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2018-10-23 15:00
2018 KIA Sorento

Image: Motorpress

Following its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2017, the enhanced KIA Sorento this week makes its debut in South Africa. Featuring a refreshed exterior design as well as an upgraded interior, the enhanced Sorento also features enriched standard specification levels and even better value.

The current generation made its global debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show and was introduced locally in June 2015. Its design, notably improved build quality and interior finishes set it apart from the largely utility-based competitor set.

Improved design – inside and out

The new model retains its SUV proportions, but thanks to its mid-life update now sports a tighter, sharper exterior design. It is officially on sale through all dealerships nationwide.

GALLERY: 2018 Kia Sorento

The refreshed front-end features a more artfully detailed radiator grille, flanked by a new headlights configuration featuring projection headlights  and revised LED Daytime Running Lights on higher specification models.

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The front revamp is complemented by a newly sculpted bumper design, incorporating projection-type fog lamps, that assists in giving it a more aggressive overall expression.

Inside, Sorento maintains an upmarket look and feel thanks to numerous upgrades and enhancements, including a new, more tactile steering wheel, a new gearshift lever, and a revised instrument cluster with improved graphics. The redesign also includes alterations to the airvents and the centre console design, which – in combination – create an ambience that is thoroughly up to date.

Another important upgrade to the enhanced Sorento line-up is that all model derivatives offer seating for up to seven passengers, with leather upholstery as standard across the board.

2018 KIA Sorento

                                                                        Image: Motorpress

Featuring 40/20/40 second row split folding seats for improved versatility, with a higher folding centre armrest, these seatbacks can be ‘remotely’ folded by conveniently located levers in the side of the cargo bay.

The third-row seats fold away flat in the luggage compartment, ensuring that luggage space is not compromised when the seats are not in use. When the seats are folded flat, Sorento offers 605 litres of luggage space, and also features an under-floor tonneau cover storage compartment and integrated cargo net to secure loose items.

Revised model line-up

The Sorento range will henceforth comprise a mid-spec LX and a mid-high-spec EX derivative, both available either with front-wheel drive or KIA’s renowned Dynamax all-wheel-drive system.

The enhanced Sorento LX features a raft of standard specification that includes, but is not limited to, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, automatic headlamp control (incorporating ‘Welcome Home’ and ‘Escort’ lighting), auto-folding and heated side mirrors with integrated side indicators, electric windows front and rear, and rear USB ports.

2018 KIA Sorento

                                                                      Image: Motorpress

"The Sorento SUV has been a proud flagbearer for the brand's design and quality credentials since the first generation model debuted in 2002. It has not only won red dot and iF Design Awards, but is also a consistent segment leader in the annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Study," says Gary Scott, CEO of KIA Motors South Africa.

The higher-spec EX model also features an auto defog system, illuminated door scuff plates, rear sunshade blinds, electrically adjustable front seats (with two-way adjustable lumbar support for the driver’s seat), integrated roof rails and a wireless smartphone charger.

All derivatives feature a new 8-inch colour touchscreen with embedded Satellite Navigation, from which occupants can also control audio, whether it is a favourite radio station, via the USB/Aux jacks, or through their mobile device via Apple CarPlay (and Android Auto, once released in South Africa). Sorento is equipped with 6 speakers.

Automatic for the people

KIA has retained the popular 2.2-litre 'R' turbodiesel engine, which is synonymous with Sorento and renowned for its excellent mid- and low-range torque.

Loved for smoothness and efficiency, the engine produces 147kW of power at 3 800r/min, with maximum torque of 440Nm available between 1 750 and 2 75 r/min.

2018 KIA Sorento

                                                                     Image: Motorpress

Featuring KIA’s fourth-generation fuel-injection system, the engine delivers greater fuel economy, performance and engine response while reducing engine noise. It reaches 100km/h in 9.4 seconds, with a top speed of 203km/h.

The vehicle also features an exhaust gas recirculation cooler to promote recirculation of clean, cold, low-pressure exhaust gas that reduces nitrogen oxide emissions and improves fuel efficiency.

Finally, a newly adopted electronic swirl control valve in the intake manifold further reduces emissions by more carefully controlling the intake of oxygen to the combustion chamber. CO2 emissions are 164g/km and 170g/km for the front-wheel and all-wheel-drive versions respectively.

2018 Kia Sorento rear seats

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It also comes with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Designed in-house by KIA and launched in 2016, the transmission boasts 143 newly-patented technologies and delivers a slick-shifting, more decisive drive while reducing emissions.

Compared to other automatic transmissions, KIA’s new eight-speed unit requires fewer control valves, enabling a more direct mechanical link to the engine. This allows the transmission to shift more quickly than the outgoing six-speed automatic transmission and enables more decisive acceleration.

Driver based technology

The new transmission offers four different drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Smart. Drivers can select their preferred mode with the Sorento’s electronic Drive Mode Select system. Each mode enables the driver to customise the powertrain’s responses to driver inputs, enhancing fuel economy or acceleration characteristics depending on driver preference.

The Drive Mode Select also adapts the weight of the rack-mounted power steering system, for more relaxed or more immediate, engaging steering responses.

The new Smart Mode is designed to understand and anticipate the driver’s steering preferences, automatically switching between Eco, Comfort and Sport modes. This enables the Sorento to adapt to the driver’s steering behaviour as road conditions change, pre-empting the driver’s preference for different speeds and driving environments.

An Electric Parking Brake with Auto Hold Function is also standard, as is Cruise Control.

2018 KIA Sorento

                                                                      Image: Motorpress

Sorento features a full complement of safety and driver assistance systems, including ABS brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), six airbags and ISOFIX child seat anchors.

The all-electric windows also have a safety function that automatically halts the window closing if an obstruction – like a child’s hand – is detected. Drivers will also benefit from Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Hill-start Assist, while all models feature Park Distance Control at the rear, linked to a reverse camera displayed on the 8" colour touchscreen.

All Sorento models ship as standard with KIA’s industry-leading unlimited kilometre, five-year warranty, as well as a standard 5-year/100 000km service plan and 3-years of roadside assistance.

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