2013 Kia Sorento Face Revealed In New Spy Photo

Mike Stevens | Jun 9, 2012

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.

It is expected that the 2013 Sorento will ride on the brand-new underpinnings of Hyundai's 2013 Santa Fe, while retaining the body of the current XM model, launched in 2009.

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.

2013 kia sorento spy photos 06

Kia Australia's new satellite navigation system, recently launched for the current Sorento, Optima and Sportage, is also likely to feature.

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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Filed under: Kia, Spy Photos, Sorento, kia sorento, News, enthusiast

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  • Smart us says,
    3 years ago
    since Hyundai is tuning for Aussie road - i doubt Kia is doing anything different than Hyundai already achieved... sharing cost more likely... what a joke bleh
  • Tim O'Brien says,
    3 years ago
    Yup, we spotted a heavily-camouflaged Sorento-sized SUV barrelling along in the opposite direction to us while on the 4008 launch.

    Right on its clacker, and a dead give-away, was a Sorento-load of chaps - front and back - driving the wheels off to keep on its tail.

    We weren't quick enough with the camera, but that was the new Sorento being put through its paces on Australian roads.

    And M, you've got things a tad a***-about on the suspension tuning.

    Kia uses a team lead by specialist chassis and suspension consulting engineer Graeme Gambold to set up its suspension and handling tune for Australian roads.

    This is done independently of Hyundai.

    And, by and large, Kia seems to be getting it pretty right - not perfect, but pretty good in most conditions.

    • Tim O'Brien says,
      3 years ago
      1 like
      Yo, a supplementary comment.

      Since the launch of the latest Elantra, Hyundai has had its own Australian suspension and steering tuning process (like Kia).

      This involves both Hyundai and SACHS engineers (German suspension specialists) and local consultants to calibrate the suspension and handling tune specific for Australian roads (which are mostly craptacular).

      Each - Kia and Hyundai - have been working pretty hard at it. But while the basic architecture is shared, each does its own thing and similar models have different on-road 'feel'.

      For both Korean companies, the improvements in ride and handling have been a key part of their success here.


      • Iain Morisey says,
        3 years ago
        Gidday Tim
        You seem to be pretty up to date on kia's new models. I'm holding off on a new car till this comes out. Any news on upgrades to interior plastics or the inclusion of kias new association with Infinity ala Optima.Also have there been any clues on release date other then aug/sept.
        • Tim O'Brien says,
          3 years ago
          No Iain, nothing new to report other than that Q3 launch for the new Sorento.

          Good bus, the Sorento - keep your eyes on TMR; the new one will be interesting.

          • Kat says,
            3 years ago
            Thanks for the report. I to am waiting on this before making a decision, I am hoping that don't lower the ground clearance again smile
            finges crossed they stick to a full spare as well.laugh
  • John says,
    3 years ago
    Any update on this...? I am waiting on the new Santa Fe as released at New York in April but all the intelligence seems to be around late 12 or even early 2013... Which Is what our local dealer is suspecting. This Kia thread seems to be suggesting that some of the feature upgrades may be delivered in a Kia Sorento earlier but in a half changed body...which wouldnt worry me too much... . I like both the old and new bodies quite OK.....just want diesel, leather, GPS, premium audio...decent towing and good economy. A 2012 with upgraded features would suit me as well as a completely new body..?
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