900mm-wide (+10mm) and 1,695mm-tall (+10mm).

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Power comes from either a 2.2-litre (2,151cc) turbodiesel engine producing 202PS at 3,800rpm and 440Nm of torque from 1,750 to 2,750rpm.

In the petrol spectrum is a 1.6-litre (1,598cc) turbocharged hybrid powertrain.

The direct-injection engine alone produces 180PS at 5,500rpm and 265Nm of torque from 1,500 to 4,500rpm.

Supplementing the engine is a 44.2kW electric motor with 264Nm of instant torque.

Combined, both engine and motor provide a total system output of 230PS and 350Nm of torque which is managed by either a six-speed automatic gearbox or an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Power is then sent to the front wheels, but if preferred, budding owners can opt for an all-wheel driven system instead.

The body is suspended by front MacPherson struts and rear double-wishbone while rolling on standard 17-inch wheels with 235/65 series tyres all round and can be upsized as an optional extra.

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The 1.6 petrol-hybrid variant rolls on 19-inch wheels with 235/55 series while the turbodiesel gets the most choices with 18 (235/60), 19 (235/55) and 20-inch (255/45) wheel options available.

At the front, the signature "tiger nose" grille is flanked by what the company has dubbed "Tiger Eyeline" LED daytime runners integrated into the headlights.

It is further complemented by a sharp bumper lip with skid plate while front and rear overhangs have been minimised over its predecessor.

The rear sports new vertical tail lamps, faux dual-exhaust pipes, rear skid plate, subtly integrated rear spoiler

Inside, its cabin introduces its new design and together with a larger body, there's now more luggage space and three rows of seats for greater versatility.

Also, the Korean carmaker has added an electrified Smartstream powertrain - a first for the new Sorento lineup, for improved fuel economy and emissions over its predecessors.

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The Sorento is being touted as Kia's most high-tech vehicle ever thanks to the inclusion of a twin digital display in the dashboard that's made up of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An 8.0-inch touch screen comes as standard.

Included in the list of goodies are new haptic buttons for the screen and climate controls located further down the console while its Mood Lighting system provides some soft ambient downlighting from beneath the dashboard and door trim to help create a lounge-like feel

A wireless smartphone charger also sits at the base of the centre console, while a Bose surround-sound system immerses occupants in its renown in-car audio experience.

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For the upholstery, Europe has the option of picking a leather-fabric combination of black with leather (grey or black single-tone, or black-and-grey two-tone), or black quilted Nappa leather while having the cabin accented in a metal-leather combination.

For luggage space, the Sorento is capable of taking on a minimum of 902 litres in the five-seater hybrid variant and is expandable to 2,085 litres with second-row folded down.

Opting for the seven-seater variant drops the boot space down to 813 litres and once both second and third rows have been folded down to create a flatbed, there's now 1,996 litres of space.

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The diesel variant will provide more at 910 litres (2,100 litres) for the five-seater and 821 litres (2,011 litres) in the seven-seater.

Having the third-row seats up, luggage space may be reduced down to 187 litres for the diesel and 179 litres for the hybrid, but controls in the sidewall of the boot also let users fold down the second-row seatbacks remotely at the touch of a button.

Thanks to the longer wheelbase, the second-row seats can slide forward and aft by up to 45mm creating a wider point of entry to the third row with more space for feet and legs.

In terms of abilities, the new Sorento has been equipped with an enhanced all-terrain capability with a new Terrain Mode which seeks out traction in mud, snow and sand.

Depending on the variant, the Sorento's active and passive safety equipment includes forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian, cyclist, vehicle and oncoming traffic detection when making a turn.

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There's also blind-spot view monitor, surround view monitor and blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, intelligent speed limit assist, smart cruise control (SCC) with stop-go functionality and navigation-based SCC, lane following assist, driver attention warning and highway driving assist.

Adding to the list is a rearview monitor with reverse parking collision-avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist and safe exit assist which prevents rear doors from opening if the vehicle detects a cyclist or another vehicle approaching from behind.

For added convenience, there's the new remote smart parking assist which enables drivers to move the vehicle autonomously out of a tight front-and-back parking space remotely with the key fob.

Other safety equipment includes the usual inclusion of up to seven airbags, vehicle stability management and electronic stability control, a unique multi-collision brake system,

“The Sorento’s represents the first use of electrified power in our flagship SUV,” said Kia Motors Europe chief operating officer Emilio Herrera.

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