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by Tim Beissmann

The first official images of the 2015 Kia Sorento have been released, revealing the exterior styling of the third-generation seven-seat SUV.

The images confirm the production version of the Sorento remains faithful to Kia‘s official design sketches released earlier this month.

The 2015 Sorento’s styling was led by Kia’s Namyang design studio in South Korea with input from its studios in Germany and the US.

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Kia says the new look is an evolution of the current car, retaining its long bonnet and distinctive D-pillars, while incorporating fresh elements inspired by the Kia Cross GT concept from last year’s Chicago auto show.

A larger, more upright “tiger-nose grille” with a three-dimensional diamond mesh pattern dominates the front-end, which also features new swept headlights above large fog-lights.

A lower roofline, higher beltline and rounded shoulders give a new look to the profile and rear-end, which gains new tail-lights with triple U-shaped LEDs that span the tailgate and three-quarter panels.

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The 2015 Kia Sorento measures 4780mm from nose to tail (up 95mm) and is 80mm longer between the wheels (now 2780mm), creating more space for passengers in all three rows and in the boot. It’s also wider and its roofline is 15mm lower (1685mm) than the current car’s.

Kia released a sketch of the Sorento’s interior last week, previewing its new wraparound dashboard fascia, upright touchscreen infotainment system and “high quality soft-touch materials”.

Third Generation Kia Sorento

Kia vice president of overseas marketing Soon-Nam Lee said the “completely redesigned and re-engineered” Sorento would “surprise customers with its thoroughly updated styling, a host of new convenience and safety features, as well as enhanced space, driving comfort and handling response”.

The Kia Sorento will be showcased in South Korea later this month before making its public debut at the 2014 Paris motor show in early October.

The new Sorento is expected to go on sale in Australia early in 2015.




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