Two weeks after the coronavirus spoiled its planned international launch at the cancelled Geneva Motor Show, the fourth-generation Kia Sorento was today revealed in a decidedly more low-key manner that included some Australia-specific details.
As expected, Kia Australia has confirmed that the new 169kW/350Nm ‘Smartstream’ plug-in hybrid powertrain will not be available Down Under in the foreseeable future.
Aussie buyers will initially have to make do with a four-cylinder 149kW/440Nm 2.2-litre diesel engine when the Sorento launches here in June, with a more powerful 2.5-litre petrol engine with 207kW/421Nm to arrive later in the year.
Both engines will be paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and come with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
With a face resembling its Seltos little brother, the Sorento’s new design is noticeably more sculpted than the current model, with fresh geometric details and more swept-back, elongated proportions.
As well as introducing a handsome design to the family, the new Sorento will be the first Kia to be built on the Korean carmaker's new SUV platform that brings a host of technological advancements to match the smouldering looks.
The all-new Sorento will also offer more space than its predecessor, along with a host of new driver assistance systems, revised and updated information and entertainment tech, making it the most high-tech vehicle Kia has ever created.
More space and comfort
Kia says the three-row SUV will also have one of the highest quality interior spaces found in any of its models to date, with the intuitive, tech-oriented cabin featuring a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a new 12.3-inch high-resolution digital instrument cluster.
Material quality is enhanced, with a cabin that blends metallic trim, leather upholstery, and embossed satin-effect surfaces. Higher-spec Australian variants feature embossed black cloth, leather-appointed black cloth and black quilted Nappa leather.
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The 2021 Kia Sorento is 10mm wider and has a 35mm longer wheelbase than the current model, resulting in more cabin room. Second-row seats are able to slide 45mm further, creating more legroom and a wider point of entry to the third row.
There is also a new grab handle built into the C-pillar, giving third-row passengers something to hold on to as they climb aboard.
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Boot space is also greater, up from 605 litres to 821 litres, with the third row of seats folded down. With the third row in use, available cargo space is up 32 percent to 187 litres.
Australia-bound Sorentos will have full-size spare wheels under the boot floor.
Technology and safety
The 2020 Sorento will be available with a head-up display, mood lighting with seven pre-set and customisable colour schemes that work with 'Sound of Nature' ambient sound delivered by a 12-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system tuned to deliver optimal sound to all three rows.
Safety-wise, the advanced driver assist system (ADAS) brings Kia’s latest autonomous emergency braking technology with pedestrian, cyclist and vehicle detection. It can also spot oncoming traffic when making a turn at a junction.
It will also be available with blind-spot monitoring, surround-view parking display, intelligent speed limit assist, smart cruise control with Stop & Go, navigation-based smart-cruise control that can adjust your speed based on speed limits, lane-keeping assist, and driver attention warning.
With its improvements to practicality and aesthetics, Kia’s new large SUV will give other competitors in its class something to worry about, including the Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda’s CX-9, Peugeot 5008 and Toyota Kluger.
COVID-19 measures willing, the diesel-powered versions will launch here in June, with the petrol version coming toward the end of 2020.
It will be available with a choice of seven exterior paint finishes, and 17-, 18-, 19- and 20-inch aluminium alloy wheels, depending on trim grade.
Local pricing and specifications will be revealed closer to that date.