Kia has released new images and more information about the all-new version of its flagship Sorento SUV.
The fourth generation of the family vehicle is the first to be built on Kia’s new mid-sized platform which will allow for electrified drivetrains alongside the traditional diesel engine.
Positioned to take on the likes of the Skoda Kodiaq and Hyundai Santa Fe, the Sorento will come only as a seven-seater when it arrives in the second half of the year.
The new model’s styling has been influenced by the larger US-only Telluride. The previously soft edges have been replaced with a bolder, more angular style designed to make the car look larger but sportier than before. The trademark tiger nose grille now blends into the wraparound headlights and sharp creases running front to back, along with more geometric shapes in the panels and lights make it more aggressive-looking than the outgoing model.
The new car is only 10mm longer and wider than the outgoing one but thanks to shorter overhangs, a longer wheelbase and clever packaging, Kia says it offers substantially more room inside for passengers in all three rows.
The interior has been overhauled as well to be more luxurious, sophisticated and high-tech than before. Metal trim, leather upholstery, mood lighting and “satin-effect” surfaces aim to step up the look and feel of the cabin while a new two-screen setup puts more information at the driver’s fingertips. A 12.3-inch digital instrument display sits in front of the driver and blends into the central media and navigation touchscreen - eight or 10.25 inches, depending on trim level.
Kia says the Sorento is its most high-tech model yet and as well as the usual internet-connected infotainment system, it offers a head-up display, simultaneous pairing for two smartphones, cruise control that uses sat nav information to predictively alter its speed, a BMW-style self-parking function and Kia’s first multi-collision brake system.
At launch, the Sorento will come with a new 2.2-litre “Smartstream” diesel engine or a 1.6-litre petrol hybrid.
With 199bhp and 325lb/ft, the diesel will come as standard with a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and the choice of two- or four-wheel-drive.
The hybrid will only be four-wheel-drive and feature a traditional six-speed auto gearbox. The 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine is paired with a 44.2kW (59bhp) electric motor to produce a total of 227bhp and 258lb/ft.
Later in the year a plug-in hybrid will join the line-up.
Kia says that four-wheel-drive variants of the new Sorento are more capable off-road than previous models thanks to selectable Terrain Mode technology, tuned for sand, snow and mud.
Prices, along with economy and emissions details will be announced closer to the car’s launch in the third quarter of the year.