NEW ENGINEERING: Kia says its new Sorento reduces running costs for personal driving and business owners. Image: Newspress.
• New flagship for Kia
• Major strides in engineering
• Seven seats, EU6 diesel engine
LONDON, England - Kia has launched the all-new Sorento in Britain to, the automaker says, "build on its consistent appeal to a diverse range of customers". It's expected in South Africa in July, so bone up on it here, today...
Kia added in its media punt: "This third-generation model will change the way people see the brand. It is better-equipped and more refined, stylish and technologically advanced than ever before,"
Six versions are in UK showrooms with prices starting at the equivalent of about R524 000 (SA, guidance only!).
LONGER, LOWER, WIDER
All versions are powered by an EU6-compliant 2.2-litre turbodieseland have a new permanent, "intelligent" all-wheel drive. There are four trim levels in the UK: KX-1, KX-2, KX-3 and KX-4. Depending on model, buyers have the choice of six-speed manual or auto transmission.
The third-generation Sorento is longer, lower and wider than the previous model and rides on an all-new platform while an extended wheelbase allows three rows of seats.
Safety and convenience technologies new to the Sorento, in some cases new to any Korean SUV, include blind-spot detection, lane departure warning and adaptive headlights.
Kia began a design-led revolution in 2006 after the appointment of Peter Schreyer as chief design officer – now president of design for the entire Hyundai Motor Group. It was to be the start of Phase 1 of Kia’s move away from being a company primarily focused on value.
IMAGE GALLERY: Take a close look at the new Sorento
Phase 2, which starts with the new Sorento, will, Kia claims, match or surpass not only customer expectations but also the world’s best car manufacturers for engineering, technology, refinement and quality. The car has, the automaker adds, executive-class space and versatility. It's 95mm longer than the second-generation Sorento, has an 80mm longer wheelbase (now 2780mm), is 15mm lower and five mm wider.
It looks much like its predecessor but, the maker says, "now has a sleeker profile".
The engine now develops 148kW - a marginal increase - and 441Nm (+19Nm). Performance has been improved so that acceleration from 0-100km/h now takes nine seconds (auto 9.6), and all versions have a top speed of 200km/h.
The car has the same electronically controlled Dynamax all-wheel-drive system as the Sportage to move torque between axles as needed. Or the driver can, at up to 40km/h, lock the drive 50:50.