2015 Kia Sorento unveiled with brand new design

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 11, 2014

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.

Press Release

THIRD-GENERATION KIA SORENTO SET FOR OVERSEAS PREMIERE

Delivering a premium look and feel the all-new Kia Sorento, blends style, practicality and technology, which builds on the success of the outgoing model. The new Sorento's smoother, swept-back profile and deeply sculpted surfaces introduce a higher level of sophistication for the third-generation model, with more space and numerous innovative features.

The evolutionary styling changes subtly alter the character of the new Sorento, highlighting its sleek, sinuous, profile, creating a sophisticated appearance and ensuring the new model has a bolder on-the-road presence.

The face of the new Sorento incorporates long, wrap-around headlamps and more prominent fog-lamps, as well as a larger, more upright 'tiger-nose' grille, with a distinctive three-dimensional diamond pattern, first featured on the 2013 Kia Cross GT concept.

In profile, the new model retains the Sorento's hallmark long bonnet and characteristic wide D-pillar, but a lower roofline, higher beltline and swept-back shape give the car a more dramatic, muscular stance.

The new clean look is achieved with the introduction of new laser welding manufacturing techniques, then rendering weld lines invisible.

The sleeker look of the new Sorento is enhanced by its increased length (+95 mm to 4,780 mm), reduced height (down 15 mm to 1,685 mm) and extra width (+5 mm to 1,890 mm).

The exterior styling of the new car was led by Kia's Namyang design studio in Korea, with significant input from the brand's Frankfurt, Germany and Irvine, California design studios.

'Sophisticated and luxurious' theme for interior styling

Inside the all-new Sorento is where some of the most significant improvements are to be found. Interior styling was led by the brand's European design team, based in Frankfurt, and Kia's designers have created a more sophisticated, more luxurious cabin, featuring significantly higher quality materials.

The styling of the cabin follows a 'modern and wide' theme, providing the interior with a stable, horizontal layout and appearance. This width is echoed in the wider instrument cluster, interior garnish and the wrap-around shape of the dashboard which extends into the door trims. A higher proportion of soft-touch materials and leather creates a modern luxury feel to the cabin and gives the new Sorento a genuine premium vehicle ambience.

One of the most distinctive interior styling features is the Swiss watch-inspired center-console, which incorporates Kia's latest HMI (human-machine interface) technologies.

The flowing contours of the dashboard rise to incorporate the driver's instrument binnacle, and the smoothly-styled design curve in the doors, leads from the audio speakers up to the SUV-style grab handles, endowing the cabin with a more sophisticated appearance.

Depending on market, customers will be able to specify the interior in either single-tone (Saturn Black) or two-tone (Saturn Black and Stone) colour schemes with cloth or leather trim. Additionally, brown or light grey colour schemes in leather trim will be offered as an option.

Comfort, convenience and new technologies

Compared to the previous-generation model, the increased exterior dimensions and the extended wheelbase (+80 mm to 2,780 mm) have liberated additional space in the cabin of the new car.

Although the roofline is 15 mm lower, repositioned seat cushions ensure increased headroom for occupants in all three rows, who will also enjoy greater legroom. Cargo space also increases, thanks to a cargo bay floor (up by 87 mm), and capacity with the third row seats folded flat is up 17.5 percent, from 515 to 605 litres (VDA). The new Sorento also features a new under-floor tonneau cover storage compartment.

Available in five- or seven-seat versions, the new Sorento features 40/20/40 second row split folding for improved versatility, with a higher folding centre armrest. The second row seats in the seven-seat version are equipped with 'remote folding' controlled by two levers in the side of the cargo bay.

The new Sorento debuts a number of new, advanced on-board technologies to improve convenience and further enhance the ownership experience. Depending on market, new available features will include: an Around-View Monitor, with four cameras helping the driver to manoeuvre when parking, and a Smart Power Tailgate. This system opens the tailgate automatically when the key is 'sensed' in close proximity to the trunk, so owners can slide their shopping bags or heavy objects straight into the vehicle.

Enhanced refinement

Throughout the development of the new Sorento, Kia engineers also focused on strengthening the bodyshell structure and improving NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) characteristics to increase refinement and create a tranquil travelling environment that is as sophisticated as the new model's styling.

The increased torsional rigidity of the new bodyshell (up by 14 percent compared to the outgoing model) provides an excellent foundation for both enhanced refinement and improved safety.

NVH-reducing measures adopted for the new Sorento include new soundproofing material for the transmission tunnel, a 29 percent thicker dashboard soundproofing panel, larger engine and transmission mounts for greater powertrain refinement and, for diesel models, a new DPF cover and an acoustic shield integrated into the engine's timing chain cover. Cabin noise is reduced by three-to-six percent, depending on driving conditions.

Improved powertrains, ride and handling

To match consumers' rising expectations, Kia engineers worked to improve every aspect of the new Sorento's driving experience, creating upgrades for the engines, steering and suspension.

Five engines are available with the new Sorento, depending on country, offering power outputs ranging from 172 to 270 ps. These include a 2.4-litre gasoline direct injection (GDI) unit, 2.4-litre and 3.3-litre multi-point injection (MPI) engines, and revised 2.0-litre and 2.2-litre 'R' turbo-diesel units. Of these, only the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel and 2.4-litre GDI engines will be sold in Europe, with the diesel unit expected to account for the majority of sales. Final decisions on the UK line-up are yet to be made.

When developing the new Sorento, a key focus for the Kia chassis engineering team was achieving improvements in ride comfort, high-speed stability and handling response to match the leaps forward in interior quality and NVH.

The fully-independent suspension retains the format of the outgoing model (MacPherson struts at the front and Kia's multi-link system at the rear), but features a range of modifications. At the rear, the subframe supporting the suspension has larger bushings to better isolate it from the cabin and the larger shock absorbers are now mounted vertically behind the axle line, improving body control motion.

These changes, together with the longer wheelbase, deliver a more compliant ride, with a more progressive response to bumps in the road, making the new Sorento a very comfortable place in which to spend time on longer journeys.

At the front, an all-new electric motor-driven power steering system (R-MDPS), available as either standard or optional equipment depending on country,is mounted directly onto the steering rack - rather than the steering column as on the outgoing model. This provides greater steering feel and quicker response, ensuring that new Sorento will be among the more agile and sporty vehicles in its segment, without sacrificing the ride quality that customers expect from a luxurious SUV.

Better passive and active safety

The structure of the new Sorento is significantly stronger, thanks in large part to the more widespread use of ultra-high tensile steel. The previous-generation model was made up of 24.4 percent ultra-high tensile steel (UHTS), but the bodyshell of the new model consists of 52.7 percent UHTS, aiding the integrity of the car's core structure in the event of an impact and also improving torsional rigidity. The stronger steel has been used to reinforce the wheel arches, tailgate surround and rear-wheel surround.

The new Sorento also features more than twice as much ultra-strong hot-stamped steel as the outgoing model, up from 4.1 percent to 10.1 percent, greatly strengthening the A- and B-pillars.

Buyers of the new Sorento will be able to choose from a wealth of 'active' safety technologies - depending on market. Available systems will include: ASCC (Adaptive Smart Cruise Control); LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System), which emits an audible alert when the driver strays from the chosen lane without using indicators; FCW (Front Collision Warning); BSD (Blind-Spot Detection); LCA (Lane Change Assist); RCTA (Rear Cross-Traffic Alert), which warns against other cars driving behind the Sorento in car parks; and SLIF (Speed Limit Information Function), which displays the speed limit in the driver's instrument cluster based on cameras detecting roadside signs.

Topics: kia, kia sorento, design

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