South Korean carmaker Kia has unveiled the latest version of its popular CUV – the 2015 Kia Sorento. Promising to deliver a premium experience with its good blend of style, practicality and technology, the third-generation Sorento features a smoother, swept-back profile with sculpted surfaces. With the styling changes, the new Sorento’s sleek profile is now more emphasized, thereby giving the CUV a more sophisticated form and a bolder presence.
At the front, the new Sorento features long, wrap-around headlamps and fog-lamps. The front also dons a larger yet more upright 'tiger-nose' grille, along with a unique three-dimensional diamond pattern first seen on the 2013 Kia Cross GT concept. The new Sorento, however, still features the nameplate’s signature long bonnet and wide D-pillar.
Furthermore, the new Sorento now has a more dramatic stance as it features a lower roofline, higher beltline and swept-back shape – all achieved thanks to new laser welding manufacturing techniques that make weld lines invisible.
Dimension-wise, the Sorento is longer by 95 mm to 4,780 mm, lower by 15 mm to 1,685 mm and wider by 5 mm to 1,890 mm. Credit for the exterior looks of the new CUV goes to Kia’s studios from Frankfurt, Germany and Irvine, California, and led by the Namyang design studio in Korea.
Meanwhile, the all-new Sorento’s interior styling is the work of a group of designers led by Kia’s European design team in Frankfurt, Germany. Their hard work resulted to the more sophisticated and more luxurious cabin made of higher quality materials.
The cabin features a 'modern and wide' theme, which gave it a stable, horizontal layout and appearance. The cabin also has a wider instrument cluster and interior garnish as well as a wider wrap-around shape of the dashboard that extends into the door trims.
For a contemporary luxurious feel, the cabin features a higher proportion of soft-touch materials and leather. The new Sorento boasts of its Swiss watch-inspired center-console that incorporates Kia's latest HMI (human-machine interface) technologies. The contours found on the dashboard rise to incorporate the driver's instrument binnacle. On the other hand, the doors don a smoothly styled design curve that leads from the audio speakers to the SUV-style grab handles.
As the Sorento is bound to be sold in different markets, available interior colors themes will depend on where it would be retailed. As a glimpse, available interior color themes are in either single-tone (Saturn Black) or two-tone (Saturn Black and Stone) color schemes – both with cloth or leather trim.
To be offered as an option are brown and light grey color schemes in leather trim. In terms of powertrain, the Sorento can be availed in any of the five available engines, depending on country: a 2.4-liter gasoline direct injection (GDI); 2.4-liter multi-point injection (MPI); a 3.3-liter MPI; a revised 2.0-liter 'R' turbo-diesel; a refined 2.2-liter 'R' turbo-diesel. European customers could only choose between the 2.2-liter turbo-diesel and the 2.4-litre GDI engines.
However, Kia expects the diesel powerplant to account for the majority of sales. Kia has yet to finalize the Sorento engine lineup for the United KIngdom. During the development of the new Sorento, Kia’s chassis engineering team focused on improvements in ride comfort, high-speed stability and handling response.
While the Sorento’s fully independent suspension retains the format of its predecessor -- MacPherson struts at the front and Kia's multi-link system at the rear – it now boasts of a number of revisions. For instance, the subframe supporting the suspension now features larger bushings for better isolation from the cabin. Likewise, engineers mounted larger shock absorbers vertically behind the axle line for better body control motion.