Kia's 2013 Sorento has been spied testing again this week (and also in the backroads north-west of Sydney), this time with a completely undisguised front-end.
Caught by enthusiast website Kia-World this week, it is clear that if this is the 2013 Sorento we can expect in Australia, reports of only a mild external makeover have proved accurate.
Among the styling updates here are a new front bumper with taller fog lights, updated headlight internals with an LED strip along the top edge, and a new grille that is shorter top-to-bottom with a slimmer chrome frame.
The car shown in TMR's own spy photos wore heavier camouflaged, and was caught riding on the same five-spoke wheels that debuted with the new Santa Fe. Changes to the Sorento's tail-lights were also clear.
Despite sharing the new platform of the 2013 Santa Fe, Kia will undoubtedly stick to its strategy of developing unique suspension and handling characteristics, with a particular focus on local tweaks for Australian road conditions.
The Sorento's current engine range, which includes 204kW/335Nm 3.5 litre petrol and 145kW/422Nm 2.2 litre diesel options, is likely to carry over into the 2013 model.
Speaking with TMR recently, Kia Australia's Kevin Hepworth confirmed that the 2013 Sorento will make its local debut in the third quarter of 2012 - potentially beating the new Santa Fe here - with pricing and specifications to be revealed closer to launch.
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