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A 2.4-litre direct-injection petrol engine appears set to join the Kia Sorento’s powertrain line-up from early next year following the local launch of the updated SUV in October.

The upgraded 141kW/242Nm Theta II GDI powerplant is expected to become the third engine option in Australia, slotting in beneath the 204kW/335Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol and 145kW/422-436Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engines, that will carry over from the current Sorento into the 2013 update.

The 2.4-litre engine, which has previously been available in other international markets, has been fitted with a new cylinder head, new pistons and new fuel injection and intake systems for the mid-life model update.

The revisions have helped reduce CO2 emissions to 199g/km, which roughly translates to fuel consumption of 8.4 litres per 100km. The smaller engine should give the 2.4-litre Sorento a fuel economy advantage over the front-wheel drive V6, which uses 10.0L/100km in the outgoing model.

CarAdvice understands Kia Australia is considering both front- and all-wheel drive versions of the 2.4-litre Sorento GDI, potentially giving the brand a new entry-level variant at a lower price point than the existing V6.

The updated Sorento is expected to launch in October with a similar drivetrain line-up to the outgoing range, including a front-wheel drive V6 six-speed auto, and manual and auto versions of the all-wheel drive diesel.

The 2013 Kia Sorento rides on a completely new platform that it shares with the upcoming third-generation Hyundai Santa Fe, which is due to launch in Australia one month earlier in September.

As it does with every new vehicle it brings to Australia, Kia’s local engineering team has fine-tuned the Sorento’s suspension to optimise it for Australia’s unique road conditions and driver preferences.

The new body shell incorporates a higher percentage of ultra-high-tensile strength steel, and a bracing bar between the top of the suspension towers has helped increase torsional rigidity by 18 per cent, improving ride quality and directional stability. All models are now fitted with larger 320mm ventilated front disc brakes for improved stopping ability.

High-grade models of the Sorento will feature the Korean manufacturer’s new FlexSteer system, first seen in the new Hyundai i30, which allows drivers to select between three steering weight settings: Normal, Sport and Comfort.

Other features still under consideration for our market include blind spot assist, lane departure warning and an automatic reverse parking system.

Full Australian prices and specifications will be revealed at the launch of the 2013 Kia Sorento in October.

  • Jazrod

    I’ve just noticed that the little “mouth” or intake on top of where the number plate goes (on the front) is very previous gen RX330/350 . . . very nice visual improvements, though. 

    • Guest

       And the foglights are almost pure Range Rover Evoque…

      • bd

        The vertical foglights are hideous.

  • Lucas

    Very good looking SUV.

  • Noddy of Toyland

    The interior is muuuucchhh better.

  • Shak

    Audi called. They want their Q7 tailights back.

    • Noddy of Toyland

      Frankly that’s an insult to Audi. The look very little like them, and the Kia’s are bulbous and gross.

    • bd

      Kia’s head designer, Schreyer, used to head Audi design,

      What’s Acura’s excuse with the Audi-influenced taillights on the MDX and RDX?

      Not to mention the Volvo D-pillar taillights on the CR-V.

      • Cody

        Sorry, I had no idea this article was about Acura or Honda…

  • Legnab

    Current model looks good , those bumper lights look dumb , making the look narrow when you should be making it look wider .

    • Sumpguard

        I actually agree with BanGel for a change. The foglights on the upgrade don’t work as well as they do on the current model.

  • Andrew_diablo

    No words to say. Best looking, best value and best improved SUV in the class. 

    • DAVIDZ


      • Martin


      • Force-15


    • Roy

      But it’s a Kia….& will always be a Kia.

      • bd

        And VW used to be known primarily as the maker of the Bug and the Japanese “big 3″ of rust-prone “tincans.”

        Times change.

        • Sumpguard

          Indeed they do. Love my Sportage.

  • Zaccy16

    I don’t know how well a 240 nm 4 cylinder is going to cope with 7 on board!

  • Braydenc

    Man that cabin looks cheap.

    Im in the market for a new car trading in my 2010 rav4 we did look at me of these 2012 version for us I did not have enough room in the back compared to the competition and our current rav4 the territory looks promising so does the new Hyundai santa fe.

    This to me just looks like same old KIA.