Major improvements for new Kia Sorento
Kia's successful Sorento SUV will receive a host of significant improvements when the new upgraded model goes on sale later this year.
Significant changes include a re-engineered bodyshell, enhanced powertrains for what Kia claims will be best-in-class fuel economy, and lower emissions. Kia also promises improved ride, handling and refinement, additional convenience, and safety features, plus a fresh, new look for the exterior.
"Since its introduction in 2009, the second-generation Kia Sorento has achieved more than 620,000 sales around the world,” says Thomas Oh, Kia's executive vice president and CEO of the international business division. “ Today it is manufactured in Korea and the USA, attracting more than 130,000 US customers last year to rank as the best-selling Kia model in the States for the second year in a row.
“ We have given very careful attention to owners' feedback, and the upgraded Sorento is not just a cosmetic exercise, but a major step forward for our popular SUV."
Kia's designers have created new headlamps with LED positioning lights, a new tailgate with LED rear combination lamps, new bumpers (front and rear) with vertical-axis fog lights, a larger area of body-colour surface, and an expanded choice of wheels to include larger diameter (19-inch) alloys - depending on market.
Inside the five or seven-seater cabin, there are more soft-touch surfaces plus a new LCD instrument cluster, new centre stack with seven-inch display screen, and a new console featuring a straight-gate selector with a leather-booted lever on automatic transmission models - reinforcing the vehicle's more luxurious character. Offered in black or beige cloth or leather, the interior can be bathed in natural light through a larger panoramic sunroof (depending on version) with no centre cross beam and a powered blind.
The new Sorento is due to arrive in Ireland late this year and full details of the Irish specification and trim will be available closer to the launch date.
Kia named best car manufacturer by Which?
Which?, the UK's biggest not-for-profit consumer organisation, has named Kia as its best car manufacturer for 2012 in its annual awards.
It praised the company's "superb new range of cars" as well as the brand's excellent value for money and "industry-leading" seven-year warranty.
Presenting the award, Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: "This is the first time Kia has made the short-list and to walk off with the title is a significant achievement."
He praised Kia for being one of the top ranked brands in the 2012 Which? Car survey for both customer satisfaction and reliability. Kia beat off competition from BMW, Hyundai, Skoda and Toyota to take the prize.
The influential publication said in its commendation: "Kia's new Rio, Sorento and Picanto have all impressed in our Test Lab, while the new cee'd and Optima get the thumbs up from our initial road tests. Compared to where it was just five years ago, we feel that Kia is the most improved car brand around."