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by Tim Beissmann

Interior images and additional specifications of the 2015 Kia Sorento have been released at its official public unveiling in South Korea.

The third-generation Sorento’s cabin takes big steps forward from its predecessor, with an entirely new design and a more spacious seven-seat layout.

A large central touchscreen dominates the dashboard of high-end models, while entry models get a smaller red monochrome media screen. Both are flanked by upright air vents, with the climate controls and other vehicle functions positioned in a separate cluster at the base of the centre stack.

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Two instrument clusters are also available: a basic one with analogue meters and a small central trip computer screen, and a premium one with a large central digital speedometer and information screen.

Both sit behind a new three-spoke steering wheel with a collection of controls on its horizontal arms.

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Other features of the new model include push-button start, electric park brake, heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, heated and sliding second-row seats, and an expansive sliding panoramic sunroof.

The images also highlight the Kia Sorento’s upgraded materials, with soft-touch plastics, coloured leathers and satin chrome trim elements.

The 2015 Sorento’s long list of active safety technologies includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, front collision warning, blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and speed limit information display function. An around-view monitor camera system will also be available in select markets.

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In South Korea, the Sorento will be offered with two four-cylinder turbo diesel engines: a 136kW/402Nm 2.0-litre and a 148kW/441Nm 2.2-litre. Front- and all-wheel-drive versions will be available.

The 2.2-litre – an updated version of the current flagship diesel – is expected be offered in Australia alongside a petrol engine. As we’ve previously reported, the Sorento is expected to trade its current 3.5-litre V6 for the new 3.3-litre V6 from the new Carnival people-mover, potentially with up to 198kW of power.

Two smaller 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engines are expected to be overlooked for our market.

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Depending on the market, the Sorento will be available with Kia’s new electric power steering system, which is said to provide greater steering feel and quicker response.

Its overhauled suspension features larger bushings and shock absorbers, which Kia says better isolates the cabin from bumps and improves body control, delivering a more compliant ride overall.

Kia claims to have reduced cabin noise by three to six per cent through the introduction of a range of sound-proofing measures. Torsional rigidity is also up by 14 per cent compared with the old model, laying the foundation for greater refinement and improved safety.

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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). It’s also wider and its roofline is 15mm lower (1685mm) than the current car’s.

With the third-row seats folded into the boot floor, cargo capacity ranges between 515 and 605 litres depending on the position of the second row. The middle seating row also splits 40:20:40 for added flexibility.

Full Australian pricing and specification details will be released closer to the third-generation Sorento’s local launch, which is expected in February.

Click the Photos tab for more images of the 2015 Kia Sorento.




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