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2018 Kia Sorento gains significant upgrade

By David Bonnici, 06 Sep 2017 Car News

2018 Kia Sorento gains significant upgrade

Kia’s large SUV gets a facelift and new eight-speed automatic to improve performance

Kia has revealed its updated Sorento large SUV which is expected to arrive in Australia by the end of October.

The facelifted 2018 Kia Sorento features exterior and interior design changes, updated infotainment system, additional safety technology, and a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

Distinguishing features from the current model include new LED head- and taillights, revised front and rear bumper treatments, and new dark-metallic finished ‘tiger-nose’ grille’. Two new paint colours, Rich Espresso and Gravity Blue will be available as will new alloy wheel designs.

Inside gains a newly-designed steering wheel, instrument cluster and LCD climate control panel, and more soft-touch surfaces, in single tone black or optional two-tone brown and light grey, for a more premium look and feel.

Driver and front passenger seats are equipped with four-way and two-way adjustable lumbar support respectively.

Infotainment is displayed on a new 8.0-inch touchscreen with in-built Tom Tom-powered navigation and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, whereas the centre console packs a charger pad that will allow certain phones to be charged wirelessly.

Safety tech includes Kia’s latest DRiVE WISE advanced driver assistance system, which still lacks Automatic Emergency Braking, but brings Driver Attention Warning (DAW) that will alert the driver if it detects that they are distracted or drowsy, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist, and full LED headlamps with Dynamic Bending Light.  

Performance enhancements come mostly via the new eight-speed auto that replaces the six-speed box, and there are rumoured tweaks to the 3.3-litre V6 petrol and 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel carried over from the current model.

WhichCar understands both engines will be coupled to the new gearbox, unlike in Europe where it will be a diesel-only affair.

The new transmission offers four driving modes, Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Smart, allowing the driver to alter powertrain and steering response to certain conditions. The new Smart Mode understands and anticipates the driver’s steering preferences, automatically switching between Eco, Comfort, and Sport modes accordingly.  

The 2018 Sorento is expected to launch in Australia in October with a similar model line-up to now including the sporty range-topping GT Line variant. Local pricing and specifications will be revealed closer to that date.