Kia Sorento Launched
CarAdvice is currently attending the launch of the new generation 2010 Kia Sorento. The Sorento which is one of Kia's best selling models has been regarded as the 'landmark' vehicle which opened the eyes of many consumers to the Korean brand as more than just a small-car manufacturer.
Since its introduction in 2002 (January 2003 in Australia), the Sorento has sold nearly 900,000 units worldwide, with around 9,000 of those in Australia. The new generation Kia Sorento is a little different however, it's far more stylish, sophisticated and with a slightly different buyer in mind.
Kia's research showed that only around 20% of all original Sorento buyers ever used their car for towing or serious off-roading, as a result, Kia decided to concentrate more on creating a car that suits the needs of 80% of its buyers rather than the 20%. That's not to say the car is no longer off-road capable.
The Hyundai owned company decided to focus on five main areas during the development of the Sorento: class-leading performance; increased fuel economy and reduced emissions; improved on-road handling and more fun-to-drive responsiveness; greater cabin space and comfort; and enhanced overall crash safety.
Design chief Peter Schreyer, has done wonders for the Korean brand in the last few years and from the outside his work is obvious as the Sorento uses the new Schreyer 'corporate grille' look first introduced with the Cerato earlier this year.
The new more masculine looking Sorento is longer, lower, more powerful, more efficient and more practical than the out-going model. There will be two engines, a brand new class-leading 145kW 'R2.2' diesel engine with 436Nm of torque and a 128kW four-cylinder engine.
Kia says that given only one variant will be offered in Petrol, sales are expected to be 4:1 between diesel and petrol respectively.
A 6-speed manual is offered in the base Si variant whilst a brand new 6-speed automatic gearboxes, completely designed by Kia will be leading the charge. A 2WD system is offered in the lower spec variants but top-spec models are only available in 4WD.
As the first Sorento to be sold in Australia with 7-seats, it puts the Korean company into a whole new market. With three rows of seating, the new Sorento is more practical than ever before.
To fit the extra seats in the new model has a longer bodyshell, with repositioned A-pillars and dashboard (moved forwards) and extended tailgate (moved rearwards).
There are three models, Si, SLi and Platinum. Features include keyless entry, push button start, reversing safety camera and panoramic glass sunroof.
The new Sorento is a 5-star Euro NCAP vehicle however due to a technicality with Australian crash testing it's scoring a 4-stars rating for now.
The reason is because current models that have already arrived in Australia don't have a seatbelt reminder on the passenger side, disallowing the Sorento from scoring 5-stars on ANCAP. Fortunately Kia is addressing the issue with all Australian delivered models earning a 5-star ANCAP rating from December 2009.
As with every Kia, an unlimited kilometre 5-year warranty applies. The Sorento is currently produced at the Hwasung facility in Korea. Interestingly next year will see production start half way across the world at Kia's new US plant at West Point, Georgia.
CarAdvice will bring you a comprehensive review of the new Sorento in the next 48 hours.
For now you can view the 2010 Kia Sorento specifications.
Kia Sorento specifications
Fuel Consumption (L/100KM)
2.4L Theta II
Interior Dimensions Comparison (mm)
|Next-generation Sorento||Difference||Previous Sorento|
|Row 1||996||- 12||1008|
|Row 2||995||+ 1||994|
|Row 1||1048||- 34||1082|
|Row 2||955||+ 27||928|
|Row 1||1506||+ 10||1496|
|Row 2||1491||+ 7||1484|