Kia Revises The Sorento
(Thursday 27 September 2012)
A considerably reworked version of Kia's Sorento SUV will go on sale in the UK in December. Very little of it is new, but the bodyshell has been stiffened and the suspension in the interests of better ride, handling and refinement.
There's also the matter of safety. In 2009, Euro NCAP gave the Sorento a five-star crash test rating, but requirements have increased since then and it wouldn't get one now. Kia's hope is that the revised car will earn five stars under the new, tougher system.
This won't be possible unless pedestrian protection has been improved, the current Sorento's rating being 44% while the minimum for an overall five-star score, regardless of how else the car performs, is now 60%. Whether or not 60% can be achieved or beaten remains to be seen, but Kia has given itself a good chance here by fitting every new Sorento with an active bonnet whose rear edge rises in the event of an impact to keep the unfortunate pedestrian from being injured by unyielding metal bits underneath.
One of the engines is all-new, though since that's a 2.4-litre petrol unit, and Kia doesn't sell petrol Sorentos in Europe, it needn't detain us. The 2.0 turbo diesel remains unchanged, but the 194bhp 2.2 now has a new exhaust gas recirculation system which brings down the official CO2 emissions to 153g/km.
The styling has been updated and includes new bumpers, a new grille, new headlights, new foglights and more body-coloured areas than was previously the case. The interior gets more soft-touch surfaces, some satin chrome finishes and new instruments and centre console.
Interior room has been improved by lowering the floor, while access for the stiff of limb should be easier than previously thanks to a 10mm drop in ride height.
Optional extras include heated and ventilated front seats, heated middle-row seat cushions, independent air-conditioning for the third row, Bluetooth connectivity, solar glass and a two-part panoramic glass sunroof.