Kia’s all-new 2015 Sorento, bigger and more premium than ever before, makes its Korean-market debut this week.
These latest photos and details, handed down overnight, follow the release of key images and specs earlier this month.
Designed in Korea “with significant input from the brand’s Frankfurt and California design studios”, the new Sorento debuts with a more premium look and a significantly longer platform.
The angular lines of the outgoing second-generation model are replaced by a more muscular and curvaceous shape that also benefits from a 15mm drop in height for a more intimidating appearance.
At 4780mm, the new Sorento is 95mm longer than the outgoing model, while the new wheelbase has been extended 80mm to 2780mm.
Kia also promises a more spacious interior, and while details are still to come, these photos reveal more upmarket styling than the ageing cockpit of the current model.
Depending on the market, the new Sorento’s engine options will include two diesels and three petrol units.
Outputs range from 126 to 198kW, with engines including a pair of 2.4 litre GDI and MPI four-cylinder petrol units, a 3.3 litre six-cylinder MPI petrol, and updated 2.0 and 2.2 litre ‘R’ turbodiesel mills.
It's too soon to speculate on local powertrains, but we expect the 2.2 litre R-series turbodiesel to continue.
Body, Ride and Comfort
The Korean carmaker says that noise, vibration and harshness were key focus points in developing the new Sorento.
Improvements in that area include a 14 percent increase in torsional rigidity and a 29 percent thicker dashboard soundproof panel.
There’s also larger engine and transmission mounts and, for diesel models, a new DPF cover and an acoustic shield built into the engine’s timing chain cover.
Suspension is again by MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear, with the rear subframe gaining larger bushings and shock absorbers - the latter now mounted vertically behind the axle line.
Depending on the model and market, a new electric power-steering system is also featured, mounted directly to the steering rack instead of the column.
Kia has beefed up the new Sorento’s body, with a 52.7 percent use of ultra-high tensile steel - compared to just 24.4 percent in the outgoing model.
Improving the SUV’s core structure strength, the stronger steel reinforces the wheel arches, rear-wheel surround and tail-gate surround.
There’s also an increase in hot-stamped steel, up 4.1 percent to 10.1 percent, strengthening the A- and B-pillars.
Again depending on market and model, safety technologies will include ASCC (Adaptive Smart Cruise Control); LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System), which emits an audible alert when the driver strays from the chosen lane without using indicators; FCW (Front Collision Warning); BSD (Blind-Spot Detection); LCA (Lane Change Assist); RCTA (Rear Cross-Traffic Alert), which warns against other cars driving behind the Sorento in car parks; and SLIF (Speed Limit Information Function), which displays the speed limit in the driver’s instrument cluster based on cameras detecting roadside signs.
Speaking with TMR earlier this year, new Kia Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith said he expects this new Sorento to bring a significant sales boost.
“With [the current] Sorento in runout, we’re doing about 260 month-in and month-out. I would hope that new Sorento would jump up to around 375-400 a month. I think it’s probably a 5000 sales per year car,” he said.
Exact Australian timing is still to be confirmed, although Kia has confirmed with TMR that we will not see it as early as January’s Australian Open, where the company has previously used its sponsorship position to promote new models.