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by Tim Beissmann

The first official images of the 2013 Kia Sorento have been released, revealing a cleaner and more sophisticated design for the large Korean SUV.

Partially revealed in earlier spy shots, the mid-life upgrade brings redesigned headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights, a new tailgate with Audi-inspired LED tail-lights, and new front and rear bumpers with vertical fog lights.

A greater area of body-coloured surfaces creates a more refined, urban appearance.

Kia is yet to reveal the upgraded Sorento’s interior, although it says there will be a higher percentage of soft-touch plastics, a new LCD instrument cluster, a revised centre stack with an eight-inch display screen, and a leather boot around the automatic transmission’s gear lever.

The optional panoramic sunroof is now larger, doing away with the centre cross beam, and features a power sun blind.

The most significant changes will take place under the skin, with the 2013 Kia Sorento to benefit from a new platform and enhanced powertrains – both shared with the upcoming third-generation Hyundai Santa Fe.

Kia promises the upgraded model will feature enhanced powertrains offering best-in-class fuel economy and reduced emissions, and improved ride, handling and refinement.

Kia Australia, which will launch the 2013 Sorento after its local debut at the 2012 Sydney motor show in October, is currently completing a ride and handling program with the new model to develop a unique suspension tune suited to our market.

Specific powertrain details will be revealed closer to the launch of the 2013 Kia Sorento in the coming months.

Read CarAdvice’s review of the 2012 Kia Sorento.




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