Guest Contributor | Mar 12, 2019 | 0
Sorento’s mid-cycle upgrade cements KIA’s standing among serious SUVs
KIA’s flagship, the new Sorento SUV launched this week in southern Africa following its debut late last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The new model builds on the Sorento’s 16 years of proven reliability and aesthetic design.
Featuring a refreshed exterior design as well as an upgraded interior, the new Sorento also features higher standard specification levels and even better value. The Sorento retains its overall SUV proportions but with a tighter, sharper exterior design with more detail in the grill and reconfigured headlamps. The front-end is completed by a new bumper design with fog lamps. In the rear, the bumper has also been redesigned, the taillamps are sleeker, and there are minor cosmetic changes to the tailgate.
Inside, the Sorento offers numerous upgrades and enhancements including a new, more tactile steering wheel, a new gear lever, and a revised instrument cluster with improved graphics. The redesign also includes alterations to the air vents and the centre console. All derivatives feature a new 8-inch colour touchscreen with embedded Satellite Navigation and audio control.
All models feature KIA’s trusted 2.2 litre turbodiesel engine, but now mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox as opposed to the 6-speed transmission of its predecessor. Designed in-house by KIA and launched in 2016, the transmission incorporates 143 new patents.
All models ride on 18-inch alloy wheels.
“The Sorento SUV has been a proud flagbearer for KIA’s design and quality credentials since the first generation model debuted in 2002,” said Gary Scott, the Chief Executive of KIA Motors South Africa. “It has not only won red dot and iF Design Awards, but is also a consistent segment leader in the annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.”
KIA Motors South Africa has also revised the model line-up of the local range. The entry-level LS has been discontinued, as well as the high-spec SX and SXL models. The Sorento range will henceforth comprise a mid-spec LX and a mid-high-spec EX derivative, both available either with front-wheel drive, or KIA’s reliable Dynamax all-wheel drive system.
The 2,2-litre ‘R’ turbodiesel engine produces 147 kW at 3800 rpm with maximum torque of 440 Nm between 1750 and 2750 rpm. Featuring KIA’s fourth-generation fuel-injection system, the engine delivers greater fuel economy, performance and engine response while reducing engine noise. It reaches 100 km/h in 9,4 seconds, with a top speed of 203 km/h.
The Sorento features a full complement of safety and driver assistance systems, including ABS brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, six airbags and ISOFIX child seat anchors. The all-electric windows also have a safety function that automatically stops the window if an obstruction like a child’s hand, is detected.
All models come standard with KIA’s unlimited kilometre, five-year warranty, as well as a standard 5-year/100,000km service plan and 3-years of roadside assistance.
The new KIA Sorento retails between N$570,000 and N$650,000 depending on model and specification level.