The new Kia Sorento has gone on sale here. Available in 4 x 2 and 4 x 4, and powered by a new 2.2 (197bhp ) engine, the seven-seater Sorento will start at €39,995.
The original Kia Sorento was a ‘landmark’ vehicle which was instrumental in popularising the Kia brand here in Ireland. Introduced in 2002, it marked a huge step for Kia, challenging many established brands and starting the process of changing public perception of Kia as a ‘maker of small cars’.
Sorento earned widespread media and public acclaim for its innovative styling, durability, off-road abilities and value-for-money. Over the next seven years, it attracted thousands of customers who had not previously considered buying a Kia, and achieved global sales of almost 900,000 units. It also paved the way for the successful introduction of the smaller Kia Sportage.
At its launch the original Kia Sorento injected fresh visual excitement into the SUV segment with its ‘stand-out’ looks. Now the Kia design team has deliver futuristic styling with a bold sense of power and dynamism to once again differentiate Kia’s larger SUV from potential rivals by incorporating Kia’s new design DNA into the new Sorento.
The new Sorento is also significantly sleeker than the previous model with an aerodynamic drag figure of Cd 0.38 – down from 0.425 – enhancing fuel economy and refinement.
During its development, Kia engineers ditched the old body-on-frame structure and designed a new unitary (monocoque ) bodyshell with room for up to seven occupants. The different construction method helped the new Sorento to achieve a weight loss of up to 215 kg, depending on model, compared with the previous Sorento – even though the new model incorporates numerous additional technical, safety and comfort features.
Building on those new foundations, engineers concentrated on eight key development areas, class-leading performance, increased fuel economy, reduced emissions, improved on-road handling, more fun-to-drive responsiveness, greater cabin space and comfort, enhanced overall safety, resulting in the new model being awarded a 5-Star Euro NCAP crash test rating, and the introduction of new technologies.
Kia tells us the new Sorento’s ride/handling balance has been biased more towards on-road driving, without diminishing the original model’s renowned off-road talents.
Kia’s latest SUV will be available with two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and manual or automatic transmissions, in a selection of seven exterior colours. In Ireland just one engine - the new R2.2 diesel 197bhp with CO2 emissions from 171g/km is being offered
The new Sorento will be offered in two trim levels – EX and GSE. Standard specification for the entry-level EX model includes 17” Alloy Wheels, dual air conditioning, cruise control, audio remote control + iPod and USB connection, roof rack, cargo screen, ESP and HAC.
Prices for the Sorento range start at €38,995 for the EX version. The GSE 4X2 sells at €41,995; GSE 4X2 automatic at €45,495; and the GSE 4X4 version is €43,995.
The new Sorento will also benefit from Kia’s industry leading seven-year Kia warranty.