The subtly facelifted 2018 Kia Sorento has surfaced this week in its home market of South Korea, serving as the mid-life refresh of the company’s large SUV.
Compared to the version currently on sale, the Sorento has been nipped and tucked inside and out, though some may struggle to identify the changes.
Up front there are revised headlight units, now full-LED, along with repositioned LED daytime-running lights which now sit under the main beams as opposed to the current car’s ‘eyebrow’ look. The front grille now has scale-like inserts compared to the diamond-look of the current car, while the front bumper has also been updated.
Top: 2018 Kia Sorento, Bottom: 2017 Kia Sorento
At the back, there’s a new LED tail-light signature, while the new rear bumper sees the reflectors separate from the black plastic cladding and the tailpipes are now exposed in a twin design similar to the related Hyundai Santa Fe. Revised alloy wheels complete the exterior aesthetic.
Inside are where the most significant changes have been made. Kia appears to have really upped the ante in the cabin to give the Sorento a more premium feel – a fitting move for the company’s flagship SUV.
There’s a new infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the steering wheel now has an oddly-shaped square centre with a circular centre patch. On the centre console there’s an updated gear shift which almost looks like it came straight out of an Audi.
Quilted leather adorns the seat bolsters of the vehicle shown in the images, along with a tan colour choice.
A new eight-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous model’s six-speed unit, though powertrains appear to be unchanged, which include a range of turbo petrol and diesel engines in South Korea.
Kevin Hepworth, general manager for media and corporate communications at Kia’s local arm, has confirmed the updated Sorento will arrive “in the fourth quarter”, though no specific details can be provided at this time.
Currently, a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel is offered with all-wheel drive, along with a 3.3-litre petrol V6 with front-wheel drive.
Earlier this year Kia Australia confirmed the Sorento would be subject to a “third-quarter upgrade” which would include the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – so at least expect the infotainment upgrade in the coming months. Stay tuned for an update.
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