SORENTO

PRESS PACK

GENERAL SPECIFICATION

Sorento

THE KIA SORENTO

Short Story 

  • New, third-generation flagship for Kia in the UK
  • Start of second phase of Kia’s brand transformation
  • Major strides in engineering, refinement and quality
  • New technologies, some never before offered in a Kia
  • Seven seats, EU6 diesel engine and all-wheel drive as standard
  • Emissions reduced, fuel economy improved and power increased
  • Longer, lower, wider, roomier and more practical and versatile 

Sorento is the car that changed the way the world saw Kia when it was launched in 2002 and now with the Sorento, the brand’s flagship car in the UK is set to build on its consistent appeal to a diverse range of customers as this third-generation model is better equipped, more refined, stylish and technologically advanced than ever before. 

The third-generation Kia Sorento marks the start of the next stage in Kia’s transformation from a purely value-driven company into a world-class manufacturer of premium-quality cars. Phase I was the design-led revolution which followed the appointment of Peter Schreyer as Chief Design Officer – now President of Design for the entire Hyundai Motor Group. Phase II, which starts with the new Sorento, will see Kia match and surpass not only customer expectations but also the world’s best car manufacturers for engineering, technology, refinement and quality.       

The new Sorento is longer, lower and wider than the previous model thanks to a revolutionised platform, while an extended wheelbase creates greater room in all three rows of seats. It has a comprehensively re-engineered 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine which satisfies EU6 emissions regulations. Minutely detailed body and chassis engineering work has resulted in a car which is not only more engaging to drive, but also much more refined to travel in. Safety and convenience technologies new to the Sorento, and in some cases new to any Korean SUV, include Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning System, Around View Monitoring, Adaptive Front Lighting and Speed Limit Information.  

In the UK the new Sorento range comprises six models at launch. All are powered by the upgraded R-family 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox. All have permanent, intelligent all-wheel drive through the Dynamax system first seen on Kia’s compact SUV, the Sportage. All have a versatile seven-seat interior. The trim levels are KX-1, KX-2, KX-3 and KX-4. 

A flagship for Europe 

The new Sorento is Kia’s flagship in the UK and Europe, so it needed executive-class space and versatility to match its executive-class style, quality and refinement. The result is an increase in length of 95mm over the second-generation Sorento, an 80mm longer wheelbase (now 2,780mm), a 15mm reduction in height and a 5mm wider body. The significance of these dimensions is that headroom and legroom have been improved in all three rows of seats and there is 90 litres more luggage capacity. 

When starting work on the car, Kia was in something of a quandary: whether to make it even more gentrified and saloon-like than the outgoing model, or to retain that car’s much-valued towing and off-roading capability. In the end, Kia has been able to do both.

The phrase the product planners and designers use to sum up their work is “Dignity wrapped in a solid package”. The design revolution which began when Peter Schreyer was recruited in 2006 is clearly still evolving and gaining added elegance and distinctiveness, but at the same time the new Sorento does not fail to emphasise its solidity and practicality. 

Already the new Sorento is reaping design awards. It has received the prestigious IF Design Award in Germany, with the international jury recognising not only the car’s aesthetics but also its finish, innovation, environmental impact and safety. The Sorento is the seventh Kia to receive an IF Design Award.   

The new model preserves familiar Sorento design cues like the shape of the D-pillar but now has a sleeker, swept-back profile which disguises its increased size, and deeply sculpted surfaces. The lower roof, rising belt line and more sweeping profile make it look bolder and more muscular, and for the first time there are pronounced rear shoulders in place of a crease line beneath the windows to give the car greater three-dimensionality. 

The wrap-around, frame-integrated side doors are slimmer than conventional doors, fit more snugly into the overall profile of the car and allow for a wider opening. They also help to keep the seals completely free of dirt and moisture thrown up from the road. 

For the first time on a new model from the brand, Kia has introduced a new laser welding manufacturing technique which allows for closer body panel connections. This enabled Kia’s designers to introduce more advanced shapes to the bodywork and adds to a more premium, modern look and feel to the construction of the car. 

The new Sorento is the first car to be produced under Kia’s new Global Quality Strategy, which became fully operational at the start of 2014. In the choice of materials, fit and finish and technology, the new Sorento is a significant step forward for Kia. 

The Sorento designers spent a lot of time on the architecture of the cabin to reinforce its increased quality, space and practicality. The shape of the bottom of the windscreen was carefully crafted to emphasise the car’s width, for example, while the sculpted lines give an impression of solidity, originality and modernity. Switches and buttons have been fastidiously grouped according to function and ergonomics, and they have an almost machined finish and action.

The standard instrument cluster features clear, stylish, white-on-black graphics which deliver all essential information at a glance, but in KX-3 and KX-4 versions this is replaced by a seven-inch TFT (Thin Film Transistor) display which adds an even more premium look to the dashboard and allows greater personalisation of the information provided. 

Cleaner, more fuel-efficient EU6 diesel engine

In the UK all versions of the Sorento are powered by the 2.2-litre version of Kia’s R-family turbodiesel engine, which now meets EU6 emissions requirements. It features a new, fourth-generation common-rail fuel injection system with increased injection pressure. 

The intake manifold, cylinder head cover and oil filter housing are made of plastic to help trim weight, and now the cylinder walls are 1mm thinner, which has helped the engine to shed 5kg. With a new intake manifold featuring electronic swirl control and a revised exhaust gas filtration system that promotes the recirculation of clean, cool, low-pressure exhaust gas, the R-family diesel engine is cleaner and more efficient than ever. 

An exhaust after-treatment system means that it not only meets current emissions regulations, but will likely be able to satisfy those to come in future. There is a particulate filter with an acoustic shield and a lean NOx trap to reduce harmful nitrogen emissions to negligible levels. 

The engine now develops 197bhp (an increase of 3bhp) at 3,800 rpm and 441Nm of torque (plus 19Nm) from just 1,750 rpm, endowing the Sorento with outstanding driveability on- and off-road. A balancer shaft reduces vibrations and ensures the engine is extremely refined. Performance has been improved so that acceleration from 0-62mph now takes just 9.0 seconds (auto 9.6 seconds), and all versions have a top speed of 124mph.

For the first time in a Kia, automatic models as well as manuals feature the company’s Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system to ensure that no fuel is used and no emissions are created when the car comes to a halt. This helps to improve both air quality and noise levels in urban areas. Automatic versions of the new Sorento also have Kia’s Active ECO feature, which adjusts the operation of the engine and transmission to promote maximum fuel economy in motion. As a result, all versions of the new Sorento have lower fuel consumption and emissions. Manual models have combined economy of 49.6mpg with CO2 emissions of only 149g/km, while the corresponding figures for the automatic are 42.8mpg and 174g/km.

Superior traction, comfort and refinement 

The new Sorento features the Dynamax all-wheel-drive system first seen in Kia’s compact SUV, the Sportage. Dynamax is an intelligent electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system from Magna Powertrain.  It continuously monitors driving conditions and anticipates when all-wheel drive will be needed, whereas other systems react only to changing conditions.  With Dynamax, the Sorento is always in the correct drive mode for the prevailing circumstances. 

Normally it delivers 100 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels, but the torque can be redistributed up to a maximum of 60:40 front-to-rear to enhance cornering stability or if road conditions deteriorate.  For off-road driving, owners can manually select lock mode, which gives a 50:50 torque split at speeds of up to 25mph.

In the Sorento it is paired with Advanced Traction Cornering Control (ATCC). Compared with all-wheel-drive systems which control wheelspin by braking a spinning wheel or reducing engine torque, ATCC automatically and instantaneously transfers torque to those wheels which still have grip, even before the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system intervenes. This is linked with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) which prevents slip-back when setting off uphill and eliminating the possibility of wheelspin. 

All versions have Trailer Stability Assist to make towing safer. It works through the ESC system, and continuously monitors vehicle stability, gently applying some front braking force to the relevant side of the vehicle, if it detects a potential loss of control.

Kia engineers have also striven to ensure the new model delivers more of a luxury-car ride and more engaging and precise on-road handling. To this end, the new Sorento has new suspension systems at the front and rear, and is the company’s first SUV to feature rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS). 

Previously, the electric motor module which controlled the steering was mounted half way up the steering column. With R-MDPS it is mounted directly to the steering rack. This brings the twin benefits of sharper responses and greater precision. Kia likens it to trying to steer a blindfolded person from behind: if you direct them from the waist they are able to follow a more precise path than if directed at shoulder level. 

Drive Mode Select is also fitted to versions with automatic transmission. This allows the driver to select three steering modes, from a more comfort-oriented to a firmer, more sporty feel, according to preference. It also modifies the automatic transmission shift pattern accordingly.

The front suspension revisions have resulted in greater straight-line driving stability, a more comfortable ride, more precise handling and greater reliability. At the rear the shock absorbers are now vertically mounted whereas previously they were at an angle of 23 degrees and the length of the lower suspension arms has been increased. The result of all this is that the new Sorento is not only more comfortable to travel in but also feels more connected to the road. 

Refinement is one of the key distinguishers in cars which aspire to be premium. It refers to the suppression of unwanted sounds and vibrations – what engineers call NVH, or noise, vibration and harshness. 

A solid, stiff body shell is essential if NVH is to be kept in check. Despite being larger than the previous Sorento, the new model is 14 per cent torsionally stiffer, helped by the use of 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel in the body construction versus 28 per cent in the last model.

Sound absorption and insulation materials have been used liberally throughout the car. There are insulating pads in the dashboard, transmission tunnel and around the front wheel arch and wing areas. Even the dashboard has a 29 per cent thicker soundproofing panel 

The improved aerodynamics of the new Sorento, which has a remarkably low drag coefficient for an SUV of 0.33, help to curtail wind noise. Airflow over the body is improved by a new rear spoiler and carefully shaped tail lamp clusters, and the underside has full-size aerodynamic shields 250 per cent larger than in the previous Sorento. 

The result of this and other detailed noise suppression measures is a reduction in noise inside the cabin of three per cent at idle and up to six per cent when the car is in motion.           

Four trim levels and a host of advanced new technologies

The four luxuriously appointed trim grades are set, in ascending order, KX-1, KX-2, KX-3 and KX-4. All have seven seats with a 40:20:40 split in the middle row and a 50:50 split in the rear A six-speed automatic gearbox is optional in place of the six-speed manual on KX-2 and KX-3 and standard with KX-4. From KX-2 upwards, buyers have the choice of ordering without self-levelling suspension if desired. 

Depending on model, the new Sorento features a number of highly advanced new safety and convenience technologies. Some are firsts for any Kia, while others are appearing on a European-specification Kia for the first time.

They include Adaptive Smart Cruise Control to maintain a gap to the vehicle ahead, Speed Limit Information Function, Around View Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert to prevent the owner from backing out of a parking space into the path of an approaching vehicle, a Smart Park Assist System which now includes reverse and parallel departure functions, Lane Departure Warning with Blind Spot Detection, self-dimming Adaptive Front Lighting (High Beam Assist) and a Roll-over Sensor, which deploys the side curtain airbags when the vehicle is involved in a roll-over, even without an initial impact. The new Sorento has also been awarded with a reassuring five-star Euro NCAP safety rating scoring highly in all four areas (90 percent Adult Occupant Protection, 83 per cent Child Occupant Protection, 67 percent Pedestrian Protection and 71 percent Safety Assist). 

Highlights of the extensive standard features include alloy wheels (17”, 18” or 19” depending on grade), black side sill and wheel-arch mouldings, roof rails and a rear spoiler, cornering lights integrated into the foglights, LED daytime running lights, front wiper de-icer, electrically adjustable, folding and heated door mirrors with LED indicators, door sill scuff plates (aluminium with front illumination for KX-2 upwards) steering wheel-mounted controls, all-round electric windows, cruise control with a speed limiter and reversing sensors, while safety is taken care of by Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Trailer Assist, ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist, six airbags with Roll-over Sensor, active front headrests, front seat belt pre-tensioners and load limiters and an active bonnet to protect pedestrians.

In KX-2 these are supplemented with chrome exterior door handles, a side sill chrome garnish, automatic light and wiper control, black leather/faux leather upholstery, heated front and outer rear seats, dual automatic air conditioning in place of standard air conditioning, 7” TFT touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and Traffic Messaging (TMC), a reversing camera linked to the touchscreen and optional self-levelling suspension.

To this, the KX-3 adds a panoramic sunroof with automatic one-touch blinds, xenon headlights with automatic levelling, Adaptive Front Lighting, larger 8” touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and TMC, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, alloy pedals, an engine start/stop button and smart entry system, a smart powered tailgate, an Infinity premium sound system, a 7” TFT colour instrument display, the Lane Departure Warning system and Speed Limit information. 

The luxurious range-topping KX-4 is distinguished by a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with four-way powered lumbar adjustment and an eight-way adjustable front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, Adaptive Smart Cruise Control, the 360-degree Around View Monitor, the Smart Park Assist System, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. 

UK versions of the new Sorento are built at Kia’s largest factory, at Hwasung in Korea, and, as with every other model, are covered by the company’s industry-leading seven-year or 100,000-mile transferable warranty, subject to the exclusion of routine wear-and-tear items. 

Essential facts and figures

Model

Power bhp

Torque Nm

0-60 sec

Top speed

Ave mpg

CO2 g/km

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-1

197

441

9.0

124

49.6

149

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-2

197

441

9.0

124

47.1

159

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-2

197

441

9.6

124

42.8

174

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-3

197

441

9.0

124

47.1

159

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-3

197

441

9.6

124

42.8

174

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-4

197

441

9.6

124

42.8

174

 

2 WHAT’S NEW ABOUT THE NEW SORENTO                                      

   A quick summary

Exterior

  • Longer (by 95mm), lower (15mm) and wider (5mm) than the previous model
  • 80mm increase in wheelbase
  • Smart powered tailgate
  • Designed to emphasise ‘masculinity and sleekness’
  • Frame-integrated doors for a more premium look
  • Wide tiger-nose grille with three-dimensional mesh
  • Slimline chrome headlamp units
  • Wide skid plates front and rear add a premium finish
  • Two-tone side body cladding gives a solid, practical appearance
  • Rear design emphasises the greater width and stability through horizontal elements in the body and bumper
  • Detailed aerodynamic work has resulted in a Cd of 0.33 – one of the lowest in class
  • 250 per cent increase in underbody shielding to reduce in-car noise levels 

Interior

  • Increased headroom and legroom in all three rows of seats
  • 40:20:40 split for second row of seats with remote folding control
  • Luggage space increased by 90 litres
  • Wide, horizontal crash pad and centre fascia emphasises enhanced space and comfort
  • More ergonomic switchgear and control layout, with switches grouped according to function
  • Wrap-around instrument panel extends into the doors
  • Stitch imprint on the crash pad identical to the stitching on the seats and armrest for design continuity
  • Front seats firmer at the bottom and softer higher up for maximum comfort

Powetrain and chassis

  • EU6-compliant 2.2-litre CRDi R-family turbodiesel engine with NOx trap and DPF
  • Increased fuel injection pressure to improve efficiency
  • Cylinder walls are 1mm thinner, which has helped the engine to shed 5kg
  • New intake manifold featuring electronic swirl control and a revised exhaust gas filtration system
  • Exhaust after-treatment system, particulate filter with an acoustic shield and a lean
  • Intake and exhaust ports and SD-type combustion chambers also improve efficiency
  • Improved Electronic Variable Geometry turbocharger improves low-rpm performance
  • First Kia with automatic transmission featuring ISG stop/start system  
  • High-performance front dampers and a hydraulic rebound spring for improved shock absorption
  • New front suspension geometry
  • Vertical rear shock absorbers (previously mounted at a 23-degree angle) enhance ride comfort
  • Rear wheel subframe bush improves ride comfort in the third row of seats
  • Steering motor now mounted on the rack rather than the column for greater agility
  • Lower NVH through fewer holes in the body structure, foam between the engine bay and cabin, 25 per cent thicker noise dampening material and stiffer body
  • 14 per cent greater torsional rigidity
  • 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel versus 28 per cent in predecessor
  • Between 3 and 6 per cent quieter than previous model
  • First car to pass through Kia’s new Global Quality Centre 

Technology

  • Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic sunroof frame – a world first – saves 8kg
  • Laser-welded tailgate reduces the number of parts and saves weight
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • First Kia in Europe with Adaptive Smart Cruise Control and Speed Limit Information
  • Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warning
  • Adaptive Front Lights
  • Four-camera Around View Monitor system gives a 360-degree field of vision
  • New Smart Park Assist - first time on any UK Kia vehicle
  • Powered driver’s seat extension
  • 10-speaker Infinity audio system
  • DAB radio (standard across whole range)
  • 7” and 8” touchscreen navigation systems
  • Drive Mode Select alters speed of automatic gearshifts, steering wheel weighting and throttle response

Safety

  • Around View Monitoring giving a 360-degree view of the exterior
  • High-strength steel content raised from 28 per cent to 53 per cent with special adhesives for greater strength
  • Advanced Traction Cornering Control working on the engine and brakes eliminates understeer for greater stability and responsiveness
  • Curtain and side airbags connected to roll-over detection system
  • Five-star Euro-NCAP rating 

 

 

3          DESIGN                                                                                                        

Dignity wrapped in a solid package 

The market for SUVs is very different today to how it was in 2002, when Kia introduced the first Sorento, code-named BL. The people who drove 4x4s, as SUVs were still referred to in those days, were mostly those who needed them to cope with extreme terrain or weather, or for heavy-duty towing. With this in mind, most 4x4s – including BL – were built with a body on top of a rugged separate chassis. Buyers loved BL’s powerful engines, comfortable ride and convenience features, but most of all its go-anywhere, pull-anything ability. 

By the time of the second Sorento in 2009, known internally as XM, things had changed. There had been a huge surge in demand for SUVs, but many of the new devotees still wanted the driving qualities they were used to in premium saloons. So, SUVs, with only a few exceptions, adopted the monocoque, all-in-one type of body construction. XM was no exception. A few buyers rued the loss of some towing capacity, but most were enthralled with the new Peter Schreyer design, high-quality interior and R-family diesel engines.

When starting work on the 2015 Sorento, under the UM code name, Kia was in something of a quandary: whether to make the car even more gentrified and saloon-like, or to retain the much-valued towing and off-roading capabilities of the second-generation model. In the end, Kia was able to do both.

The phrase the product planners and designers use to sum up their work is “Dignity wrapped in a solid package”. The design revolution which began when Peter Schreyer was recruited as Chief Design Officer (now President of Design for the entire Hyundai Motor Group) in 2006 is clearly still evolving and gaining added elegance and distinctiveness, but at the same time the new Sorento does not fail to emphasise its solidity and practicality. 

Another phrase which was important to the designers in the development of the new Sorento was “Up to mid-size”. The new Sorento is the flagship for Kia in the UK and Europe. The decision was therefore taken to move it closer in size to the Mohave – an even larger model never sold in the UK. 

Kia was determined the new Sorento would have executive-class space and versatility to match its executive-class levels of style, quality and refinement. The result is an increase in length of 95mm over the second-generation Sorento to 4,780mm, an 80mm longer wheelbase (now 2,780mm), a 15mm reduction in height to 1,685mm and a 5mm wider body (1,890mm). The significance of these dimensions is that headroom and legroom have been improved in all three rows of seats, by up to 15mm and 25mm respectively, and there is 90 litres more luggage capacity. 

Already the new Sorento is reaping design awards. It has received the prestigious IF Design Award in Germany for the first time, with the international jury recognising not only its aesthetics but also its finish, innovation, environmental impact and safety. The Sorento is the seventh Kia to receive an IF Design Award.  

Exterior

In many ways the design of the new Sorento was dictated by its increased dimensions. The aim of the design team was to give the car greater on-road attitude with a more confident and assertive appearance, without discarding the heritage and DNA of the first two versions. That is why it is 15mm lower overall, and also why it retains much-loved design features like the side window graphic with its chromed frame, a fast, sweeping D-pillar and a high belt line. 

The designers began with the front, introducing a more expressive look. There are stretched wrap-around headlamp units and more prominent, recessed foglights. The head-on view is dominated by a larger and more upright version of the Kia ‘tiger-nose’ grille with a thick chrome surround and a distinctive three-dimensional diamond pattern - like that on the 2013 Cross GT concept car. This blends into the distinctive long bonnet. A silver skid plate beneath the lower air intake confirms that the new Sorento is a fully fledged SUV.

The new Sorento has a sleeker, more swept-back profile which disguises its increased size, and deeply sculpted surfaces. The lower roof, rising belt line and more sweeping profile make it look bolder and more muscular, and for the first time there are pronounced rear shoulders in place of a crease line beneath the windows to give the car greater three-dimensionality. The B- and C-pillars are in black to make the window silhouette appear more open, and a stylish two-tone lower body cladding connects the front and rear to accentuate the car’s length. The door mirrors are in body colour and feature integrated LED indicators.    

The wrap-around, frame-integrated side doors are slimmer than conventional doors, fit more snugly into the overall profile of the car and allow for a wider opening. This helps to keep the seals completely free of dirt and moisture thrown up from the road, keeping the hands and clothes of passengers clean and dry when getting in and out.  And – although this is largely hidden from view – they emphasise the greater quality of the car because there are no welding pleats in their construction. 

The rear features a highly sculpted registration plate housing, made possible by the new laser-welding technologies being employed by Kia for the first time. These render weld lines invisible and do away with the need for the usual garnish to mask the joints on the tailgate. The black lower side garnish at the sides continues into the rear foglight surrounds and, as at the front, there is a silver-painted skid plate. The premium quality of the car is unmistakeable in the integral rear spoiler, ‘shark-fin’ antenna and the LED rear lights on most versions. 

The exterior design was led by Kia’s Namyang studios, but there was also significant input from the design teams in Frankfurt and Irvine, California. 

In the UK, KX-1 comes as standard with 17” alloy wheels, KX-2 and KX-3 have 18” alloys and the range-topping KX-4 is distinguished by 19” alloys. All versions have black side sills and wheel-arch body mouldings, body-coloured door mirrors, roof rails, a rear spoiler and privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate. KX-1 has a black mesh radiator grille and body-coloured door handles, while from KX-2 upwards the grille mesh is a dark metallic colour and the door handles are chromed. 

LED daytime running lights and high-level rear brake lights are standard, while KX-2 and KX-3 have LED rear combination lights and xenon rather than projection-type headlights. 

Clear white is the solid paint colour, but buyers can also opt for one of four metallics – Midnight Black, Satin Silver, Graphite or White Pearl.  

Interior 

The Sorento is Kia’s flagship model in the UK and Europe as well as its most prestigious SUV everywhere around the world, and the interior reflects that. It helps to position the car in the overall Kia range and showcases the best the company can do in terms of quality, craftsmanship and perceived luxury. 

The new Sorento is the first car to be produced under Kia’s new Global Quality Strategy, which became fully operational at the start of 2014. This brings together several facilities which were previously scattered all over Korea, and is linked to the company’s main research and development centre at Namyang. It employs 410 people and has its own 1.1-kilometre testing ground. All future Kias will pass through the Global Quality Centre as part of Kia’s ‘Drive Defects to Zero’ programme. The ultimate aim is to be the global leader for quality. 

In the choice of materials, fit and finish and technology the new Sorento is a significant step forward for Kia, adding new levels of sophistication and marking the next phase of the company’s progression from a purely value-driven brand. There are soft-touch surfaces throughout the cabin, while the brightwork has a satin rather than a polished finish, creating a more premium appearance. 

The Sorento designers spent a lot of time on the architecture of the cabin to reinforce its increased quality, space and practicality. The shape of the bottom of the windscreen was carefully crafted to emphasise the car’s width, for example, while the sculpted lines give an impression of solidity, originality and modernity. Switches and buttons have been fastidiously grouped according to function and ergonomics, and they have an almost machined finish and action. The aim was to create a car capable of changing the mindset of a group of customers who today might not consider buying a Kia.         

The standard instrument cluster features clear, stylish, white-on-black graphics which deliver all essential information at a glance, but in KX-3 and KX-4 versions this is replaced by a eight-inch TFT (Thin Film Transistor) display which adds an even more premium look to the dashboard and allows greater personalisation of the information provided via steering wheel-mounted controls. 

KX-1 has black cloth upholstery, while all other versions have black leather with faux leather sections. KX-4 is also available with grey and black leather, depending on the exterior colour. There are door sill scuff plates in every model, and these are aluminium with illuminated sections in KX-3 and KX-4. The two upper-grade models also have alloy pedals with non-slip inserts. There are cloth-wrapped A- and B-pillars from KX-2 upwards, while KX-4 has rear side window blinds. 

An electronic parking brake is standard with automatic transmission, and all versions have illuminated vanity mirrors in the front sun blinds. An engine start/stop button is standard on KX-3 and KX-4. 

The front seats are firmer at the bottom and softer higher up to ensure maximum comfort. The driver’s seat in KX-3 has eight-way power adjustment, while KX-4 fares even better with 10-way power adjustment and four-way powered lumbar adjustment and eight-way power adjustment on the passenger’s side. The driver’s seat also has an integrated memory in KX-4 which allows two people to store their preferred driving position. Both front seats are 38mm lower than in the previous model, for easier entry and exit. 

KX-2 and above have heated front and outer second-row seats, and in KX-4 the front occupants even enjoy cooled and ventilated seats. Models with leather upholstery are now manufactured using an embossing form process for the cushion and backrest, which gives a better fit and finish. 

Front legroom has been increased by 25mm, and is up by 15mm in the second row. There is 15mm more headroom in the third row, 8mm more up front and 3mm more in the middle. The second-row seats slide forward by 270mm, giving much-improved access to the two seats in the rear, which now offer enough head and leg room to accommodate adults. The transmission tunnel has been completely eliminated, whereas in the previous model it was 64mm tall, so there is now a completely flat floor for passengers’ feet, and the mid row of seats is now split 40:20:40 for greater versatility. 

The second-row seat remote folding mechanisms are operated from within the boot, and in KX-3 and KX-4 there is a powered Smart Tailgate. When the owner is within one metre of the rear of the car and has the car key in a pocket or handbag, the tailgate opens automatically after three seconds. The Smart Tailgate can also be set to raise to different heights convenient for the owner. There is also a luggage cover with a dedicated storage space when it needs to be removed, a luggage undertray and a luggage net in every Sorento. 

The boot is 87mm longer than before (third row seats folded) which, along with the increase in wheelbase, has significantly enlarged its carrying capacity. The lift-over height of the rear sill has also been lowered, by 5mm. The new Sorento can therefore carry 142 litres of luggage when all seats are in use, 605 litres with the third-row seats folded (+17.5 per cent) and 1,662 litres when travelling as a two-seater. This is up to 90 litres more than with the previous model. 

Cabin storage includes cupholders in the centre console and rear armrest, a centre console storage box, an illuminated glovebox, front and rear door storage and front seat back pockets. 

 

4          THE UK MODEL LINE-UP AND SPECIFICATIONS                              

One engine, two transmissions and four trim grades   

Kia offers four luxuriously appointed trim grades with its flagship model in the UK, the Sorento. They are set in ascending order, KX-1, KX-2, KX-3 and KX-4. All have seven seats with a 40:20:40 split in the middle row and a 50:50 split in the rear. All have an EU6-compliant 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine and intelligent four-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic gearbox is optional in place of the six-speed manual on KX-2 and KX-3 and standard with KX-4. From KX-2 upwards, buyers have the choice of ordering the car without the self-levelling suspension feature at a saving of £500. 

Depending on model, the new Sorento features a number of highly advanced new technologies. Some are firsts for any Kia, while others are appearing on a European-specification Kia for the first time.

They include Adaptive Smart Cruise Control, Speed Limit Information, Around View Monitoring, Cross Traffic Alert, a Smart Park Assist System which now includes reverse and parallel departure functions, Lane Departure Warning with Blind Spot Detection and Adaptive Front Lighting.  

Highlights of the extensive standard features on KX-1 are: 

  • 17” alloy wheels
  • Body-coloured bumpers, exterior door handles and door mirror casings
  • Black side sill and wheel-arch mouldings
  • Roof rails and a rear spoiler
  • Tinted glass
  • Headlight levelling
  • Cornering lights integrated into the foglights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Front wiper de-icers
  • Electrically adjustable, folding and heated door mirrors with LED indicators
  • Two-way steering wheel adjustment
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel
  • Door sill scuff plates
  • Air conditioning
  • Steering wheel-mounted controls
  • All-round electric windows
  • Cruise control with speed limiter
  • Vanity mirror illumination
  • Remote locking with folding key
  • Luggage area load cover with storage area
  • Net hooks
  • 6-speaker hi-fi with DAB radio, CD player, USB and AUX ports; MP3 compatibility
  • Bluetooth
  • Reversing sensors
  • ESC, VSM, Trailer Assist, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist
  • Normal, Comfort and Sport steering modes
  • 6 airbags, active front headrests, front seat belt pre-tensioners and load limiters
  • Active Bonnet

In KX-2 these are supplemented with: 

  • 18” alloy wheels
  • Dark mesh in place of black mesh radiator grille
  • Chrome exterior door handles
  • Side sill chrome garnish
  • Automatic light and wiper control
  • Black leather/faux leather upholstery
  • Heated front and outer rear seats
  • Satin-finish interior door handles
  • Cloth-trimmed A- and B-pillars
  • Dual automatic air conditioning
  • Electronic parking brake with automatic transmission
  • 7” touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and TMC
  • Reversing camera linked to touchscreen
  • Self-levelling suspension (option)

To this, KX-3 adds: 

  • Panoramic sunroof with automatic one-touch blinds
  • Xenon headlights with automatic levelling
  • Adaptive front light system
  • LED rear combination lamps
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Alloy pedals
  • Illuminated aluminium door sill scuff plates
  • Engine start/stop button and smart entry system
  • Smart Tailgate
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Infinity premium sound system
  • 8” touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and TMC
  • 7” TFT LCD colour instrument display
  • Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
  • Speed Limit Information Function (SLIF) 

KX-4 is distinguished by: 

  • 19” alloy wheels
  • Grey or black leather upholstery
  • 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with 4-way powered lumbar adjustment
  • 8-way adjustable front passenger seat
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Rear side window blinds
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • 360-degree Around View Monitor
  • Smart Park Assist
  • Blind Spot Detection
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert

SPECIFICATION

KX-1

KX-2

KX-3

KX-4

EXTERIOR DESIGN & LIGHTING

 

17" Alloy Wheels (235/65 R17)

P

-

-

-

18" Alloy Wheels (235/60 R18)

-

P

P

-

19" Alloy Wheels (235/55 R19)

-

-

-

P

Black mesh radiator grille

P

-

-

-

Dark metallic mesh radiator grille

-

P

P

P

Body-coloured bumpers

P

P

P

P

Body-coloured exterior door handles

P

-

-

-

Chrome exterior door handles

-

P

P

P

Body-coloured door mirrors

P

P

P

P

Black side-sill & wheel arch mouldings

P

P

P

P

Side sill chrome garnish

-

P

P

P

Roof Rails

P

P

P

P

Rear Spoiler

P

P

P

P

Tinted Glass

P

P

P

P

Privacy glass (rear windows/tailgate)

P

P

P

P

Panoramic sunroof with automatic electric one-touch roll blinds with safety function

-

-

P

P

Projection headlights

P

P

-

-

Headlight levelling device

P

P

-

-

Xenon headlights with automatic levelling

-

-

P

P

Cornering lights integrated into foglights

P

P

P

P

Automatic light control

-

P

P

P

Headlight washers

-

-

P

P

Front & rear fog lights

P

P

P

P

LED daytime running lights

P

P

P

P

LED rear combination lights

-

-

P

P

LED high-mounted brake light

P

P

P

P

Speed-variable front wipers

P

P

P

P

AeroBlade-type front wipers

P

P

P

P

Rain-sensing front wipers

-

P

P

P

Front wiper de-icer

P

P

P

P

Wide-view driver's door mirror

-

P

P

P

Electrically folding, adjustable & heated door mirrors with LED indicators

P

P

P

P

Heated rear windscreen with wiper

P

P

P

P

Solid Paint

P

P

P

P

Metallic Paint

OPT

OPT

OPT

OPT

INTERIOR DESIGN & COMFORT

 

 

Black cloth upholstery

P

-

-

-

Black leather upholstery

-

P

P

P

Grey/black leather upholstery (depending on body colour)*

-

-

-

P

Sliding & reclining front seats

P

P

-

-

Driver’s seat height adjuster

P

P

-

-

8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat (with 2 way electric lumbar support)

-

-

P

-

10-way power-adjustable driver’s memory seat with 4-way electrically adjustable lumbar support

-

-

-

P

8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat

-

-

-

P

Heated front seats

-

P

P

P

Ventilated front seats

-

-

-

P

Heated outer rear seats

-

P

P

P

Tilt & telescopic steering wheel adjustment

P

P

P

P

Leather-trimmed steering wheel

P

P

P

P

Heated steering wheel

P

P

P

P

Leather-trimmed gearshift

-

P

P

P

Metallic finish inside door handles

P

-

-

-

Satin finish inside door handles

-

P

P

P

Centre console armrest

P

P

P

P

Rear centre armrest

P

P

P

P

Alloy pedals

-

-

P

P

Door scuff plates

P

P

-

-

Aluminium door scuff plates with front illumination

-

-

P

P

Cloth-wrapped A & B Pillars

-

P

P

P

Rear side window blinds

-

-

-

P

Air conditioning

P

-

-

-

Dual automatic air conditioning with ioniser

-

P

P

P

Rear air ventilation

P

P

P

P

Steering wheel-mounted controls

P

P

P

P

All-round electric windows with driver’s auto-down function

P

P

P

P

All-round electric windows with auto up/down function

-

P

P

P

Cruise control and speed limiter

P

P

P

P

Adaptive Smart Cruise Control

-

-

-

P

Auto-dimming rear-view mirror

-

P

P

P

Cloth-wrapped & extendable sun visors with  vanity mirrors & ticket holder

P

P

P

P

Vanity mirror illumination

P

P

P

P

Electric parking brake with auto hold

-

Auto Model

Auto Model

P

Remote central locking with folding key

P

P

-

-

Engine start/stop button with smart entry system

-

-

P

P

Smart Tailgate

-

-

P

P

STORAGE, VERSATILITY & INTERIOR LIGHTING

 

7 Seats

P

P

P

P

40:20:40 split folding and reclining 2nd-row seats

P

P

P

P

50:50 split flat-folding 3rd-row seats

P

P

P

P

3 passenger assist grips

P

P

P

P

Front & rear 2nd row 12V power sockets

P

P

P

P

Centre console cupholders

P

P

P

P

Cupholders in rear armrest

P

P

P

P

Illuminated glovebox

P

P

P

P

Front seatback pockets

P

P

P

P

Front & rear door storage

P

P

P

P

Centre console storage box

P

P

P

P

Dash illumination dimmer switch

P

P

P

P

Ambient lighting (centre console & door trims)

-

-

P

P

Ignition keyhole illumination

P

P

-

-

Centre cabin light

P

P

-

-

Rear side passenger lights

-

-

P

P

Front cabin map light

P

P

P

P

Front door courtesy reflectors

P

P

P

P

Full-size alloy spare wheel

P

P

P

P

Luggage area light

P

P

P

P

Luggage area load cover

P

P

P

P

Luggage net hooks

P

P

P

P

AUDIO, COMMUNICATION & INFORMATION 

  

6-speaker system

P

P

-

-

Infinity premium sound system with 10 speakers including 4” central speaker, external amp & sub-woofer

-

-

P

P

DAB RDS radio with MP3 compatibility

P

P

P

P

USB & AUX Ports

P

P

P

P

CD Player

P

-

P

P

Bluetooth® with voice recognition & music streaming

P

P

P

P

7” touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and TMC

-

P

-

-

8” touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and TMC

-

-

P

P

Reversing sensors

P

P

P

P

Reversing camera system integrated into touchscreen

-

P

P

P

360-degree Around View monitor

-

-

-

P

Smart Park Assist System including reverse and parallel departure function

-

-

-

P

7” LCD full colour display

-

-

P

P

Trip Computer

P

P

P

P

External temperature display

P

P

P

P

Washer fluid warning system

P

P

P

P

Digital Clock

P

P

P

P

ACTIVE SAFETY & DRIVING DYNAMNICS  

 

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) & Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)  

P

P

P

P

Trailer Stability Assist (TSA)

P

P

P

P

ABS with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) & Brake Assist (BAS)

P

P

P

P

Emergency Stop Signalling

P

P

P

P

Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)

P

P

P

P

Intelligent All-wheel Drive

P

P

P

P

Self-levelling Suspension

-

P

P

P

Motor Driven Power Steering

P

P

P

P

Blind Spot Detection

-

-

-

P

Rear Cross Traffic Alert

-

-

-

P

Lane Departure Warning

-

-

P

P

Speed Limit Information

-

-

P

P

Drive Mode Select

-

Auto Model

Auto Model

P

PASSIVE SAFETY

 

 

 

 

 

Twin front airbags

P

P

P

P

Front passenger airbag cut-off switch

P

P

P

P

Twin side airbags (front)

P

P

P

P

Twin curtain airbags with roll-over sensor

P

P

P

P

Active bonnet (pedestrian protection)

P

P

P

P

Front active headrests

P

P

P

P

All-round height-adjustable headrests

P

P

P

P

ISOFIX child seat top tethers & anchor fixings

P

P

P

P

All-round 3-point seat belts

P

P

P

P

Front seat belt height adjusters

P

P

P

P

Front seat belt pre-tensioners & load limiters

P

P

P

P

Impact-sensing auto door unlocking

P

P

P

P

Grab-type exterior door handles

P

P

P

P

SECURITY

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced anti-theft alarm system

P

P

P

P

Locking wheel nuts

P

P

P

P

Engine immobiliser

P

P

P

P

Door deadlocks

P

P

P

P

Interior door lock/unlock function

P

P

P

P

Child safety rear door locks

P

P

P

P

Speed-sensing auto door locking (dealer-activated)

P

P

P

P

Visible Vehicle Identification No. (VIN)

P

P

P

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 SORENTO: THE TECHNICAL STORY

   EU6 diesel engine and totally revised running gear

A casual glance might lead people to believe that the mechanical package of the new Sorento is little more than a carry-over from the previous model. It continues to be powered by a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine driving all four wheels through a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, and to have fully independent front and rear suspension and all-disc brakes with electronic support. 

Those bare essentials hide the huge amount of engineering work that has gone into the new Sorento and made it virtually an all-new car. The engine, for instance, is lighter, more powerful, more fuel-efficient and cleaner and it now meets EU6 emissions standards. There is a new all-wheel-drive system that helps to save fuel when traction is not at a premium, but reacts to changing conditions faster and more effectively when all-wheel drive is necessary. The suspension has been totally reworked so that the Sorento not only has the ride comfort of a car with premium aspirations but is also more responsive and more engaging to drive, Kia’s fuel-saving Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) is fitted and now has a rack-mounted electronic control unit and Drive Mode Select with automatic transmission, and there has been a huge effort to eliminate noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and make the cabin an even more luxurious place in which to travel. 

Revised 2.2-litre CRDi engine 

In the UK all versions of the Sorento continue to be powered by the 2.2-litre version of Kia’s R-family turbodiesel engine. It is a 2,199cc 16-valve four-cylinder unit with chain-driven overhead camshafts and a variable geometry turbocharger and intercooler. The new, fourth-generation common-rail fuel injection system features piezo injectors, and the injection pressure has been raised from 1,800 to 2,000 bar, which has helped to increase power and torque while assisting in lowering fuel consumption and emissions. Other technical highlights include an actuator which gives precise turbocharger control for superior acceleration and fuel economy and a special coating to reduce friction on the piston skirt.

The intake manifold, cylinder head cover and oil filter housing are made of plastic to help trim weight, and now the cylinder walls are 1mm thinner, which has helped the engine to shed 5kg. With a new intake manifold featuring electronic swirl control and a revised exhaust gas filtration system that promotes the recirculation of clean, cool, low-pressure exhaust gas, the R-family diesel engine is cleaner and more efficient than ever. 

It is now EU6-compliant thanks to an exhaust after-treatment system which means that it not only meets current emissions regulations but will likely be able to satisfy those to come in future. There is a particulate filter with an acoustic shield and a lean NOx trap to reduce harmful nitrogen emissions to negligible levels. 

The engine now develops 197bhp (an increase of 3bhp) at 3,800 rpm and 441Nm of torque (plus 19Nm) from just 1,750 rpm, endowing the Sorento with outstanding driveability on- and off-road. A balancer shaft reduces vibrations and ensures the engine is extremely refined. Performance has been improved so that acceleration from 0-62mph now takes 9.0 seconds (auto 9.6 seconds), and all versions have a top speed of 124mph. 

For the first time in a Kia, automatic models as well as manuals feature the company’s Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system to ensure that no fuel is used and no emissions are created when the car comes to a halt. This helps to improve both air quality and noise levels in urban areas. Automatic versions of the new Sorento also have Kia’s Active ECO feature, which adjusts the operation of the engine and transmission to promote maximum fuel economy in motion. It can be switched on or off by a button in the centre console. As a result, all versions of the new Sorento have lower fuel consumption and emissions. Manual models on 17-inch wheels have combined economy of 49.5mpg with CO2 emissions of 149g/km, while the corresponding figures for the automatic are 43.4mpg and 172g/km. 

Essential figures

Model

Power bhp

Torque Nm

0-60 sec

Top speed

Ave mpg

CO2 g/km

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-1

197

441

9.0

124

49.6

149

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-2

197

441

9.0

124

47.1

159

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-2

197

441

9.6

124

42.8

174

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-3

197

441

9.0

124

47.1

159

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-3

197

441

9.6

124

42.8

174

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-4

197

441

9.6

124

42.8

174

 

Six-speed transmissions with new Dynamax AWD system 

The new Sorento drives through the same six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes as the previous model, with unchanged gear ratios, but features a new Dynamax all-wheel-drive system first seen in Kia’s compact SUV, the Sportage. 

Dynamax is an intelligent electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system from Magna Powertrain.  It continuously monitors driving conditions and anticipates when all-wheel drive will be needed, whereas other systems react only to changing conditions.  With Dynamax, the Sorento is always in the correct drive mode for the prevailing circumstances. 

Normally it delivers 100 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels, but the torque can be redistributed up to a maximum of 60:40 front-to-rear to enhance cornering stability or if road conditions deteriorate.  For off-road driving, owners can manually select lock mode, which gives a 50:50 torque split at speeds of up to 25mph. 

Dynamax makes its decisions by analysing data from the car's electronic control unit. Its fully active all-wheel-drive coupling is electro-hydraulically activated via a multi-plate clutch.  The benefits for the driver are reduced fuel consumption because all-wheel drive is engaged only when necessary, greater cornering stability and the elimination of under- and oversteer in extreme circumstances or road conditions. The system has a high thermal capacity, which means it will not overheat and need to shut itself down in repeated hill climbing or when towing at maximum capacity. 

In the Sorento it is paired with Advanced Traction Cornering Control (ATCC). Compared with all-wheel-drive systems which control wheelspin by braking a spinning wheel or reducing engine torque, ATCC automatically and instantaneously transfers torque to those wheels which still have grip, even before the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system intervenes. 

In extreme circumstances the ESC system will counteract any tendency of the car to understeer or oversteer in hard cornering or slippery conditions.  ESC automatically brakes one or more wheels, reduces engine torque – or does both – to stabilise the car and return it to the driver's intended course. This is linked with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) which prevents slip-back when setting off uphill and eliminating the possibility of wheelspin.

All versions have Trailer Stability Assist to make towing safer. It works through the ESC system, and continuously monitors vehicle stability, gently applying some front braking force to the relevant side of the vehicle if it detects a potential loss of control. If this is insufficient, gentle all-wheel braking is introduced, along with a reduction in engine power, until the vehicle and trailer are stabilised. 

Both gearboxes feature high top gear ratios for reduced engine revs and improved fuel economy when cruising at speed. 

The manual transmission was developed primarily with European markets in mind and has multi-cone synchronisation, optimised gear design, enhanced efficiency, reduced power loss and enhanced durability. It is filled with low-viscosity oil and requires no servicing during the life of the car. 

Kia’s in-house automatic transmission incorporates a unique ‘flat’ torque converter, which is one reason why it is so compact, and features three planetary gearsets and four pinion differentials. The clever design of the hydraulic pressure control unit allows the transmission’s eight solenoid valves to be individually calibrated at the assembly plant to ensure ultra-fast, smooth and precise gearshifts throughout the engine speed range. 

A stylish, space-efficient straight shifter offers the driver a choice of two operating modes – fully automatic for town driving, and sport for a more involving driving style. In sport mode, the driver can perform sequential manual changes up or down.

New suspension and steering and all-disc brakes

While Kia has been at pains to ensure there has been no dilution of the Sorento’s legendary towing and off-roading capabilities – and the Dynamax all-wheel-drive system enhances both – the company’s engineers have also striven to ensure the new model delivers more of a luxury-car ride and more engaging and precise on-road handling. To this end, the new Sorento has new suspension systems at the front and rear, and is the company’s first SUV to feature rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS).

Previously, the electric motor module which controlled the steering was mounted half way up the steering column. With R-MDPS it is mounted directly to the steering rack. This brings the twin benefits of sharper responses and greater precision. Kia likens it to trying to steer a blindfolded person from behind: if you direct them from the waist they are able to follow a more precise path than if directed at shoulder level. 

Drive Mode Select, which is standard with automatic transmission, allows the driver to select three steering modes, from a more comfort-oriented to a firmer, more sporty feel, according to preference. It also modifies the automatic transmission shift pattern accordingly. 

Key features of R-MDPS are separation of the steering angle and torque sensors, three rack-bar support points to enhance the rigidity of the steering gears, a backlash-compensation gear yoke and a noise-reducing anti-rattle in the reduction gear module. R-MDPS requires just 2.87 turns between the extremes of lock and gives the longer and wider new Sorento a turning circle between kerbs of just 11.08 metres. 

The front suspension is once more via MacPherson struts with coil springs and gas-filled dampers, and there is an anti-roll bar. But there is now an H-shaped subframe, four-point bushing mountings and hydraulic rebound stoppers in place of the previous hydraulic stopping dampers. This results in greater straight-line driving stability, a more comfortable ride, more precise handling and greater reliability. 

At the rear, the subframe-mounted double wishbones, coil springs, gas-filled dampers and anti-roll bar now feature a geometrically improved set-up to improve ride comfort and handling stability. The dampers are now vertically mounted whereas previously they were at an angle of 23 degrees and the length of the dual lower suspension arms has been increased by 30.1m, while at the top the arm length has been extended by 26.7mm. As at the front, four-point bushing mounts are employed on the main suspension frame. The result of all this is that the new Sorento is not only more comfortable to travel in but also feels more connected to the road.       

The new Sorento has vented all-disc brakes – 320 x 28mm with two-piston calipers at the front and 314 x 18mm with single-piston calipers rear. Anti-lock (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (BAS) are all standard, ensuring the Sorento can be steered and braked safely at the same time and comes to a rapid and sure halt in the minimum distance, regardless of the force applied to the pedal by the driver. A push-button electronic parking brake (EPB) is standard with automatic transmission and now includes Automatic Vehicle Hold (AVH), which prevents the car from rolling away accidentally when standing still or setting off on uphill inclines, without the driver having to keep a foot on the brake pedal.    

Off-road and towing information 

The new Sorento is a premium SUV that combines the best elements of modern road-biased models with the right degree of traditional 4x4 all-terrain and towing capability. Manual versions can haul a braked trailer of up to 2,500kg, while automatics can tow up to 2,000kg. All versions can tow an unbraked trailer of up to 750kg. 

The Sorento is a highly capable off-road performer, with competitive approach, departure and ramp-over angles, and features the acclaimed Dynamax all-wheel-drive system from the Sportage. 

For improved traction and greater safety while driving in slippery conditions or off-road the driver can manually select ‘lock mode’. This splits the torque 50:50 between the front and rear axles for better stability, and maintains that split up to a speed of 25mph.

Essential facts and figures

                     

2.2 CRDi 6sp manual

2.2 CRDi 6sp automatic

Min kerb weight (kg)

1,932

1,953

Gross vehicle weight (kg)

2,590

2,620

Max ball weight (kg)

100

100

Max towing weight (braked/unbraked) (kg)             

2,500/750

2,000/750

Approach angle (deg)                 

16.9

16.9

Departure angle (deg)                  

21.0

21.0

Ramp angle (deg)                  

18.0

18.0

Min ground clearance (mm)        

185

185

 

Noise, vibration and harshness 

Refinement is one of the key distinguishers in cars which aspire to be premium. It refers not only to the quality of the fixtures and fittings or the smoothness of the drivetrain and controls, but also to the suppression of unwanted sounds and vibrations – what engineers call NVH, or noise, vibration and harshness. The control and elimination of NVH was one of the major goals in the development of the new Sorento. 

A solid, stiff body shell is essential if NVH is to be kept in check. It allows other components to do their work without having to compensate for unwanted flexing. Despite being longer and wider than the previous Sorento, the new model is 14 per cent torsionally stiffer, helped by the use of 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel in the body construction versus 28 per cent in the last model. 

Sound absorption and insulation materials have been used liberally throughout the car, even though they add weight, to ensure no stone was left unturned in the quest for quietness. There are insulating pads in the dashboard, transmission tunnel and around the front wheel arch and wing areas. Even the dashboard has a 29 per cent thicker soundproofing panel.

The improved aerodynamics of the new Sorento, which has a remarkably low drag coefficient for an SUV of 0.33, help to curtail wind noise. Airflow over the body is improved by a new rear spoiler and carefully shaped tail lamp clusters, and the underside has not been overlooked, either. Full-size aerodynamic shields are 250 per cent larger than in the previous Sorento, and include under covers for the engine, centre and rear of the car, a front bumper lip and deflectors in the front and rear wheel arches. 

Three-point inertial support structures have been applied to the transmission mount, engine mounts and upper roll rod to curb vibrations from the powertrain, while the extended dual lower rear suspension arms and stiffer alloy wheels, plus improved structures around the rear floor and front and rear damper mounts help to minimise the transmission of road noise. There is also a new diesel particulate filter cover, an acoustic shield around the intercooler pipe and a further acoustic shield integrated into the engine’s timing chain cover. The result is a reduction in noise inside the cabin of three per cent at idle and up to six per cent when the car is in motion.   

 

6 SAFETY

   A stronger body shell and more advanced driver aids

The new Sorento has achieved a maximum five-star rating in Euro-NCAP safety tests, which became even more stringent in 2014. With a stronger body shell, a comprehensive range of active and passive safety features as standard and now the availability of five new advanced safety-focused technologies, the new Sorento scored 90 per cent for adult occupant protection, 83 per cent for child occupant protection, 67 per cent for pedestrian protection and 71 per cent for its safety assistance systems. 

The Sorento attracted special praise for the way its passenger cell remained intact after a collision and afforded passengers of different stature good protection. All passengers – even those in the third row of seats – were well protected against whiplash injury, while the Active Bonnet reduced the risk of injury to pedestrians. This raises the trailing edge of the engine cover in a collision so there is greater space between the pedestrian’s head and hard areas in the engine bay.   

The ability of the new Sorento to protect its passengers begins with the new stiff body shell, which plays just as big a role in safety as it does in curbing NVH. Despite being considerably larger than the previous Sorento, the new model is 14 per cent torsionally stiffer, helped by the use of 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel in the body construction versus 28 per cent in the last model. The new Sorento also features more than twice as much ultra-strong hot-stamped steel – up from 4.1 per cent to 10.1 per cent, mainly in the areas of the A- and B-pillars. 

In an effort to make accidents avoidable, there are standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) to allow drivers to steer and brake simultaneously in emergencies and to ensure the stopping effort is directed to the wheels with most grip. Brake Assist (BAS), which ensures maximum retardation in an emergency stop, regardless of the force applied to the pedal by the driver, has been added. Hill-Start Assist is also standard, and a push-button electronic parking brake (EPB) is fitted on all automatic models. It now includes Automatic Vehicle Hold (AVH), which prevents the car from rolling away accidentally when standing still or setting off on uphill inclines, without the driver having to keep a foot on the brake pedal. There is also Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) to prevent wheelspin or roll-back when setting off on steep or greasy upslopes. It works through the sensors that control the ESC system.    

An Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) is also fitted to warn following drivers when the Sorento brakes rapidly or severely. In such circumstances, the rear brake lights flash. 

The new Sorento also has Electronic Stability Control (ESC). ESC automatically corrects any tendency of the car to go out of control through understeer or oversteer by braking individual wheels, reducing engine torque or both in slippery conditions or if the driver has entered a bend too quickly. 

An additional driver aid is Vehicle Stability Management (VSM). This can detect when the wheels on one side are on a lower-grip surface than those on the other side and stabilise the car by reducing the amount of steering assistance if the driver is applying too much steering effort, or increasing it if the driver is applying too little. 

Six airbags (twin-front, side and side curtains) are standard, as are active front headrests that prevent or minimise whiplash injuries should the Sorento be hit from behind. There are also front seat-belt pre-tensioners and load limiters to minimise the wearer's body travel in an accident while limiting pressure on the chest. Three-point seat belts are fitted to every seat, and there are ISOFIX child-seat mounting points with top tethers and anchors. The front passenger airbag has a cut-off switch so that a rear-facing child seat can be safely carried there. 

Depending on model, the new Sorento also introduces a number of highly advanced new technologies to help drivers avoid accidents. Some are firsts for any Kia, while others are appearing on a European-specification Kia for the first time. 

Adaptive Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), controlled by a radar at the front of the Sorento, automatically maintains a pre-determined distance to the vehicle ahead in KX-4. If the distance is reduced to the point where an accident is likely the Sorento’s brakes are automatically applied, bringing the car to a complete stop if necessary. Once the car ahead moves off, so does the Sorento. A display on the TFT LCD display warns the Sorento driver what is happening. 

KX-3 and KX-4 also feature Speed Limit Information Function. This displays the maximum speed permitted on any particular road in both the instrument cluster and the navigation screen. One invaluable feature of the system is that if the limit on a particular road has been reduced – because of roadworks or smart motorway gantries – the Sorento’s on-board camera overrules what the navigation system is displaying and ensures the lower limit is displayed.

Around View Monitoring (AVM) is standard with KX-4, as is Rear Cross Traffic Alert. AVM uses front and rear cameras, plus two more mounted in the door mirrors, to give the driver a bird’s eye view of the Sorento at speeds up to 12.5mph, making parking and manoeuvring in difficult spaces easier and safer. With the Smart Park Assist System, which now includes reverse and parallel departure functions, KX-4 drivers are also able to select rear and forward views. Rear Cross Traffic Alert warns a Sorento driver who is reversing out of a parking space that another vehicle is approaching from the side. 

The new Sorento also has Lane Departure Warning (KX-3 and KX-4) with Blind Spot Detection (KX-4). Individually or together these alert the driver via audible and visual signals that vehicles are approaching from behind or in an adjacent lane respectively. If the Sorento driver attempts to change lanes without activating the indicators, an alert is activated. 

An Adaptive Front Lighting System (standard on KX-3 and KX-4) improves visibility during night driving. It automatically directs the low-beam lighting according to the amount of lock applied to the steering wheel to improve visibility during cornering and turning.

Finally, a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System is fitted to all Sorentos to alert the driver to any potentially dangerous loss of pressure.     

 

7 MANUFACTURING AND THE ENVIRONMENT

   Built at Hwasung, Kia's major plant 

The Kia Sorento is built at two Kia plants – Hwasung in Korea and West Point, Georgia, for North American markets. All UK versions come from Korea. Hwasung is also Kia’s major petrol and diesel engine production plant, and produces one million engines and 600,000 transmissions a year. 

It is Kia's largest factory, with a capacity of 600,000 cars a year – double the maximum volume from the Žilina plant in Slovakia, for example. Hwasung has three production lines working two shifts, and employs 14,600 people. Each line turns out a new car every 74 seconds. Total production to date is more than nine million vehicles. 

Hwasung was opened and began producing cars in July 1989, and was officially launched in 1990. Within the Hwasung complex is a 425-acre proving ground with 16 driving courses. An employee sports centre gives the 15,000 workers and their families access to gymnasiums, swimming pools, squash courts, weight-training and community facilities. 

The facility has undergone major changes aimed at improving the quality of production processes and the cars leaving the factory gates, something which has been recognised by the American publication, Consumer Reports

Constant efforts are also being made to minimise the plant's effect on the environment. There have been major initiatives to increase recycling, reduce the amount of pollutants and waste in the production process, lower greenhouse gas emissions and cut air pollution through more eco-friendly production systems. Energy-saving measures have also been introduced and Hwasung now sends no scrap to landfill.

Improved painting facilities have been installed, and every aspect of vehicle production has been under scrutiny to ensure the plant uses less energy and produces less waste. Water and power consumption, dust and CO2 emissions per vehicle produced and contaminants and waste volumes have all been reduced.

Kia has made reducing the amount of raw materials being fed into the production process a major priority in every one of its factories around the globe. The last few years have seen significant progress in reducing waste, increasing recycling and developing cleaner production processes. The overall waste generated by Hwasung is under constant review and a number of programmes have seen dramatic improvements. Recycling waste is now well in excess of 95 per cent. Exhaust pollutants from Hwasung have also decreased dramatically – dust, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide output have all been reduced significantly. 

As a result of the improved fuel consumption and emissions of the new Sorento as well as the constant efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of the Hwasung factory, the Sorento has become the 12th Kia to achieve internationally-recognised certification for its whole-life impact on the environment.
TÜV Nord, a leading independent technical inspection organisation, has certified the new Kia Sorento according to the ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) standard. LCA forecasts the environmental impact of a vehicle during its full life. 

At Hwasung, new technology is playing a significant part in environmental improvement. Typical cast melting furnaces produce large amounts of dust and contained within this is a high proportion of zinc. The captured dust is treated and the zinc extracted before being re-used within the production process. 

Another simple energy-saving process has been implemented within Hwasung’s huge and complex air conditioning systems. A fixed amount of heat was supplied to some areas of the plant, regardless of the outside temperature. Using smart control units, the fans now supply heat only where and when needed. 

More technology is being employed in the machining shops where gearboxes are produced. Compressed air is used as a coolant when machining intricate gearbox internals, rather than cutting oil. This and the associated oil mist are problem pollutants and the new scheme is reducing oil use to less than half of one per cent. 

The green landscape around each facility is an important part of its make-up. One on-going programme is based on a number of ‘ecology gardens’ which are filled with trees and plants resistant and also sensitive to environmental changes in air pollution. The Hwasung plant has more than 3,251,923 square metres of green areas and 228,752 trees. This makes for a more comfortable environment for the staff and local population and offsets some of the CO2 output from the facility. These ‘ecology gardens’ are continually monitored since they act as real-world indicators of air quality. 

Each site is broadening its green ‘patches’ and constantly monitors air pollution in neighbouring communities. A monthly task for each facility is the ‘One Stream Clean-up’ programme where Kia cleans and maintains local, natural streams. This is not only to monitor cleanliness but also to keep them maintained for the local communities to enjoy.

The overall effect of the many ‘green’ initiatives has resulted in Hwasung being officially recognised as an eco-friendly worksite by the Korean Ministry of the Environment.

 

 

8 RUNNING COSTS

   Not all big SUVs are expensive to own 

The new Sorento reflects Kia’s belief that it is possible to own a premium car without asking buyers to pay a premium-car price and running costs. 

With an improved standard specification which far outweighs any increase in price, it is an even more appealing proposition for the retail buyers who make up the majority of customers, and there are again attractive after-care servicing packages to reduce operating costs, while the stronger body shell and advanced safety features are reflected in the insurance ratings. For fleet customers, the reduced fuel consumption and CO2 output of the new Sorento will mean lower operating costs and minimise personal taxation, despite Government changes to benefit-in-kind bandings each year. 

And the Sorento, like every Kia, continues to deliver the peace of mind of the company’s unique seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, which is full transferable if the car is sold before the time or mileage limit is reached.

Fuel consumption (mpg)

Model

Urban

Extra Urban

Combined

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-1

40.9

57.6

49.6

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-2

39.8

53.3

47.1

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-2

36.2

47.9

42.8

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-3

39.8

53.3

47.1

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-3

36.2

47.9

42.8

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-4

36.2

47.9

42.8

 

VED bands

Model

Band

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-1

F

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-2

G

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-2

H

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-3

G

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-3

H

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-4

H

 

Company car tax bands 2015-16

Model

 

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-1

29%

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-2

31%

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-2

34%

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-3

31%

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-3

34%

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-4

34%

 

Insurance groups (1-50)

Model

 

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-1

24

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-2

25

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-2

25

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-3

26

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-3

26

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-4

28

 

Care-3 Servicing Package

Routine servicing is needed only once a year or every 20,000 miles.

The Sorento is available with Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for the first three or five years. All work is carried out by trained technicians using genuine Kia replacement parts and specified oils.

Care-3 covers the costs of the first three services while Care-3 Plus covers the first five services, in both cases dependant on annual mileage.  

All packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable should the vehicle be sold.  If a vehicle with a Care-3 package is sold on then the next owner may upgrade to the five year service package.  The cost of the vehicle’s first MOT test fee can also be included. 

Warranty and support

  • Seven-year, 100,000-mile manufacturer warranty, unlimited for the first three years, transferable if the car is sold within the time and mileage limit.
  • Five-year, 100,000-mile paintwork warranty.
  • Twelve-year anti-corrosion warranty.
  • One-year Europe-wide roadside rescue through KIAssist.

 

9 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

   We've anticipated what you're likely to ask

Q How many Sorentos do you sell a year in the UK?

A It has been rising year by year, with the odd exception. In 2014 we achieved record sales of 3,108 in the UK, even though the second-generation Sorento was in its final year. To put that into context, the UK was responsible for close to a third of all European sales. This year we are confident of raising UK sales to 3,500. 

Q How are those figures broken down?

A Obviously it is 100 per cent diesel, since we do not offer the petrol version here, and 100 per cent seven-seat because that is the only configuration we make available. There is a 57:43 retail-to-fleet split, which is higher than the sector average of 52:48. Our success with higher-trim versions is also high – 28 per cent of our sales are KX-3 or KX-4 versions. A couple of other interesting figures about the D-SUV market. More than half of sales – 56 per cent – are manual models, and an overwhelming 86 per cent are all-wheel drive.

Q Why do you not offer the five-seater available in other countries?

A Because experience tells us that UK customers do not want it – even when we did provide a choice, the overwhelming preference was for seven seats. And owners can always fold down some of the seats if they want to change the interior configuration. It is now easier than ever thanks to features like the new Sorento’s 40:20:40 sliding middle-row seats and remote middle-row folding mechanisms.

Q The price increase over the previous model appears to be around 5 per cent?

A That’s correct, but standard equipment has been substantially improved to more than outweigh that. The Sorento is our flagship in the UK, and we want to offer as many customers as possible the new technology we have available for the lowest possible price. We are constantly trying to move away from being regarded as a purely value-driven brand. The new Sorento begins the next phase of that, and you will see further advances with other new models to come later this year. If you look at the D-sector SUV market overall, customers want fully equipped vehicles.

Q What have you carried forward by customer demand, and what did people ask you to change?

Previous Sorento buyers told us not to change the essential characteristics of the styling or reduce the space, towing performance, value for money and warranty, so we have at least maintained and in most cases improved those things. What they did want to see made better was the steering and fuel economy. The new car shows we have listened and acted upon their requests.

  1. To locate a local dealer or for more information please visit www.kia.co.uk

    Stephen Kitson
    Director of Corporate Communications

    E: skitson@kia.co.uk   
    T: 01932 832075 M: 07795 011 936
    Daniel Sayles
    Press Relations Manager

    E: dsayles@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832073 M: 07747 149 149
    Sara Robinson     
    Senior Press Officer

    E: srobinson@kia.co.uk
    T: 01932 832072 M: 07919 482 332
    Carly Escritt       
    Senior Press Officer

    E: cescritt@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832071 M: 07557 268 252
    Moyosola Fujamade
    Press Officer (press fleet)

    E: mfujamade@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832069 M: 07471 216 343
    Emily Jacklin
    Press Office Assistant
    E: ejacklin@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832079 M: 07795 011 475

    Follow Kia on twitter @KiaUKPR
    Follow Kia at www.facebook.com/kiamotorsuk
    Watch Kia at www.youtube.com/kiamotorsuk

 

 

 

Sorento

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS                                                               

Facts, facts and more facts    

2.2 CRDi  

 No. of cylinders/valves

 

 4/16

 Displacement

 cc

 2,199

 Bore / stroke

 mm

 85.4 x 96

 Power output

 bhp

 197 @ 3,800 rpm

 Torque output

 Nm (lb/ft)

 441 (325) @ 1,750–2,750 rpm

 Compression ratio

 

 16.0:1

 Engine details

 

Double overhead camshaft; fourth-generation common-rail fuel injection; turbocharger and intercooler; electronic piezo injectors; exhaust gas recirculation; balancer shaft; diesel particulate filter; lean NOx trap

 Emissions

 

 Euro 6

 

Transmission

 Transmission type

 

 Six-speed manual

 Six speed automatic

 Gear ratios

 1st gear

 2nd gear

 3rd gear

 4th gear

 5th gear

 6th gear

 Reverse

 Final Gear

 3.538

 1.909

 1.179

 0.814

 0.737

 0.628

 3.910

 4.750 (1, 2, 3, 4)

 4.071 (5, 6, R)

 4.651

 2.831

 1.842

 1.386

 1.000

 0.772

 3.393

 3.195

 

Suspension, steering and braking

 Front axle

MacPherson struts with coil springs, gas-filled dampers and anti-roll bar

 Rear axle

Subframe-mounted double wishbones, coil springs, gas-filled dampers and anti-roll bar

 Braking system

Solid discs, 320mm front and 314mm rear, with ABS, EBD and BAS

 

 Steering

Rack-mounted, electric motor-assisted rack-and-pinion, 2.87 turns lock-lock, turning circle 11.08 metres 

 Wheels (alloy)

17 x 7 J alloy / 18 x 7.5 J alloy / 19 x 8 J alloy 

 Tyres

235/65 R17 / 235/60 R18 / 235/55 R19

 Spare wheel

Full-size alloy

 

Dimensions and weights

 

 

 Six speed manual

 Six speed automatic

 Wheelbase

 mm

 2,780

 2,780

 Length/width/height

 mm

 4,780/1,890/1,685

 4,780/1,890/1,685

 Minimum ground clearance

 mm

 185

 185

 Approach angle/departure

 degree

 16.9/21.0

 16.9/21.0

 Ramp angle

 degree

 18.0

 18.0

 Headroom 1st/2nd/3rd row

 mm

 1,004/998/920

 1,004/998/920

 Legroom 1st/2nd/3rd row

 mm

 1,048/1,000/805

 1,048/1,000/805

 Shoulder room 1st/2nd/3rd row

 mm

 1,500/1,472/1,342

 1,500/1,472/1,342

 Boot volume 7sts / 5 sts /full flat

 litres

 1,662/605/142

 1,662/605/142

 Kerb weight (min)

 kg

 1,932

 1,953

 Gross vehicle weight

 kg

 2,590

 2,620

 Tow weights - braked/unbraked

 kg

 2,500/750

 2,000/750

 Tow ball weight

 kg

 100

 100

 Max roof weight

 kg

 100

 100

 Fuel tank capacity

 litres

 71

 71

 Turning circle

 metres

 11.08

 11.08

 Drag coefficient

 Cd

 0.33

 0.33

 

Performance and fuel consumption                                                          

 

 

 Six speed manual

Six speed automatic

 Acceleration (0-60 mph)

 seconds

 9.0

 9.6

 Maximum speed

 mph

 124

 124

 Fuel economy urb/ex.urb/com

 17” wheels

 18” and 19” wheels

 mpg

 

 40.9/57.6/49.6

 39.8/53.3/47.1

 

 

 36.2/47.9/42.8

 C02

 17” wheels

 18”  and 19” wheels

 g/km

 

 149

 159

 

 -

 174

Ends

For further information on Kia please visit www.kiapressoffice.com or contact: 

Stephen Kitson             Director of Corporate Communications
skitson@kia.co.uk – 01932 832075 – 07795 011936

Daniel Sayles                            Press Relations Manager
dsayles@kia.co.uk – 01932 832073 – 07747 149149

Sara Robinson                          Senior Press Officer
srobinson@kia.co.uk – 01932 832072 – 07919 482332

Carly Escritt                              Senior Press Officer
cescritt@kia.co.uk – 01932 832071 – 07557 262252

Moyo Fujamade                        Press Officer
mfujamade@kia.co.uk – 01932 832069 – 07471 216343

Hannah Cowton                        Press Office Assistant
hcowton@kia.co.uk – 01932 832079 – 07795 011475

Follow Kia at www.facebook.com/kiamotorsuk
Follow Kia at www.twitter.com/KiaUKPR
Watch Kia at www.youtube.com/kiamotorsuk

GENERAL

Sorento

THE KIA SORENTO

Short Story 

  • New, third-generation flagship for Kia in the UK
  • Start of second phase of Kia’s brand transformation
  • Major strides in engineering, refinement and quality
  • New technologies, some never before offered in a Kia
  • Seven seats, EU6 diesel engine and all-wheel drive as standard
  • Emissions reduced, fuel economy improved and power increased
  • Longer, lower, wider, roomier and more practical and versatile 

Sorento is the car that changed the way the world saw Kia when it was launched in 2002 and now with the Sorento, the brand’s flagship car in the UK is set to build on its consistent appeal to a diverse range of customers as this third-generation model is better equipped, more refined, stylish and technologically advanced than ever before. 

The third-generation Kia Sorento marks the start of the next stage in Kia’s transformation from a purely value-driven company into a world-class manufacturer of premium-quality cars. Phase I was the design-led revolution which followed the appointment of Peter Schreyer as Chief Design Officer – now President of Design for the entire Hyundai Motor Group. Phase II, which starts with the new Sorento, will see Kia match and surpass not only customer expectations but also the world’s best car manufacturers for engineering, technology, refinement and quality.       

The new Sorento is longer, lower and wider than the previous model thanks to a revolutionised platform, while an extended wheelbase creates greater room in all three rows of seats. It has a comprehensively re-engineered 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine which satisfies EU6 emissions regulations. Minutely detailed body and chassis engineering work has resulted in a car which is not only more engaging to drive, but also much more refined to travel in. Safety and convenience technologies new to the Sorento, and in some cases new to any Korean SUV, include Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning System, Around View Monitoring, Adaptive Front Lighting and Speed Limit Information.  

In the UK the new Sorento range comprises six models at launch. All are powered by the upgraded R-family 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox. All have permanent, intelligent all-wheel drive through the Dynamax system first seen on Kia’s compact SUV, the Sportage. All have a versatile seven-seat interior. The trim levels are KX-1, KX-2, KX-3 and KX-4. 

A flagship for Europe 

The new Sorento is Kia’s flagship in the UK and Europe, so it needed executive-class space and versatility to match its executive-class style, quality and refinement. The result is an increase in length of 95mm over the second-generation Sorento, an 80mm longer wheelbase (now 2,780mm), a 15mm reduction in height and a 5mm wider body. The significance of these dimensions is that headroom and legroom have been improved in all three rows of seats and there is 90 litres more luggage capacity. 

When starting work on the car, Kia was in something of a quandary: whether to make it even more gentrified and saloon-like than the outgoing model, or to retain that car’s much-valued towing and off-roading capability. In the end, Kia has been able to do both.

The phrase the product planners and designers use to sum up their work is “Dignity wrapped in a solid package”. The design revolution which began when Peter Schreyer was recruited in 2006 is clearly still evolving and gaining added elegance and distinctiveness, but at the same time the new Sorento does not fail to emphasise its solidity and practicality. 

Already the new Sorento is reaping design awards. It has received the prestigious IF Design Award in Germany, with the international jury recognising not only the car’s aesthetics but also its finish, innovation, environmental impact and safety. The Sorento is the seventh Kia to receive an IF Design Award.   

The new model preserves familiar Sorento design cues like the shape of the D-pillar but now has a sleeker, swept-back profile which disguises its increased size, and deeply sculpted surfaces. The lower roof, rising belt line and more sweeping profile make it look bolder and more muscular, and for the first time there are pronounced rear shoulders in place of a crease line beneath the windows to give the car greater three-dimensionality. 

The wrap-around, frame-integrated side doors are slimmer than conventional doors, fit more snugly into the overall profile of the car and allow for a wider opening. They also help to keep the seals completely free of dirt and moisture thrown up from the road. 

For the first time on a new model from the brand, Kia has introduced a new laser welding manufacturing technique which allows for closer body panel connections. This enabled Kia’s designers to introduce more advanced shapes to the bodywork and adds to a more premium, modern look and feel to the construction of the car. 

The new Sorento is the first car to be produced under Kia’s new Global Quality Strategy, which became fully operational at the start of 2014. In the choice of materials, fit and finish and technology, the new Sorento is a significant step forward for Kia. 

The Sorento designers spent a lot of time on the architecture of the cabin to reinforce its increased quality, space and practicality. The shape of the bottom of the windscreen was carefully crafted to emphasise the car’s width, for example, while the sculpted lines give an impression of solidity, originality and modernity. Switches and buttons have been fastidiously grouped according to function and ergonomics, and they have an almost machined finish and action.

The standard instrument cluster features clear, stylish, white-on-black graphics which deliver all essential information at a glance, but in KX-3 and KX-4 versions this is replaced by a seven-inch TFT (Thin Film Transistor) display which adds an even more premium look to the dashboard and allows greater personalisation of the information provided. 

Cleaner, more fuel-efficient EU6 diesel engine

In the UK all versions of the Sorento are powered by the 2.2-litre version of Kia’s R-family turbodiesel engine, which now meets EU6 emissions requirements. It features a new, fourth-generation common-rail fuel injection system with increased injection pressure. 

The intake manifold, cylinder head cover and oil filter housing are made of plastic to help trim weight, and now the cylinder walls are 1mm thinner, which has helped the engine to shed 5kg. With a new intake manifold featuring electronic swirl control and a revised exhaust gas filtration system that promotes the recirculation of clean, cool, low-pressure exhaust gas, the R-family diesel engine is cleaner and more efficient than ever. 

An exhaust after-treatment system means that it not only meets current emissions regulations, but will likely be able to satisfy those to come in future. There is a particulate filter with an acoustic shield and a lean NOx trap to reduce harmful nitrogen emissions to negligible levels. 

The engine now develops 197bhp (an increase of 3bhp) at 3,800 rpm and 441Nm of torque (plus 19Nm) from just 1,750 rpm, endowing the Sorento with outstanding driveability on- and off-road. A balancer shaft reduces vibrations and ensures the engine is extremely refined. Performance has been improved so that acceleration from 0-62mph now takes just 9.0 seconds (auto 9.6 seconds), and all versions have a top speed of 124mph.

For the first time in a Kia, automatic models as well as manuals feature the company’s Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system to ensure that no fuel is used and no emissions are created when the car comes to a halt. This helps to improve both air quality and noise levels in urban areas. Automatic versions of the new Sorento also have Kia’s Active ECO feature, which adjusts the operation of the engine and transmission to promote maximum fuel economy in motion. As a result, all versions of the new Sorento have lower fuel consumption and emissions. Manual models have combined economy of 49.6mpg with CO2 emissions of only 149g/km, while the corresponding figures for the automatic are 42.8mpg and 174g/km.

Superior traction, comfort and refinement 

The new Sorento features the Dynamax all-wheel-drive system first seen in Kia’s compact SUV, the Sportage. Dynamax is an intelligent electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system from Magna Powertrain.  It continuously monitors driving conditions and anticipates when all-wheel drive will be needed, whereas other systems react only to changing conditions.  With Dynamax, the Sorento is always in the correct drive mode for the prevailing circumstances. 

Normally it delivers 100 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels, but the torque can be redistributed up to a maximum of 60:40 front-to-rear to enhance cornering stability or if road conditions deteriorate.  For off-road driving, owners can manually select lock mode, which gives a 50:50 torque split at speeds of up to 25mph.

In the Sorento it is paired with Advanced Traction Cornering Control (ATCC). Compared with all-wheel-drive systems which control wheelspin by braking a spinning wheel or reducing engine torque, ATCC automatically and instantaneously transfers torque to those wheels which still have grip, even before the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system intervenes. This is linked with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) which prevents slip-back when setting off uphill and eliminating the possibility of wheelspin. 

All versions have Trailer Stability Assist to make towing safer. It works through the ESC system, and continuously monitors vehicle stability, gently applying some front braking force to the relevant side of the vehicle, if it detects a potential loss of control.

Kia engineers have also striven to ensure the new model delivers more of a luxury-car ride and more engaging and precise on-road handling. To this end, the new Sorento has new suspension systems at the front and rear, and is the company’s first SUV to feature rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS). 

Previously, the electric motor module which controlled the steering was mounted half way up the steering column. With R-MDPS it is mounted directly to the steering rack. This brings the twin benefits of sharper responses and greater precision. Kia likens it to trying to steer a blindfolded person from behind: if you direct them from the waist they are able to follow a more precise path than if directed at shoulder level. 

Drive Mode Select is also fitted to versions with automatic transmission. This allows the driver to select three steering modes, from a more comfort-oriented to a firmer, more sporty feel, according to preference. It also modifies the automatic transmission shift pattern accordingly.

The front suspension revisions have resulted in greater straight-line driving stability, a more comfortable ride, more precise handling and greater reliability. At the rear the shock absorbers are now vertically mounted whereas previously they were at an angle of 23 degrees and the length of the lower suspension arms has been increased. The result of all this is that the new Sorento is not only more comfortable to travel in but also feels more connected to the road. 

Refinement is one of the key distinguishers in cars which aspire to be premium. It refers to the suppression of unwanted sounds and vibrations – what engineers call NVH, or noise, vibration and harshness. 

A solid, stiff body shell is essential if NVH is to be kept in check. Despite being larger than the previous Sorento, the new model is 14 per cent torsionally stiffer, helped by the use of 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel in the body construction versus 28 per cent in the last model.

Sound absorption and insulation materials have been used liberally throughout the car. There are insulating pads in the dashboard, transmission tunnel and around the front wheel arch and wing areas. Even the dashboard has a 29 per cent thicker soundproofing panel 

The improved aerodynamics of the new Sorento, which has a remarkably low drag coefficient for an SUV of 0.33, help to curtail wind noise. Airflow over the body is improved by a new rear spoiler and carefully shaped tail lamp clusters, and the underside has full-size aerodynamic shields 250 per cent larger than in the previous Sorento. 

The result of this and other detailed noise suppression measures is a reduction in noise inside the cabin of three per cent at idle and up to six per cent when the car is in motion.           

Four trim levels and a host of advanced new technologies

The four luxuriously appointed trim grades are set, in ascending order, KX-1, KX-2, KX-3 and KX-4. All have seven seats with a 40:20:40 split in the middle row and a 50:50 split in the rear A six-speed automatic gearbox is optional in place of the six-speed manual on KX-2 and KX-3 and standard with KX-4. From KX-2 upwards, buyers have the choice of ordering without self-levelling suspension if desired. 

Depending on model, the new Sorento features a number of highly advanced new safety and convenience technologies. Some are firsts for any Kia, while others are appearing on a European-specification Kia for the first time.

They include Adaptive Smart Cruise Control to maintain a gap to the vehicle ahead, Speed Limit Information Function, Around View Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert to prevent the owner from backing out of a parking space into the path of an approaching vehicle, a Smart Park Assist System which now includes reverse and parallel departure functions, Lane Departure Warning with Blind Spot Detection, self-dimming Adaptive Front Lighting (High Beam Assist) and a Roll-over Sensor, which deploys the side curtain airbags when the vehicle is involved in a roll-over, even without an initial impact. The new Sorento has also been awarded with a reassuring five-star Euro NCAP safety rating scoring highly in all four areas (90 percent Adult Occupant Protection, 83 per cent Child Occupant Protection, 67 percent Pedestrian Protection and 71 percent Safety Assist). 

Highlights of the extensive standard features include alloy wheels (17”, 18” or 19” depending on grade), black side sill and wheel-arch mouldings, roof rails and a rear spoiler, cornering lights integrated into the foglights, LED daytime running lights, front wiper de-icer, electrically adjustable, folding and heated door mirrors with LED indicators, door sill scuff plates (aluminium with front illumination for KX-2 upwards) steering wheel-mounted controls, all-round electric windows, cruise control with a speed limiter and reversing sensors, while safety is taken care of by Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Trailer Assist, ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist, six airbags with Roll-over Sensor, active front headrests, front seat belt pre-tensioners and load limiters and an active bonnet to protect pedestrians.

In KX-2 these are supplemented with chrome exterior door handles, a side sill chrome garnish, automatic light and wiper control, black leather/faux leather upholstery, heated front and outer rear seats, dual automatic air conditioning in place of standard air conditioning, 7” TFT touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and Traffic Messaging (TMC), a reversing camera linked to the touchscreen and optional self-levelling suspension.

To this, the KX-3 adds a panoramic sunroof with automatic one-touch blinds, xenon headlights with automatic levelling, Adaptive Front Lighting, larger 8” touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and TMC, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, alloy pedals, an engine start/stop button and smart entry system, a smart powered tailgate, an Infinity premium sound system, a 7” TFT colour instrument display, the Lane Departure Warning system and Speed Limit information. 

The luxurious range-topping KX-4 is distinguished by a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with four-way powered lumbar adjustment and an eight-way adjustable front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, Adaptive Smart Cruise Control, the 360-degree Around View Monitor, the Smart Park Assist System, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. 

UK versions of the new Sorento are built at Kia’s largest factory, at Hwasung in Korea, and, as with every other model, are covered by the company’s industry-leading seven-year or 100,000-mile transferable warranty, subject to the exclusion of routine wear-and-tear items. 

Essential facts and figures

Model

Power bhp

Torque Nm

0-60 sec

Top speed

Ave mpg

CO2 g/km

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-1

197

441

9.0

124

49.6

149

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-2

197

441

9.0

124

47.1

159

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-2

197

441

9.6

124

42.8

174

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-3

197

441

9.0

124

47.1

159

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-3

197

441

9.6

124

42.8

174

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-4

197

441

9.6

124

42.8

174

 

2 WHAT’S NEW ABOUT THE NEW SORENTO                                      

   A quick summary

Exterior

  • Longer (by 95mm), lower (15mm) and wider (5mm) than the previous model
  • 80mm increase in wheelbase
  • Smart powered tailgate
  • Designed to emphasise ‘masculinity and sleekness’
  • Frame-integrated doors for a more premium look
  • Wide tiger-nose grille with three-dimensional mesh
  • Slimline chrome headlamp units
  • Wide skid plates front and rear add a premium finish
  • Two-tone side body cladding gives a solid, practical appearance
  • Rear design emphasises the greater width and stability through horizontal elements in the body and bumper
  • Detailed aerodynamic work has resulted in a Cd of 0.33 – one of the lowest in class
  • 250 per cent increase in underbody shielding to reduce in-car noise levels 

Interior

  • Increased headroom and legroom in all three rows of seats
  • 40:20:40 split for second row of seats with remote folding control
  • Luggage space increased by 90 litres
  • Wide, horizontal crash pad and centre fascia emphasises enhanced space and comfort
  • More ergonomic switchgear and control layout, with switches grouped according to function
  • Wrap-around instrument panel extends into the doors
  • Stitch imprint on the crash pad identical to the stitching on the seats and armrest for design continuity
  • Front seats firmer at the bottom and softer higher up for maximum comfort

Powetrain and chassis

  • EU6-compliant 2.2-litre CRDi R-family turbodiesel engine with NOx trap and DPF
  • Increased fuel injection pressure to improve efficiency
  • Cylinder walls are 1mm thinner, which has helped the engine to shed 5kg
  • New intake manifold featuring electronic swirl control and a revised exhaust gas filtration system
  • Exhaust after-treatment system, particulate filter with an acoustic shield and a lean
  • Intake and exhaust ports and SD-type combustion chambers also improve efficiency
  • Improved Electronic Variable Geometry turbocharger improves low-rpm performance
  • First Kia with automatic transmission featuring ISG stop/start system  
  • High-performance front dampers and a hydraulic rebound spring for improved shock absorption
  • New front suspension geometry
  • Vertical rear shock absorbers (previously mounted at a 23-degree angle) enhance ride comfort
  • Rear wheel subframe bush improves ride comfort in the third row of seats
  • Steering motor now mounted on the rack rather than the column for greater agility
  • Lower NVH through fewer holes in the body structure, foam between the engine bay and cabin, 25 per cent thicker noise dampening material and stiffer body
  • 14 per cent greater torsional rigidity
  • 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel versus 28 per cent in predecessor
  • Between 3 and 6 per cent quieter than previous model
  • First car to pass through Kia’s new Global Quality Centre 

Technology

  • Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic sunroof frame – a world first – saves 8kg
  • Laser-welded tailgate reduces the number of parts and saves weight
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • First Kia in Europe with Adaptive Smart Cruise Control and Speed Limit Information
  • Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warning
  • Adaptive Front Lights
  • Four-camera Around View Monitor system gives a 360-degree field of vision
  • New Smart Park Assist - first time on any UK Kia vehicle
  • Powered driver’s seat extension
  • 10-speaker Infinity audio system
  • DAB radio (standard across whole range)
  • 7” and 8” touchscreen navigation systems
  • Drive Mode Select alters speed of automatic gearshifts, steering wheel weighting and throttle response

Safety

  • Around View Monitoring giving a 360-degree view of the exterior
  • High-strength steel content raised from 28 per cent to 53 per cent with special adhesives for greater strength
  • Advanced Traction Cornering Control working on the engine and brakes eliminates understeer for greater stability and responsiveness
  • Curtain and side airbags connected to roll-over detection system
  • Five-star Euro-NCAP rating 

 

 

3          DESIGN                                                                                                        

Dignity wrapped in a solid package 

The market for SUVs is very different today to how it was in 2002, when Kia introduced the first Sorento, code-named BL. The people who drove 4x4s, as SUVs were still referred to in those days, were mostly those who needed them to cope with extreme terrain or weather, or for heavy-duty towing. With this in mind, most 4x4s – including BL – were built with a body on top of a rugged separate chassis. Buyers loved BL’s powerful engines, comfortable ride and convenience features, but most of all its go-anywhere, pull-anything ability. 

By the time of the second Sorento in 2009, known internally as XM, things had changed. There had been a huge surge in demand for SUVs, but many of the new devotees still wanted the driving qualities they were used to in premium saloons. So, SUVs, with only a few exceptions, adopted the monocoque, all-in-one type of body construction. XM was no exception. A few buyers rued the loss of some towing capacity, but most were enthralled with the new Peter Schreyer design, high-quality interior and R-family diesel engines.

When starting work on the 2015 Sorento, under the UM code name, Kia was in something of a quandary: whether to make the car even more gentrified and saloon-like, or to retain the much-valued towing and off-roading capabilities of the second-generation model. In the end, Kia was able to do both.

The phrase the product planners and designers use to sum up their work is “Dignity wrapped in a solid package”. The design revolution which began when Peter Schreyer was recruited as Chief Design Officer (now President of Design for the entire Hyundai Motor Group) in 2006 is clearly still evolving and gaining added elegance and distinctiveness, but at the same time the new Sorento does not fail to emphasise its solidity and practicality. 

Another phrase which was important to the designers in the development of the new Sorento was “Up to mid-size”. The new Sorento is the flagship for Kia in the UK and Europe. The decision was therefore taken to move it closer in size to the Mohave – an even larger model never sold in the UK. 

Kia was determined the new Sorento would have executive-class space and versatility to match its executive-class levels of style, quality and refinement. The result is an increase in length of 95mm over the second-generation Sorento to 4,780mm, an 80mm longer wheelbase (now 2,780mm), a 15mm reduction in height to 1,685mm and a 5mm wider body (1,890mm). The significance of these dimensions is that headroom and legroom have been improved in all three rows of seats, by up to 15mm and 25mm respectively, and there is 90 litres more luggage capacity. 

Already the new Sorento is reaping design awards. It has received the prestigious IF Design Award in Germany for the first time, with the international jury recognising not only its aesthetics but also its finish, innovation, environmental impact and safety. The Sorento is the seventh Kia to receive an IF Design Award.  

Exterior

In many ways the design of the new Sorento was dictated by its increased dimensions. The aim of the design team was to give the car greater on-road attitude with a more confident and assertive appearance, without discarding the heritage and DNA of the first two versions. That is why it is 15mm lower overall, and also why it retains much-loved design features like the side window graphic with its chromed frame, a fast, sweeping D-pillar and a high belt line. 

The designers began with the front, introducing a more expressive look. There are stretched wrap-around headlamp units and more prominent, recessed foglights. The head-on view is dominated by a larger and more upright version of the Kia ‘tiger-nose’ grille with a thick chrome surround and a distinctive three-dimensional diamond pattern - like that on the 2013 Cross GT concept car. This blends into the distinctive long bonnet. A silver skid plate beneath the lower air intake confirms that the new Sorento is a fully fledged SUV.

The new Sorento has a sleeker, more swept-back profile which disguises its increased size, and deeply sculpted surfaces. The lower roof, rising belt line and more sweeping profile make it look bolder and more muscular, and for the first time there are pronounced rear shoulders in place of a crease line beneath the windows to give the car greater three-dimensionality. The B- and C-pillars are in black to make the window silhouette appear more open, and a stylish two-tone lower body cladding connects the front and rear to accentuate the car’s length. The door mirrors are in body colour and feature integrated LED indicators.    

The wrap-around, frame-integrated side doors are slimmer than conventional doors, fit more snugly into the overall profile of the car and allow for a wider opening. This helps to keep the seals completely free of dirt and moisture thrown up from the road, keeping the hands and clothes of passengers clean and dry when getting in and out.  And – although this is largely hidden from view – they emphasise the greater quality of the car because there are no welding pleats in their construction. 

The rear features a highly sculpted registration plate housing, made possible by the new laser-welding technologies being employed by Kia for the first time. These render weld lines invisible and do away with the need for the usual garnish to mask the joints on the tailgate. The black lower side garnish at the sides continues into the rear foglight surrounds and, as at the front, there is a silver-painted skid plate. The premium quality of the car is unmistakeable in the integral rear spoiler, ‘shark-fin’ antenna and the LED rear lights on most versions. 

The exterior design was led by Kia’s Namyang studios, but there was also significant input from the design teams in Frankfurt and Irvine, California. 

In the UK, KX-1 comes as standard with 17” alloy wheels, KX-2 and KX-3 have 18” alloys and the range-topping KX-4 is distinguished by 19” alloys. All versions have black side sills and wheel-arch body mouldings, body-coloured door mirrors, roof rails, a rear spoiler and privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate. KX-1 has a black mesh radiator grille and body-coloured door handles, while from KX-2 upwards the grille mesh is a dark metallic colour and the door handles are chromed. 

LED daytime running lights and high-level rear brake lights are standard, while KX-2 and KX-3 have LED rear combination lights and xenon rather than projection-type headlights. 

Clear white is the solid paint colour, but buyers can also opt for one of four metallics – Midnight Black, Satin Silver, Graphite or White Pearl.  

Interior 

The Sorento is Kia’s flagship model in the UK and Europe as well as its most prestigious SUV everywhere around the world, and the interior reflects that. It helps to position the car in the overall Kia range and showcases the best the company can do in terms of quality, craftsmanship and perceived luxury. 

The new Sorento is the first car to be produced under Kia’s new Global Quality Strategy, which became fully operational at the start of 2014. This brings together several facilities which were previously scattered all over Korea, and is linked to the company’s main research and development centre at Namyang. It employs 410 people and has its own 1.1-kilometre testing ground. All future Kias will pass through the Global Quality Centre as part of Kia’s ‘Drive Defects to Zero’ programme. The ultimate aim is to be the global leader for quality. 

In the choice of materials, fit and finish and technology the new Sorento is a significant step forward for Kia, adding new levels of sophistication and marking the next phase of the company’s progression from a purely value-driven brand. There are soft-touch surfaces throughout the cabin, while the brightwork has a satin rather than a polished finish, creating a more premium appearance. 

The Sorento designers spent a lot of time on the architecture of the cabin to reinforce its increased quality, space and practicality. The shape of the bottom of the windscreen was carefully crafted to emphasise the car’s width, for example, while the sculpted lines give an impression of solidity, originality and modernity. Switches and buttons have been fastidiously grouped according to function and ergonomics, and they have an almost machined finish and action. The aim was to create a car capable of changing the mindset of a group of customers who today might not consider buying a Kia.         

The standard instrument cluster features clear, stylish, white-on-black graphics which deliver all essential information at a glance, but in KX-3 and KX-4 versions this is replaced by a eight-inch TFT (Thin Film Transistor) display which adds an even more premium look to the dashboard and allows greater personalisation of the information provided via steering wheel-mounted controls. 

KX-1 has black cloth upholstery, while all other versions have black leather with faux leather sections. KX-4 is also available with grey and black leather, depending on the exterior colour. There are door sill scuff plates in every model, and these are aluminium with illuminated sections in KX-3 and KX-4. The two upper-grade models also have alloy pedals with non-slip inserts. There are cloth-wrapped A- and B-pillars from KX-2 upwards, while KX-4 has rear side window blinds. 

An electronic parking brake is standard with automatic transmission, and all versions have illuminated vanity mirrors in the front sun blinds. An engine start/stop button is standard on KX-3 and KX-4. 

The front seats are firmer at the bottom and softer higher up to ensure maximum comfort. The driver’s seat in KX-3 has eight-way power adjustment, while KX-4 fares even better with 10-way power adjustment and four-way powered lumbar adjustment and eight-way power adjustment on the passenger’s side. The driver’s seat also has an integrated memory in KX-4 which allows two people to store their preferred driving position. Both front seats are 38mm lower than in the previous model, for easier entry and exit. 

KX-2 and above have heated front and outer second-row seats, and in KX-4 the front occupants even enjoy cooled and ventilated seats. Models with leather upholstery are now manufactured using an embossing form process for the cushion and backrest, which gives a better fit and finish. 

Front legroom has been increased by 25mm, and is up by 15mm in the second row. There is 15mm more headroom in the third row, 8mm more up front and 3mm more in the middle. The second-row seats slide forward by 270mm, giving much-improved access to the two seats in the rear, which now offer enough head and leg room to accommodate adults. The transmission tunnel has been completely eliminated, whereas in the previous model it was 64mm tall, so there is now a completely flat floor for passengers’ feet, and the mid row of seats is now split 40:20:40 for greater versatility. 

The second-row seat remote folding mechanisms are operated from within the boot, and in KX-3 and KX-4 there is a powered Smart Tailgate. When the owner is within one metre of the rear of the car and has the car key in a pocket or handbag, the tailgate opens automatically after three seconds. The Smart Tailgate can also be set to raise to different heights convenient for the owner. There is also a luggage cover with a dedicated storage space when it needs to be removed, a luggage undertray and a luggage net in every Sorento. 

The boot is 87mm longer than before (third row seats folded) which, along with the increase in wheelbase, has significantly enlarged its carrying capacity. The lift-over height of the rear sill has also been lowered, by 5mm. The new Sorento can therefore carry 142 litres of luggage when all seats are in use, 605 litres with the third-row seats folded (+17.5 per cent) and 1,662 litres when travelling as a two-seater. This is up to 90 litres more than with the previous model. 

Cabin storage includes cupholders in the centre console and rear armrest, a centre console storage box, an illuminated glovebox, front and rear door storage and front seat back pockets. 

 

4          THE UK MODEL LINE-UP AND SPECIFICATIONS                              

One engine, two transmissions and four trim grades   

Kia offers four luxuriously appointed trim grades with its flagship model in the UK, the Sorento. They are set in ascending order, KX-1, KX-2, KX-3 and KX-4. All have seven seats with a 40:20:40 split in the middle row and a 50:50 split in the rear. All have an EU6-compliant 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine and intelligent four-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic gearbox is optional in place of the six-speed manual on KX-2 and KX-3 and standard with KX-4. From KX-2 upwards, buyers have the choice of ordering the car without the self-levelling suspension feature at a saving of £500. 

Depending on model, the new Sorento features a number of highly advanced new technologies. Some are firsts for any Kia, while others are appearing on a European-specification Kia for the first time.

They include Adaptive Smart Cruise Control, Speed Limit Information, Around View Monitoring, Cross Traffic Alert, a Smart Park Assist System which now includes reverse and parallel departure functions, Lane Departure Warning with Blind Spot Detection and Adaptive Front Lighting.  

Highlights of the extensive standard features on KX-1 are: 

  • 17” alloy wheels
  • Body-coloured bumpers, exterior door handles and door mirror casings
  • Black side sill and wheel-arch mouldings
  • Roof rails and a rear spoiler
  • Tinted glass
  • Headlight levelling
  • Cornering lights integrated into the foglights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Front wiper de-icers
  • Electrically adjustable, folding and heated door mirrors with LED indicators
  • Two-way steering wheel adjustment
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel
  • Door sill scuff plates
  • Air conditioning
  • Steering wheel-mounted controls
  • All-round electric windows
  • Cruise control with speed limiter
  • Vanity mirror illumination
  • Remote locking with folding key
  • Luggage area load cover with storage area
  • Net hooks
  • 6-speaker hi-fi with DAB radio, CD player, USB and AUX ports; MP3 compatibility
  • Bluetooth
  • Reversing sensors
  • ESC, VSM, Trailer Assist, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist
  • Normal, Comfort and Sport steering modes
  • 6 airbags, active front headrests, front seat belt pre-tensioners and load limiters
  • Active Bonnet

In KX-2 these are supplemented with: 

  • 18” alloy wheels
  • Dark mesh in place of black mesh radiator grille
  • Chrome exterior door handles
  • Side sill chrome garnish
  • Automatic light and wiper control
  • Black leather/faux leather upholstery
  • Heated front and outer rear seats
  • Satin-finish interior door handles
  • Cloth-trimmed A- and B-pillars
  • Dual automatic air conditioning
  • Electronic parking brake with automatic transmission
  • 7” touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and TMC
  • Reversing camera linked to touchscreen
  • Self-levelling suspension (option)

To this, KX-3 adds: 

  • Panoramic sunroof with automatic one-touch blinds
  • Xenon headlights with automatic levelling
  • Adaptive front light system
  • LED rear combination lamps
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Alloy pedals
  • Illuminated aluminium door sill scuff plates
  • Engine start/stop button and smart entry system
  • Smart Tailgate
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Infinity premium sound system
  • 8” touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and TMC
  • 7” TFT LCD colour instrument display
  • Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
  • Speed Limit Information Function (SLIF) 

KX-4 is distinguished by: 

  • 19” alloy wheels
  • Grey or black leather upholstery
  • 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with 4-way powered lumbar adjustment
  • 8-way adjustable front passenger seat
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Rear side window blinds
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • 360-degree Around View Monitor
  • Smart Park Assist
  • Blind Spot Detection
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert

SPECIFICATION

KX-1

KX-2

KX-3

KX-4

EXTERIOR DESIGN & LIGHTING

 

17" Alloy Wheels (235/65 R17)

P

-

-

-

18" Alloy Wheels (235/60 R18)

-

P

P

-

19" Alloy Wheels (235/55 R19)

-

-

-

P

Black mesh radiator grille

P

-

-

-

Dark metallic mesh radiator grille

-

P

P

P

Body-coloured bumpers

P

P

P

P

Body-coloured exterior door handles

P

-

-

-

Chrome exterior door handles

-

P

P

P

Body-coloured door mirrors

P

P

P

P

Black side-sill & wheel arch mouldings

P

P

P

P

Side sill chrome garnish

-

P

P

P

Roof Rails

P

P

P

P

Rear Spoiler

P

P

P

P

Tinted Glass

P

P

P

P

Privacy glass (rear windows/tailgate)

P

P

P

P

Panoramic sunroof with automatic electric one-touch roll blinds with safety function

-

-

P

P

Projection headlights

P

P

-

-

Headlight levelling device

P

P

-

-

Xenon headlights with automatic levelling

-

-

P

P

Cornering lights integrated into foglights

P

P

P

P

Automatic light control

-

P

P

P

Headlight washers

-

-

P

P

Front & rear fog lights

P

P

P

P

LED daytime running lights

P

P

P

P

LED rear combination lights

-

-

P

P

LED high-mounted brake light

P

P

P

P

Speed-variable front wipers

P

P

P

P

AeroBlade-type front wipers

P

P

P

P

Rain-sensing front wipers

-

P

P

P

Front wiper de-icer

P

P

P

P

Wide-view driver's door mirror

-

P

P

P

Electrically folding, adjustable & heated door mirrors with LED indicators

P

P

P

P

Heated rear windscreen with wiper

P

P

P

P

Solid Paint

P

P

P

P

Metallic Paint

OPT

OPT

OPT

OPT

INTERIOR DESIGN & COMFORT

 

 

Black cloth upholstery

P

-

-

-

Black leather upholstery

-

P

P

P

Grey/black leather upholstery (depending on body colour)*

-

-

-

P

Sliding & reclining front seats

P

P

-

-

Driver’s seat height adjuster

P

P

-

-

8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat (with 2 way electric lumbar support)

-

-

P

-

10-way power-adjustable driver’s memory seat with 4-way electrically adjustable lumbar support

-

-

-

P

8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat

-

-

-

P

Heated front seats

-

P

P

P

Ventilated front seats

-

-

-

P

Heated outer rear seats

-

P

P

P

Tilt & telescopic steering wheel adjustment

P

P

P

P

Leather-trimmed steering wheel

P

P

P

P

Heated steering wheel

P

P

P

P

Leather-trimmed gearshift

-

P

P

P

Metallic finish inside door handles

P

-

-

-

Satin finish inside door handles

-

P

P

P

Centre console armrest

P

P

P

P

Rear centre armrest

P

P

P

P

Alloy pedals

-

-

P

P

Door scuff plates

P

P

-

-

Aluminium door scuff plates with front illumination

-

-

P

P

Cloth-wrapped A & B Pillars

-

P

P

P

Rear side window blinds

-

-

-

P

Air conditioning

P

-

-

-

Dual automatic air conditioning with ioniser

-

P

P

P

Rear air ventilation

P

P

P

P

Steering wheel-mounted controls

P

P

P

P

All-round electric windows with driver’s auto-down function

P

P

P

P

All-round electric windows with auto up/down function

-

P

P

P

Cruise control and speed limiter

P

P

P

P

Adaptive Smart Cruise Control

-

-

-

P

Auto-dimming rear-view mirror

-

P

P

P

Cloth-wrapped & extendable sun visors with  vanity mirrors & ticket holder

P

P

P

P

Vanity mirror illumination

P

P

P

P

Electric parking brake with auto hold

-

Auto Model

Auto Model

P

Remote central locking with folding key

P

P

-

-

Engine start/stop button with smart entry system

-

-

P

P

Smart Tailgate

-

-

P

P

STORAGE, VERSATILITY & INTERIOR LIGHTING

 

7 Seats

P

P

P

P

40:20:40 split folding and reclining 2nd-row seats

P

P

P

P

50:50 split flat-folding 3rd-row seats

P

P

P

P

3 passenger assist grips

P

P

P

P

Front & rear 2nd row 12V power sockets

P

P

P

P

Centre console cupholders

P

P

P

P

Cupholders in rear armrest

P

P

P

P

Illuminated glovebox

P

P

P

P

Front seatback pockets

P

P

P

P

Front & rear door storage

P

P

P

P

Centre console storage box

P

P

P

P

Dash illumination dimmer switch

P

P

P

P

Ambient lighting (centre console & door trims)

-

-

P

P

Ignition keyhole illumination

P

P

-

-

Centre cabin light

P

P

-

-

Rear side passenger lights

-

-

P

P

Front cabin map light

P

P

P

P

Front door courtesy reflectors

P

P

P

P

Full-size alloy spare wheel

P

P

P

P

Luggage area light

P

P

P

P

Luggage area load cover

P

P

P

P

Luggage net hooks

P

P

P

P

AUDIO, COMMUNICATION & INFORMATION 

  

6-speaker system

P

P

-

-

Infinity premium sound system with 10 speakers including 4” central speaker, external amp & sub-woofer

-

-

P

P

DAB RDS radio with MP3 compatibility

P

P

P

P

USB & AUX Ports

P

P

P

P

CD Player

P

-

P

P

Bluetooth® with voice recognition & music streaming

P

P

P

P

7” touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and TMC

-

P

-

-

8” touchscreen satellite navigation with European mapping and TMC

-

-

P

P

Reversing sensors

P

P

P

P

Reversing camera system integrated into touchscreen

-

P

P

P

360-degree Around View monitor

-

-

-

P

Smart Park Assist System including reverse and parallel departure function

-

-

-

P

7” LCD full colour display

-

-

P

P

Trip Computer

P

P

P

P

External temperature display

P

P

P

P

Washer fluid warning system

P

P

P

P

Digital Clock

P

P

P

P

ACTIVE SAFETY & DRIVING DYNAMNICS  

 

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) & Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)  

P

P

P

P

Trailer Stability Assist (TSA)

P

P

P

P

ABS with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) & Brake Assist (BAS)

P

P

P

P

Emergency Stop Signalling

P

P

P

P

Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)

P

P

P

P

Intelligent All-wheel Drive

P

P

P

P

Self-levelling Suspension

-

P

P

P

Motor Driven Power Steering

P

P

P

P

Blind Spot Detection

-

-

-

P

Rear Cross Traffic Alert

-

-

-

P

Lane Departure Warning

-

-

P

P

Speed Limit Information

-

-

P

P

Drive Mode Select

-

Auto Model

Auto Model

P

PASSIVE SAFETY

 

 

 

 

 

Twin front airbags

P

P

P

P

Front passenger airbag cut-off switch

P

P

P

P

Twin side airbags (front)

P

P

P

P

Twin curtain airbags with roll-over sensor

P

P

P

P

Active bonnet (pedestrian protection)

P

P

P

P

Front active headrests

P

P

P

P

All-round height-adjustable headrests

P

P

P

P

ISOFIX child seat top tethers & anchor fixings

P

P

P

P

All-round 3-point seat belts

P

P

P

P

Front seat belt height adjusters

P

P

P

P

Front seat belt pre-tensioners & load limiters

P

P

P

P

Impact-sensing auto door unlocking

P

P

P

P

Grab-type exterior door handles

P

P

P

P

SECURITY

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced anti-theft alarm system

P

P

P

P

Locking wheel nuts

P

P

P

P

Engine immobiliser

P

P

P

P

Door deadlocks

P

P

P

P

Interior door lock/unlock function

P

P

P

P

Child safety rear door locks

P

P

P

P

Speed-sensing auto door locking (dealer-activated)

P

P

P

P

Visible Vehicle Identification No. (VIN)

P

P

P

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 SORENTO: THE TECHNICAL STORY

   EU6 diesel engine and totally revised running gear

A casual glance might lead people to believe that the mechanical package of the new Sorento is little more than a carry-over from the previous model. It continues to be powered by a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine driving all four wheels through a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, and to have fully independent front and rear suspension and all-disc brakes with electronic support. 

Those bare essentials hide the huge amount of engineering work that has gone into the new Sorento and made it virtually an all-new car. The engine, for instance, is lighter, more powerful, more fuel-efficient and cleaner and it now meets EU6 emissions standards. There is a new all-wheel-drive system that helps to save fuel when traction is not at a premium, but reacts to changing conditions faster and more effectively when all-wheel drive is necessary. The suspension has been totally reworked so that the Sorento not only has the ride comfort of a car with premium aspirations but is also more responsive and more engaging to drive, Kia’s fuel-saving Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) is fitted and now has a rack-mounted electronic control unit and Drive Mode Select with automatic transmission, and there has been a huge effort to eliminate noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and make the cabin an even more luxurious place in which to travel. 

Revised 2.2-litre CRDi engine 

In the UK all versions of the Sorento continue to be powered by the 2.2-litre version of Kia’s R-family turbodiesel engine. It is a 2,199cc 16-valve four-cylinder unit with chain-driven overhead camshafts and a variable geometry turbocharger and intercooler. The new, fourth-generation common-rail fuel injection system features piezo injectors, and the injection pressure has been raised from 1,800 to 2,000 bar, which has helped to increase power and torque while assisting in lowering fuel consumption and emissions. Other technical highlights include an actuator which gives precise turbocharger control for superior acceleration and fuel economy and a special coating to reduce friction on the piston skirt.

The intake manifold, cylinder head cover and oil filter housing are made of plastic to help trim weight, and now the cylinder walls are 1mm thinner, which has helped the engine to shed 5kg. With a new intake manifold featuring electronic swirl control and a revised exhaust gas filtration system that promotes the recirculation of clean, cool, low-pressure exhaust gas, the R-family diesel engine is cleaner and more efficient than ever. 

It is now EU6-compliant thanks to an exhaust after-treatment system which means that it not only meets current emissions regulations but will likely be able to satisfy those to come in future. There is a particulate filter with an acoustic shield and a lean NOx trap to reduce harmful nitrogen emissions to negligible levels. 

The engine now develops 197bhp (an increase of 3bhp) at 3,800 rpm and 441Nm of torque (plus 19Nm) from just 1,750 rpm, endowing the Sorento with outstanding driveability on- and off-road. A balancer shaft reduces vibrations and ensures the engine is extremely refined. Performance has been improved so that acceleration from 0-62mph now takes 9.0 seconds (auto 9.6 seconds), and all versions have a top speed of 124mph. 

For the first time in a Kia, automatic models as well as manuals feature the company’s Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop/start system to ensure that no fuel is used and no emissions are created when the car comes to a halt. This helps to improve both air quality and noise levels in urban areas. Automatic versions of the new Sorento also have Kia’s Active ECO feature, which adjusts the operation of the engine and transmission to promote maximum fuel economy in motion. It can be switched on or off by a button in the centre console. As a result, all versions of the new Sorento have lower fuel consumption and emissions. Manual models on 17-inch wheels have combined economy of 49.5mpg with CO2 emissions of 149g/km, while the corresponding figures for the automatic are 43.4mpg and 172g/km. 

Essential figures

Model

Power bhp

Torque Nm

0-60 sec

Top speed

Ave mpg

CO2 g/km

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-1

197

441

9.0

124

49.6

149

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-2

197

441

9.0

124

47.1

159

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-2

197

441

9.6

124

42.8

174

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-3

197

441

9.0

124

47.1

159

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-3

197

441

9.6

124

42.8

174

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-4

197

441

9.6

124

42.8

174

 

Six-speed transmissions with new Dynamax AWD system 

The new Sorento drives through the same six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes as the previous model, with unchanged gear ratios, but features a new Dynamax all-wheel-drive system first seen in Kia’s compact SUV, the Sportage. 

Dynamax is an intelligent electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system from Magna Powertrain.  It continuously monitors driving conditions and anticipates when all-wheel drive will be needed, whereas other systems react only to changing conditions.  With Dynamax, the Sorento is always in the correct drive mode for the prevailing circumstances. 

Normally it delivers 100 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels, but the torque can be redistributed up to a maximum of 60:40 front-to-rear to enhance cornering stability or if road conditions deteriorate.  For off-road driving, owners can manually select lock mode, which gives a 50:50 torque split at speeds of up to 25mph. 

Dynamax makes its decisions by analysing data from the car's electronic control unit. Its fully active all-wheel-drive coupling is electro-hydraulically activated via a multi-plate clutch.  The benefits for the driver are reduced fuel consumption because all-wheel drive is engaged only when necessary, greater cornering stability and the elimination of under- and oversteer in extreme circumstances or road conditions. The system has a high thermal capacity, which means it will not overheat and need to shut itself down in repeated hill climbing or when towing at maximum capacity. 

In the Sorento it is paired with Advanced Traction Cornering Control (ATCC). Compared with all-wheel-drive systems which control wheelspin by braking a spinning wheel or reducing engine torque, ATCC automatically and instantaneously transfers torque to those wheels which still have grip, even before the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system intervenes. 

In extreme circumstances the ESC system will counteract any tendency of the car to understeer or oversteer in hard cornering or slippery conditions.  ESC automatically brakes one or more wheels, reduces engine torque – or does both – to stabilise the car and return it to the driver's intended course. This is linked with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) which prevents slip-back when setting off uphill and eliminating the possibility of wheelspin.

All versions have Trailer Stability Assist to make towing safer. It works through the ESC system, and continuously monitors vehicle stability, gently applying some front braking force to the relevant side of the vehicle if it detects a potential loss of control. If this is insufficient, gentle all-wheel braking is introduced, along with a reduction in engine power, until the vehicle and trailer are stabilised. 

Both gearboxes feature high top gear ratios for reduced engine revs and improved fuel economy when cruising at speed. 

The manual transmission was developed primarily with European markets in mind and has multi-cone synchronisation, optimised gear design, enhanced efficiency, reduced power loss and enhanced durability. It is filled with low-viscosity oil and requires no servicing during the life of the car. 

Kia’s in-house automatic transmission incorporates a unique ‘flat’ torque converter, which is one reason why it is so compact, and features three planetary gearsets and four pinion differentials. The clever design of the hydraulic pressure control unit allows the transmission’s eight solenoid valves to be individually calibrated at the assembly plant to ensure ultra-fast, smooth and precise gearshifts throughout the engine speed range. 

A stylish, space-efficient straight shifter offers the driver a choice of two operating modes – fully automatic for town driving, and sport for a more involving driving style. In sport mode, the driver can perform sequential manual changes up or down.

New suspension and steering and all-disc brakes

While Kia has been at pains to ensure there has been no dilution of the Sorento’s legendary towing and off-roading capabilities – and the Dynamax all-wheel-drive system enhances both – the company’s engineers have also striven to ensure the new model delivers more of a luxury-car ride and more engaging and precise on-road handling. To this end, the new Sorento has new suspension systems at the front and rear, and is the company’s first SUV to feature rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS).

Previously, the electric motor module which controlled the steering was mounted half way up the steering column. With R-MDPS it is mounted directly to the steering rack. This brings the twin benefits of sharper responses and greater precision. Kia likens it to trying to steer a blindfolded person from behind: if you direct them from the waist they are able to follow a more precise path than if directed at shoulder level. 

Drive Mode Select, which is standard with automatic transmission, allows the driver to select three steering modes, from a more comfort-oriented to a firmer, more sporty feel, according to preference. It also modifies the automatic transmission shift pattern accordingly. 

Key features of R-MDPS are separation of the steering angle and torque sensors, three rack-bar support points to enhance the rigidity of the steering gears, a backlash-compensation gear yoke and a noise-reducing anti-rattle in the reduction gear module. R-MDPS requires just 2.87 turns between the extremes of lock and gives the longer and wider new Sorento a turning circle between kerbs of just 11.08 metres. 

The front suspension is once more via MacPherson struts with coil springs and gas-filled dampers, and there is an anti-roll bar. But there is now an H-shaped subframe, four-point bushing mountings and hydraulic rebound stoppers in place of the previous hydraulic stopping dampers. This results in greater straight-line driving stability, a more comfortable ride, more precise handling and greater reliability. 

At the rear, the subframe-mounted double wishbones, coil springs, gas-filled dampers and anti-roll bar now feature a geometrically improved set-up to improve ride comfort and handling stability. The dampers are now vertically mounted whereas previously they were at an angle of 23 degrees and the length of the dual lower suspension arms has been increased by 30.1m, while at the top the arm length has been extended by 26.7mm. As at the front, four-point bushing mounts are employed on the main suspension frame. The result of all this is that the new Sorento is not only more comfortable to travel in but also feels more connected to the road.       

The new Sorento has vented all-disc brakes – 320 x 28mm with two-piston calipers at the front and 314 x 18mm with single-piston calipers rear. Anti-lock (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (BAS) are all standard, ensuring the Sorento can be steered and braked safely at the same time and comes to a rapid and sure halt in the minimum distance, regardless of the force applied to the pedal by the driver. A push-button electronic parking brake (EPB) is standard with automatic transmission and now includes Automatic Vehicle Hold (AVH), which prevents the car from rolling away accidentally when standing still or setting off on uphill inclines, without the driver having to keep a foot on the brake pedal.    

Off-road and towing information 

The new Sorento is a premium SUV that combines the best elements of modern road-biased models with the right degree of traditional 4x4 all-terrain and towing capability. Manual versions can haul a braked trailer of up to 2,500kg, while automatics can tow up to 2,000kg. All versions can tow an unbraked trailer of up to 750kg. 

The Sorento is a highly capable off-road performer, with competitive approach, departure and ramp-over angles, and features the acclaimed Dynamax all-wheel-drive system from the Sportage. 

For improved traction and greater safety while driving in slippery conditions or off-road the driver can manually select ‘lock mode’. This splits the torque 50:50 between the front and rear axles for better stability, and maintains that split up to a speed of 25mph.

Essential facts and figures

                     

2.2 CRDi 6sp manual

2.2 CRDi 6sp automatic

Min kerb weight (kg)

1,932

1,953

Gross vehicle weight (kg)

2,590

2,620

Max ball weight (kg)

100

100

Max towing weight (braked/unbraked) (kg)             

2,500/750

2,000/750

Approach angle (deg)                 

16.9

16.9

Departure angle (deg)                  

21.0

21.0

Ramp angle (deg)                  

18.0

18.0

Min ground clearance (mm)        

185

185

 

Noise, vibration and harshness 

Refinement is one of the key distinguishers in cars which aspire to be premium. It refers not only to the quality of the fixtures and fittings or the smoothness of the drivetrain and controls, but also to the suppression of unwanted sounds and vibrations – what engineers call NVH, or noise, vibration and harshness. The control and elimination of NVH was one of the major goals in the development of the new Sorento. 

A solid, stiff body shell is essential if NVH is to be kept in check. It allows other components to do their work without having to compensate for unwanted flexing. Despite being longer and wider than the previous Sorento, the new model is 14 per cent torsionally stiffer, helped by the use of 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel in the body construction versus 28 per cent in the last model. 

Sound absorption and insulation materials have been used liberally throughout the car, even though they add weight, to ensure no stone was left unturned in the quest for quietness. There are insulating pads in the dashboard, transmission tunnel and around the front wheel arch and wing areas. Even the dashboard has a 29 per cent thicker soundproofing panel.

The improved aerodynamics of the new Sorento, which has a remarkably low drag coefficient for an SUV of 0.33, help to curtail wind noise. Airflow over the body is improved by a new rear spoiler and carefully shaped tail lamp clusters, and the underside has not been overlooked, either. Full-size aerodynamic shields are 250 per cent larger than in the previous Sorento, and include under covers for the engine, centre and rear of the car, a front bumper lip and deflectors in the front and rear wheel arches. 

Three-point inertial support structures have been applied to the transmission mount, engine mounts and upper roll rod to curb vibrations from the powertrain, while the extended dual lower rear suspension arms and stiffer alloy wheels, plus improved structures around the rear floor and front and rear damper mounts help to minimise the transmission of road noise. There is also a new diesel particulate filter cover, an acoustic shield around the intercooler pipe and a further acoustic shield integrated into the engine’s timing chain cover. The result is a reduction in noise inside the cabin of three per cent at idle and up to six per cent when the car is in motion.   

 

6 SAFETY

   A stronger body shell and more advanced driver aids

The new Sorento has achieved a maximum five-star rating in Euro-NCAP safety tests, which became even more stringent in 2014. With a stronger body shell, a comprehensive range of active and passive safety features as standard and now the availability of five new advanced safety-focused technologies, the new Sorento scored 90 per cent for adult occupant protection, 83 per cent for child occupant protection, 67 per cent for pedestrian protection and 71 per cent for its safety assistance systems. 

The Sorento attracted special praise for the way its passenger cell remained intact after a collision and afforded passengers of different stature good protection. All passengers – even those in the third row of seats – were well protected against whiplash injury, while the Active Bonnet reduced the risk of injury to pedestrians. This raises the trailing edge of the engine cover in a collision so there is greater space between the pedestrian’s head and hard areas in the engine bay.   

The ability of the new Sorento to protect its passengers begins with the new stiff body shell, which plays just as big a role in safety as it does in curbing NVH. Despite being considerably larger than the previous Sorento, the new model is 14 per cent torsionally stiffer, helped by the use of 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel in the body construction versus 28 per cent in the last model. The new Sorento also features more than twice as much ultra-strong hot-stamped steel – up from 4.1 per cent to 10.1 per cent, mainly in the areas of the A- and B-pillars. 

In an effort to make accidents avoidable, there are standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) to allow drivers to steer and brake simultaneously in emergencies and to ensure the stopping effort is directed to the wheels with most grip. Brake Assist (BAS), which ensures maximum retardation in an emergency stop, regardless of the force applied to the pedal by the driver, has been added. Hill-Start Assist is also standard, and a push-button electronic parking brake (EPB) is fitted on all automatic models. It now includes Automatic Vehicle Hold (AVH), which prevents the car from rolling away accidentally when standing still or setting off on uphill inclines, without the driver having to keep a foot on the brake pedal. There is also Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) to prevent wheelspin or roll-back when setting off on steep or greasy upslopes. It works through the sensors that control the ESC system.    

An Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) is also fitted to warn following drivers when the Sorento brakes rapidly or severely. In such circumstances, the rear brake lights flash. 

The new Sorento also has Electronic Stability Control (ESC). ESC automatically corrects any tendency of the car to go out of control through understeer or oversteer by braking individual wheels, reducing engine torque or both in slippery conditions or if the driver has entered a bend too quickly. 

An additional driver aid is Vehicle Stability Management (VSM). This can detect when the wheels on one side are on a lower-grip surface than those on the other side and stabilise the car by reducing the amount of steering assistance if the driver is applying too much steering effort, or increasing it if the driver is applying too little. 

Six airbags (twin-front, side and side curtains) are standard, as are active front headrests that prevent or minimise whiplash injuries should the Sorento be hit from behind. There are also front seat-belt pre-tensioners and load limiters to minimise the wearer's body travel in an accident while limiting pressure on the chest. Three-point seat belts are fitted to every seat, and there are ISOFIX child-seat mounting points with top tethers and anchors. The front passenger airbag has a cut-off switch so that a rear-facing child seat can be safely carried there. 

Depending on model, the new Sorento also introduces a number of highly advanced new technologies to help drivers avoid accidents. Some are firsts for any Kia, while others are appearing on a European-specification Kia for the first time. 

Adaptive Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), controlled by a radar at the front of the Sorento, automatically maintains a pre-determined distance to the vehicle ahead in KX-4. If the distance is reduced to the point where an accident is likely the Sorento’s brakes are automatically applied, bringing the car to a complete stop if necessary. Once the car ahead moves off, so does the Sorento. A display on the TFT LCD display warns the Sorento driver what is happening. 

KX-3 and KX-4 also feature Speed Limit Information Function. This displays the maximum speed permitted on any particular road in both the instrument cluster and the navigation screen. One invaluable feature of the system is that if the limit on a particular road has been reduced – because of roadworks or smart motorway gantries – the Sorento’s on-board camera overrules what the navigation system is displaying and ensures the lower limit is displayed.

Around View Monitoring (AVM) is standard with KX-4, as is Rear Cross Traffic Alert. AVM uses front and rear cameras, plus two more mounted in the door mirrors, to give the driver a bird’s eye view of the Sorento at speeds up to 12.5mph, making parking and manoeuvring in difficult spaces easier and safer. With the Smart Park Assist System, which now includes reverse and parallel departure functions, KX-4 drivers are also able to select rear and forward views. Rear Cross Traffic Alert warns a Sorento driver who is reversing out of a parking space that another vehicle is approaching from the side. 

The new Sorento also has Lane Departure Warning (KX-3 and KX-4) with Blind Spot Detection (KX-4). Individually or together these alert the driver via audible and visual signals that vehicles are approaching from behind or in an adjacent lane respectively. If the Sorento driver attempts to change lanes without activating the indicators, an alert is activated. 

An Adaptive Front Lighting System (standard on KX-3 and KX-4) improves visibility during night driving. It automatically directs the low-beam lighting according to the amount of lock applied to the steering wheel to improve visibility during cornering and turning.

Finally, a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System is fitted to all Sorentos to alert the driver to any potentially dangerous loss of pressure.     

 

7 MANUFACTURING AND THE ENVIRONMENT

   Built at Hwasung, Kia's major plant 

The Kia Sorento is built at two Kia plants – Hwasung in Korea and West Point, Georgia, for North American markets. All UK versions come from Korea. Hwasung is also Kia’s major petrol and diesel engine production plant, and produces one million engines and 600,000 transmissions a year. 

It is Kia's largest factory, with a capacity of 600,000 cars a year – double the maximum volume from the Žilina plant in Slovakia, for example. Hwasung has three production lines working two shifts, and employs 14,600 people. Each line turns out a new car every 74 seconds. Total production to date is more than nine million vehicles. 

Hwasung was opened and began producing cars in July 1989, and was officially launched in 1990. Within the Hwasung complex is a 425-acre proving ground with 16 driving courses. An employee sports centre gives the 15,000 workers and their families access to gymnasiums, swimming pools, squash courts, weight-training and community facilities. 

The facility has undergone major changes aimed at improving the quality of production processes and the cars leaving the factory gates, something which has been recognised by the American publication, Consumer Reports

Constant efforts are also being made to minimise the plant's effect on the environment. There have been major initiatives to increase recycling, reduce the amount of pollutants and waste in the production process, lower greenhouse gas emissions and cut air pollution through more eco-friendly production systems. Energy-saving measures have also been introduced and Hwasung now sends no scrap to landfill.

Improved painting facilities have been installed, and every aspect of vehicle production has been under scrutiny to ensure the plant uses less energy and produces less waste. Water and power consumption, dust and CO2 emissions per vehicle produced and contaminants and waste volumes have all been reduced.

Kia has made reducing the amount of raw materials being fed into the production process a major priority in every one of its factories around the globe. The last few years have seen significant progress in reducing waste, increasing recycling and developing cleaner production processes. The overall waste generated by Hwasung is under constant review and a number of programmes have seen dramatic improvements. Recycling waste is now well in excess of 95 per cent. Exhaust pollutants from Hwasung have also decreased dramatically – dust, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide output have all been reduced significantly. 

As a result of the improved fuel consumption and emissions of the new Sorento as well as the constant efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of the Hwasung factory, the Sorento has become the 12th Kia to achieve internationally-recognised certification for its whole-life impact on the environment.
TÜV Nord, a leading independent technical inspection organisation, has certified the new Kia Sorento according to the ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) standard. LCA forecasts the environmental impact of a vehicle during its full life. 

At Hwasung, new technology is playing a significant part in environmental improvement. Typical cast melting furnaces produce large amounts of dust and contained within this is a high proportion of zinc. The captured dust is treated and the zinc extracted before being re-used within the production process. 

Another simple energy-saving process has been implemented within Hwasung’s huge and complex air conditioning systems. A fixed amount of heat was supplied to some areas of the plant, regardless of the outside temperature. Using smart control units, the fans now supply heat only where and when needed. 

More technology is being employed in the machining shops where gearboxes are produced. Compressed air is used as a coolant when machining intricate gearbox internals, rather than cutting oil. This and the associated oil mist are problem pollutants and the new scheme is reducing oil use to less than half of one per cent. 

The green landscape around each facility is an important part of its make-up. One on-going programme is based on a number of ‘ecology gardens’ which are filled with trees and plants resistant and also sensitive to environmental changes in air pollution. The Hwasung plant has more than 3,251,923 square metres of green areas and 228,752 trees. This makes for a more comfortable environment for the staff and local population and offsets some of the CO2 output from the facility. These ‘ecology gardens’ are continually monitored since they act as real-world indicators of air quality. 

Each site is broadening its green ‘patches’ and constantly monitors air pollution in neighbouring communities. A monthly task for each facility is the ‘One Stream Clean-up’ programme where Kia cleans and maintains local, natural streams. This is not only to monitor cleanliness but also to keep them maintained for the local communities to enjoy.

The overall effect of the many ‘green’ initiatives has resulted in Hwasung being officially recognised as an eco-friendly worksite by the Korean Ministry of the Environment.

 

 

8 RUNNING COSTS

   Not all big SUVs are expensive to own 

The new Sorento reflects Kia’s belief that it is possible to own a premium car without asking buyers to pay a premium-car price and running costs. 

With an improved standard specification which far outweighs any increase in price, it is an even more appealing proposition for the retail buyers who make up the majority of customers, and there are again attractive after-care servicing packages to reduce operating costs, while the stronger body shell and advanced safety features are reflected in the insurance ratings. For fleet customers, the reduced fuel consumption and CO2 output of the new Sorento will mean lower operating costs and minimise personal taxation, despite Government changes to benefit-in-kind bandings each year. 

And the Sorento, like every Kia, continues to deliver the peace of mind of the company’s unique seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, which is full transferable if the car is sold before the time or mileage limit is reached.

Fuel consumption (mpg)

Model

Urban

Extra Urban

Combined

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-1

40.9

57.6

49.6

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-2

39.8

53.3

47.1

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-2

36.2

47.9

42.8

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-3

39.8

53.3

47.1

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-3

36.2

47.9

42.8

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-4

36.2

47.9

42.8

 

VED bands

Model

Band

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-1

F

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-2

G

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-2

H

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-3

G

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-3

H

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-4

H

 

Company car tax bands 2015-16

Model

 

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-1

29%

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-2

31%

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-2

34%

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-3

31%

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-3

34%

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-4

34%

 

Insurance groups (1-50)

Model

 

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-1

24

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-2

25

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-2

25

2.2 CRDi 6-speed manual KX-3

26

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-3

26

2.2 CRDi 6-speed auto KX-4

28

 

Care-3 Servicing Package

Routine servicing is needed only once a year or every 20,000 miles.

The Sorento is available with Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for the first three or five years. All work is carried out by trained technicians using genuine Kia replacement parts and specified oils.

Care-3 covers the costs of the first three services while Care-3 Plus covers the first five services, in both cases dependant on annual mileage.  

All packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable should the vehicle be sold.  If a vehicle with a Care-3 package is sold on then the next owner may upgrade to the five year service package.  The cost of the vehicle’s first MOT test fee can also be included. 

Warranty and support

  • Seven-year, 100,000-mile manufacturer warranty, unlimited for the first three years, transferable if the car is sold within the time and mileage limit.
  • Five-year, 100,000-mile paintwork warranty.
  • Twelve-year anti-corrosion warranty.
  • One-year Europe-wide roadside rescue through KIAssist.

 

9 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

   We've anticipated what you're likely to ask

Q How many Sorentos do you sell a year in the UK?

A It has been rising year by year, with the odd exception. In 2014 we achieved record sales of 3,108 in the UK, even though the second-generation Sorento was in its final year. To put that into context, the UK was responsible for close to a third of all European sales. This year we are confident of raising UK sales to 3,500. 

Q How are those figures broken down?

A Obviously it is 100 per cent diesel, since we do not offer the petrol version here, and 100 per cent seven-seat because that is the only configuration we make available. There is a 57:43 retail-to-fleet split, which is higher than the sector average of 52:48. Our success with higher-trim versions is also high – 28 per cent of our sales are KX-3 or KX-4 versions. A couple of other interesting figures about the D-SUV market. More than half of sales – 56 per cent – are manual models, and an overwhelming 86 per cent are all-wheel drive.

Q Why do you not offer the five-seater available in other countries?

A Because experience tells us that UK customers do not want it – even when we did provide a choice, the overwhelming preference was for seven seats. And owners can always fold down some of the seats if they want to change the interior configuration. It is now easier than ever thanks to features like the new Sorento’s 40:20:40 sliding middle-row seats and remote middle-row folding mechanisms.

Q The price increase over the previous model appears to be around 5 per cent?

A That’s correct, but standard equipment has been substantially improved to more than outweigh that. The Sorento is our flagship in the UK, and we want to offer as many customers as possible the new technology we have available for the lowest possible price. We are constantly trying to move away from being regarded as a purely value-driven brand. The new Sorento begins the next phase of that, and you will see further advances with other new models to come later this year. If you look at the D-sector SUV market overall, customers want fully equipped vehicles.

Q What have you carried forward by customer demand, and what did people ask you to change?

Previous Sorento buyers told us not to change the essential characteristics of the styling or reduce the space, towing performance, value for money and warranty, so we have at least maintained and in most cases improved those things. What they did want to see made better was the steering and fuel economy. The new car shows we have listened and acted upon their requests.

  1. To locate a local dealer or for more information please visit www.kia.co.uk

    Stephen Kitson
    Director of Corporate Communications

    E: skitson@kia.co.uk   
    T: 01932 832075 M: 07795 011 936
    Daniel Sayles
    Press Relations Manager

    E: dsayles@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832073 M: 07747 149 149
    Sara Robinson     
    Senior Press Officer

    E: srobinson@kia.co.uk
    T: 01932 832072 M: 07919 482 332
    Carly Escritt       
    Senior Press Officer

    E: cescritt@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832071 M: 07557 268 252
    Moyosola Fujamade
    Press Officer (press fleet)

    E: mfujamade@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832069 M: 07471 216 343
    Emily Jacklin
    Press Office Assistant
    E: ejacklin@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832079 M: 07795 011 475

    Follow Kia on twitter @KiaUKPR
    Follow Kia at www.facebook.com/kiamotorsuk
    Watch Kia at www.youtube.com/kiamotorsuk

 

 

 

SPECIFICATION

Sorento

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS                                                               

Facts, facts and more facts    

2.2 CRDi  

 No. of cylinders/valves

 

 4/16

 Displacement

 cc

 2,199

 Bore / stroke

 mm

 85.4 x 96

 Power output

 bhp

 197 @ 3,800 rpm

 Torque output

 Nm (lb/ft)

 441 (325) @ 1,750–2,750 rpm

 Compression ratio

 

 16.0:1

 Engine details

 

Double overhead camshaft; fourth-generation common-rail fuel injection; turbocharger and intercooler; electronic piezo injectors; exhaust gas recirculation; balancer shaft; diesel particulate filter; lean NOx trap

 Emissions

 

 Euro 6

 

Transmission

 Transmission type

 

 Six-speed manual

 Six speed automatic

 Gear ratios

 1st gear

 2nd gear

 3rd gear

 4th gear

 5th gear

 6th gear

 Reverse

 Final Gear

 3.538

 1.909

 1.179

 0.814

 0.737

 0.628

 3.910

 4.750 (1, 2, 3, 4)

 4.071 (5, 6, R)

 4.651

 2.831

 1.842

 1.386

 1.000

 0.772

 3.393

 3.195

 

Suspension, steering and braking

 Front axle

MacPherson struts with coil springs, gas-filled dampers and anti-roll bar

 Rear axle

Subframe-mounted double wishbones, coil springs, gas-filled dampers and anti-roll bar

 Braking system

Solid discs, 320mm front and 314mm rear, with ABS, EBD and BAS

 

 Steering

Rack-mounted, electric motor-assisted rack-and-pinion, 2.87 turns lock-lock, turning circle 11.08 metres 

 Wheels (alloy)

17 x 7 J alloy / 18 x 7.5 J alloy / 19 x 8 J alloy 

 Tyres

235/65 R17 / 235/60 R18 / 235/55 R19

 Spare wheel

Full-size alloy

 

Dimensions and weights

 

 

 Six speed manual

 Six speed automatic

 Wheelbase

 mm

 2,780

 2,780

 Length/width/height

 mm

 4,780/1,890/1,685

 4,780/1,890/1,685

 Minimum ground clearance

 mm

 185

 185

 Approach angle/departure

 degree

 16.9/21.0

 16.9/21.0

 Ramp angle

 degree

 18.0

 18.0

 Headroom 1st/2nd/3rd row

 mm

 1,004/998/920

 1,004/998/920

 Legroom 1st/2nd/3rd row

 mm

 1,048/1,000/805

 1,048/1,000/805

 Shoulder room 1st/2nd/3rd row

 mm

 1,500/1,472/1,342

 1,500/1,472/1,342

 Boot volume 7sts / 5 sts /full flat

 litres

 1,662/605/142

 1,662/605/142

 Kerb weight (min)

 kg

 1,932

 1,953

 Gross vehicle weight

 kg

 2,590

 2,620

 Tow weights - braked/unbraked

 kg

 2,500/750

 2,000/750

 Tow ball weight

 kg

 100

 100

 Max roof weight

 kg

 100

 100

 Fuel tank capacity

 litres

 71

 71

 Turning circle

 metres

 11.08

 11.08

 Drag coefficient

 Cd

 0.33

 0.33

 

Performance and fuel consumption                                                          

 

 

 Six speed manual

Six speed automatic

 Acceleration (0-60 mph)

 seconds

 9.0

 9.6

 Maximum speed

 mph

 124

 124

 Fuel economy urb/ex.urb/com

 17” wheels

 18” and 19” wheels

 mpg

 

 40.9/57.6/49.6

 39.8/53.3/47.1

 

 

 36.2/47.9/42.8

 C02

 17” wheels

 18”  and 19” wheels

 g/km

 

 149

 159

 

 -

 174

Ends

For further information on Kia please visit www.kiapressoffice.com or contact: 

Stephen Kitson             Director of Corporate Communications
skitson@kia.co.uk – 01932 832075 – 07795 011936

Daniel Sayles                            Press Relations Manager
dsayles@kia.co.uk – 01932 832073 – 07747 149149

Sara Robinson                          Senior Press Officer
srobinson@kia.co.uk – 01932 832072 – 07919 482332

Carly Escritt                              Senior Press Officer
cescritt@kia.co.uk – 01932 832071 – 07557 262252

Moyo Fujamade                        Press Officer
mfujamade@kia.co.uk – 01932 832069 – 07471 216343

Hannah Cowton                        Press Office Assistant
hcowton@kia.co.uk – 01932 832079 – 07795 011475

Follow Kia at www.facebook.com/kiamotorsuk
Follow Kia at www.twitter.com/KiaUKPR
Watch Kia at www.youtube.com/kiamotorsuk



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