A HOST of new features, a new 8-speed automatic transmission and the realignment of its naming conventions feature in Korean car maker Kia’s launch of the 2018 Sorento, available in showrooms from today.
The biggest change is the discontinuation of the popular high-end Platinum model, replaced by a more sports oriented GT-Line model, as well as the introduction of a new larger capacity long-stroke petrol engine, a higher and longer body for increased internal space, and revised and improved ride and handling characteristics to better suit Australian conditions.
The new Sorento, which also comes in Si, Sport and SLi model variants, also gains a new multi-media cluster incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, AEB across the range, lane keeping assist, driver attention alert, a 360-degree camera on the GT-Line and advanced cruise control for all grades.
On the outside, a raft of subtle changes includes revised front and rear bumpers, new LED head-lamps (GT-Line) and tail-lamps (SLi and GT-Line), a new dark metallic finish to the ‘tiger-nose’ grille, a new Gravity Blue exterior paint finish, and new designs for its 17-inch, 18-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, the cabin features a newly-designed steering wheel and driver instrument cluster, as well as a new climate control LCD display. The dashboard also features a new OEM Audio Visual Navigation (AVN) system, increased from 7-inch to 8-inch, and an increased proportion of soft touch materials. Optional black and stone leather upholstery is also available for Aurora Black and Gravity Blue SLi models.
The GT-Line driver’s seat is equipped with four-way lumbar support with two-way adjustable lumbar support on SLi to enhance seating comfort.
The new Sorento is the first SUV from Kia to sport the new 8-speed auto across the 2.2-litre diesel and 3.5-litre petrol model range. 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.
With the sportier, diesel only, GT-Line replacing the Platinum model, a host of new features come along with it to ramp up its style and on-road presence, including four-lamp LED fog lights, red brake calipers, a more prominent sill step, and subtle GT-Line badging designed to distinguish it from other Sorento models. GT-Line models are fitted with a distinctive new chrome twin exhaust tip.
The interior of the GT-Line includes the same improvements as the standard car. In addition, the new variant features unique gear shift paddles and a series of satin chrome highlights throughout the interior.
Across the range, new safety features include Kia’s latest DRiVE WISE Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), while the existing Infinity premium sound system in the Sorento has been replaced with a high-end Harman/Kardon sound system in SLi and GT-Line grades.
The powerful 640-watt, 10-speaker surround-sound audio system features QuantumLogic Surround Sound technology extracting signals from the original recording, redistributing them into an authentic, multi-dimensional sound stage. The result is clear, refined and detailed playback of a driver’s favourite tunes.
Pricing for the petrol variants starts at $42,990 for the Si ($45,490 for diesel), $44,990 for the Sport ($48,490 for the diesel), and $46,990 for the SLi (which hits the road at $50,490 in the diesel variant). The GT-line diesel is $58,990. Across the model range, the average price increase is just $1,000 compared to the previous version.