THE next generation Kia Sorento has broken cover in Frankfurt, offering a styling modern exterior design, and a quality high-tech cabin. A full hybrid and plug-in hybrid variant will join the range as well.
Raising the standards for large SUVs in terms of efficiency and quality, it sits at the heart of Kia’s reinvigorated global SUV line-up, which also includes the Seltos, Stonic, Telluride and Sportage (the Stonic and Telluride are not yet available here).
The Sorento’s redefined exterior design – with sharper lines, high-tech details, and elongated proportions – gives it a more confident and mature presence. It’s also the first vehicle to be based on Kia’s new-generation SUV platform.
Inside, its attractive cabin also introduces premium-quality materials, cutting-edge infotainment technologies, and a stunning new design. The new platform lends itself to improved cargo and luggage space too.
Furthermore, the Sorento’s innovative interior packaging means it can offer all this while accommodating Kia’s new ‘Smartstream’ electrified power trains – the first time that hybrid power has featured in the Sorento line-up (not for Australia at launch).
As a result, the new model offers greater fuel efficiency, lower emissions, and higher performance than its predecessors. This will be Kia’s most high-tech car ever, thanks to its progressive connectivity, driver assistance and infotainment technologies.
Its user-friendly twin digital displays deliver advanced graphics, new telematics features and full wireless smartphone connectivity.
For the record, the Sorento Hybrid is powered by a new ‘Smartstream’ electrified power train, pairing a 1.6-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) with a 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack and 44.2kW electric motor.
The battery pack is located under the floor beneath the front passenger, with minimal impact on cabin or luggage space. The combination produces 169kW of power and 350Nm of torque.
Power is sent through the six-speed automatic transmission via a transmission-mounted electrical device, allowing the full power of the engine and motor to be transferred in parallel with minimal loss of energy.
The result is immediacy in acceleration response at any speed, with direct access to available battery power at higher speeds.
For the ‘normal’ Sorento, a new four-cylinder 2.2-litre ‘Smartstream’ diesel engine will offer 148kW and 440Nm torque. With a new aluminium block replacing the cast iron one, the new engine is 19.5kg lighter than the third-generation Sorento.
It’s been paired to a new eight-speed wet double-clutch transmission (8DCT). Designed to offer the smooth shifting characteristics of a conventional automatic, the 8DCT enhances fuel efficiency over a conventional eight-speed automatic.
A mainstay of Kia’s global line-up, more than three million Sorento models have been sold worldwide since it was launched in 2002. Since launching in Australia in January, 2003, there have been almost 44,000 Sorentos sold.
A date for the launch of the hybrid variants of the 2021 Kia Sorento in Australia has not yet been determined. The traditional internal combustion variants will arrive here in the second half of this year.