In a country where sport utility vehicles and crossover are of high demand, keeping things fresh could spell success. Kia Motors America is aware of this, which is why it has just unveiled the refreshed 2019 Kia Sorento SUV at the 2017 Los Angeles Motor Show. The tweaks made were subtle but smarter, making the vehicle more appealing to customers in the United States.
As early as July this year, Kia already revealed the mid-cycle facelift of the Sorento in South Korea. The European facelift followed in September in Frankfurt, Germany. Now, it is the US refresh that got unwrapped, and this time it was in LA.
Still as rugged, refined and capable as before, the 2019 Kia Sorento comes standard as a three-row SUV with seating for seven passengers and is offered in five trim levels: L, LX, EX, SX and SXL. Kia has tweaked both its exterior and interior, but no major design changes were made. For instance, the new Sorento is provided with new front and rear fascias that lend the SUV with a more sophisticated and mature look. Its more detailed grille is now flanked by new headlights (full LED on SX and SXL), while its newly sculpted bumper now dons redesigned ice cube-style fog lamps that employ projection bulbs for EX and SX trims and LED for the SXL trim.
On the rear, the new 2019 Kia Sorento is gifted with a new bumper design with a sportier muffler tip. It also features a revised liftgate and sleeker rear lamps (LED units for EX, SX and SXL trims), and a sportier muffler tip. Three newly designed wheels are now available, with sizes ranging between 17 inches and 19 inches.
Inside, the refreshed Kia Sorento sports some design tweaks to the shifter knob, instrument cluster (with improved graphics), air vents and the center console design. The driver is provided with a new, more tactile steering wheel. As standard on all trims, the refreshed Sorento comes with 40/20/40 folding seats for the second row and 50/50 folding seats for the third row. Offered as options are heated and ventilated front seats, 14-way power driver and 8-way power passenger seats and heated rear seats as well as a 4-way headrest with one-button adjustment and driver’s seat thigh extension. Also offered as options are the dual-zone HVAC, panoramic sunroof and premium Nappa leather trim seating surfaces.
As for technologies, the 2019 Kia Sorento features an upgraded AVN 5.0 navigation system with the base L trim receiving a standard seven-inch user interface. Interestingly, the refreshed Kia now comes available with a wireless charging tray for compatible Android devices, Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Also available is the premium 630-watt, 10-speaker new Harman Kardon sound system with an 11-channel amplifier.
A suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) from Kia now comes standard on EX trims and higher. This includes Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) as well as Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Smart Cruise Control (SCC) and Surround View Monitor (SVM). Standard active safety elements include Antilock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist System (BAS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), as well as Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Traction Control System (TCS). AWD models come standard with Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Roll Over Mitigation (ROM).
The powertrain lineup for the 2019 Kia Sorento still includes the 2.4-liter inline-4 GDI and the 3.3-liter V6 GDI engines, although the 2.0-liter turbo I-4 has been dropped. Kia, however, is currently developing a new diesel engine with the latest emission controls, and this new mill is expected to be included in the lineup for the Sorento.