Rather like the scoring system in springboard diving where the highest and lowest scores from the judging panel are disregarded, Kia has culled the top and bottom spec from its revised Sorento range that now sports leather trim and seating for seven across the board.
“The Sorento SUV has been a proud flagbearer for Kia’s design and quality credentials since the first generation model debuted in 2002,” says Gary Scott, CEO of Kia Motors South Africa. “It has not only won red dot and iF Design Awards, but is also a consistent segment leader in the annual JD Power Initial Quality Study.”
The revised front-end features a more artfully detailed radiator grille, flanked by a new headlamp configuration featuring projection headlamps and revised LED Daytime Running Lights on higher specification models.
The front revamp is complemented by a new bumper design, incorporating projection-type fog lamps, that assists in giving Sorento a more aggressive overall expression.
Enhancements to the rear design also include a new bumper design, sleeker tail lamps, and a subtly revised tailgate. All models ride on newly designed 18-inch alloy wheels shod with 235/60 R18 rubber and feature a full-sized spare wheel.
Inside, is a more tactile steering wheel, a new gearshift lever and a revised instrument cluster with improved graphics. The redesign also includes alterations to the air vents and the centre console design.
Featuring 40/20/40 second row split folding seats for improved versatility, with a higher folding centre armrest, these seatbacks can be ‘remotely’ folded by conveniently located levers in the side of the cargo bay. The third row seats fold away flat in the luggage compartment, ensuring that luggage space is not compromised when the seats are not in use.
When the seats are folded flat, Sorento offers 605 litres of luggage space, and also features an under-floor tonneau cover storage compartment and integrated cargo net to secure loose items.
The entry-level LS specification has been discontinued, as well as the high-spec SX and SXL models. The Sorento range now comprises a mid-spec LX and a higher spec EX derivative, both available either with front-wheel drive, or Kia’s Dynamax all-wheel drive system.
“While Sorento has always played an important role in our SUV line-up, the mid-life enhancement provided us with a great opportunity to focus our offering in the medium SUV space,” says Stephen Crosse, Sales Director, Kia Motors South Africa. “The cosmetic updates endow the Sorento with an even more polished appearance, while new and upgraded specification increases the model’s value proposition.”
The Sorento LX standard specification includes dual zone automatic air-conditioning, automatic headlamp control (incorporating ‘Welcome Home’ and ‘Escort’ lighting), auto-folding and heated side mirrors with integrated side indicators, electric windows front and rear and rear USB ports.
The higher-spec EX model gains an auto defog system, illuminated door scuff plates, rear sun shade blinds, electrically adjustable front seats (with two-way adjustable lumbar support for the driver’s seat), integrated roof rails and a wireless smartphone charger.
All derivatives get a new 8-inch colour touchscreen with embedded Satellite Navigation, from which occupants can also control audio, whether it is a favourite radio station, via the USB/Aux jacks, or through their mobile device via Apple CarPlay (and Android Auto, once released in South Africa). Sorento is equipped with 6 speakers.
Kia has retained the 2,2-litre ‘R’ turbo-diesel engine, producing 147 kW of power at 3 800 r/min, with maximum torque of 440 Nm available between 1 750 r/min and 2 750 r/min.
It is the first SUV from Kia available with the company’s new eight-speed automatic transmission. Designed in-house by Kia and launched in 2016, the transmission boasts 143 newly-patented technologies and delivers a slick-shifting, more decisive drive while reducing emissions.
Compared to other automatic transmissions, Kia’s new eight-speed unit requires fewer control valves, enabling a more direct mechanical link to the engine. This allows the transmission to shift more quickly than the outgoing six-speed automatic transmission and enables more decisive acceleration.
The new transmission offers four different drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Smart. The new Smart Mode is designed to understand and anticipate the driver’s steering preferences, automatically switching between Eco, Comfort and Sport modes. This enables the Sorento to adapt to the driver’s steering behaviour as road conditions change, pre-empting the driver’s preference for different speeds and driving environments.
Sorento features a full complement of safety and driver assistance systems, including anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), six air bags and ISOFIX child seat anchors. Drivers will also benefit from Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Hill-start Assist, while all models feature Park Distance Control at the rear, linked to a reverse camera displayed on the 8-inch colour touchscreen.
All Sorento models ship as standard with Kia’s unlimited kilometre, five year warranty, as well as a standard 5-year/100 000 km service plan and 3-years of roadside assistance.
“The SUV segment continues to grow. South African families love the practicality, the space and higher ride height that an SUV offers,” adds Crosse. “The enhanced Sorento range delivers on all of that and more, bringing new levels of versatility to the segment, combined with an exceptional value proposition, industry-leading quality, class-leading refinement and an award-winning design.”
Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDI LX R569 995
Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDI LX AWD R609 995
Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDI EX R599 995
Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDI EX AWD R639 995