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by George Skentzos

CarAdvice recently attended the launch of the new Kia Sorento and we are pleased to report the Sorento is only improving.

The Sorento range has achieved tremendous global success since its launch in 2002, with Kia celebrating the 700,000th Sorento sold worldwide in January 2007.

“In Australia, the Kia Sorento continues to appeal to buyers who want an SUV that delivers 4WD capability, strong towing capacity and a comprehensive specification, while still offering outstanding value” said Bill Gillespie, Director of Sales and Marketing at Kia Motors Australia.

The range has been upgraded with two new engines – a powerful 3.3-litre V6 with 180kW and a torquey 2.5-litre turbo-diesel with common rail direct injection (CRDi). The new diesel offers 125kW and a very impressive 392Nm of torque at 2,000rpm, delivering a class-leading towing capacity of 2,800kg with genuine 4WD capabilities.

Kia Sorento DieselKia Sorento V6

The launch of the new Sorento introduces three new grades of specification to the Sorento range, all of which offer either the new petrol or diesel engine.

Kia Sorento

The entry level Sorento LX model features a limited slip differential for greater security on boat ramps and off-road. The Sorento is mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or five-speed tiptronic-style automatic transmission.

Next up the range is the Sorento EX, with important extra features including 17 alloy wheels, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with traction control for added safety and traction in all driving conditions.

Kia Sorento

Topping the range is the Sorento EX Limited (known as the EX-L), which adds side curtain SRS airbags, leather trim, electric tilt/slide sunroof, rear spoiler, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning and black woodgrain finish to the comprehensive equipment list of the whole Sorento range.

Kia Sorento Interior

ABS brakes, driver and front passenger SRS airbags, active front headrests to reduce the risk of whiplash injuries in collisions, and front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters are all standard across the entire Sorento range.

However ESP is not available as standard in the base model LX, and SRS side curtain airbags are only offered in the range topping EX-L. Expect a review of the Kia Sorento soon.

PRICING

Sorento CRDi LX manual $34,990
Sorento CRDi LX auto $36,990
Sorento CRDi EX auto $39,490
Sorento CRDi EX-L auto $44,490
Sorento 3.3 LX auto $33,990
Sorento 3.3 EX auto $36,490
Sorento 3.3 EX-L auto $41,490



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