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2009-04-02 11:09

New Sorento is, like many pending or recently released Kia models, disturbingly well styled. Packs a punch with 144kW 2.2l turbodiesel power.

Keen to make an impact on the bi-annual Seoul motor show, Kia is to showcase its new Sorento.

Designed by Peter Schreyer, who spent 25 years with Audi and penned the original TT, the second generation Sorento sports thoroughly contemporary surfacing and proportions.

Dimensionally the new car is 110mm longer and eschews the current Sorento's ladder frame chassis construction for a monocoque platform - which will leave Sorento’s off-roading fans feeling a bit miffed.

Suspension configuration is carried over from the current, first-generation car, employing MacPherson struts up front and a multilink set-up at the rear.

Strong engine line-up

Engine options will be highly regionalised, with the North American market expected to be serviced by Sorento’s powered by a 3.5l V6 producing 167kW. European markets will have option on two engines, both four-cylinder units, with petrol power running at 2.4l capacity and 127kW and 225Nm outputs.

Sorento customers who favour diesel power will be heartened to see the new 2.2 CRDi engine on offer, which produces 144kW and 435Nm, and seems a veritable beast of a compression-ignition powerplant on paper.

Traction options will be either front- or four-wheel drive, with torque being transferred by five- or six-speed manual gearboxes augmented by a new six-speed automatic, for customers who prefer two-pedal driving.

Down-hill Brake Control and Hill-start Assist should ensure confident off-road progress for novice adventurers, with the Sorento able to descend at a controlled 8km/h when necessary.

Little is known of the interior packaging (beyond Sorento being a seven-seater) and convenience items. We expect more details tomorrow when the Seoul motor show opens officially.


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