Kia has revealed new details about the new 2021 Sorento SUV ahead of an Australian arrival in the middle of this year.
The marque claims the new Sorento is its “most high-tech car ever, thanks to its progressive connectivity, driver assistance and infotainment technologies.”
Dimensionally, the new Sorento is 4810mm long, 1900mm wide, 1695mm high with a 2815mm wheelbase.
The design is the result of a collaborative effort between Kia’s studios in Korea, Europe and North America.
Style-wise, the flagship Sorento adopts the SUV design language already in use across the upcoming Stonic, Seltos and Sportage, as well as the US- and Korea-only Telluride.
The new car gets a “more assertive face” with the latest interpretation of the brand’s tiger nose grille which is wider wrapping around the integrated headlamps on each side.
While on the headlamps, they feature a new ‘tiger eye’ LED daytime running light, that Kia says adds “extra focus to the design by depicting the intense impression of the lines around a tiger’s eyes.”
The proportions have changed thanks to shorter front and rear overhangs and a longer wheelbase. The new design extends the length of the bonnet, drawing the A-pillar 30mm further back from the front axle for a more ‘cab-rearward’ look.
Kia Australia will offer the new Sorento with a choice of seven exterior paint finishes, and fresh 17-, 18-, 19- and 20-inch alloy wheel designs.
Moving to the inside, Kia says the Sorento’s cabin is one of the highest quality interior spaces found in any of the brand’s cars to date.
The headline act is a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster paired with a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen.
Most of the car’s many functions can also be controlled with new haptic buttons on either side of the screen, which also features further down the dashboard for the climate control system.
Depending on the trim level, the cabin also gets a Mood Lighting system, a wireless smartphone charger and a Bose surround-sound system.
Material quality has been enhanced with updated metallic trim, leather upholstery, and embossed satin-effect surfaces. Kia is going for a more sophisticated appearance.
In Australia, the Sorento will be available (grade dependent) with embossed black cloth, leather-appointed black cloth and black quilted Nappa leather.
Kia says the new ‘N3’ midsize SUV platform has allowed greater flexibility when it comes to packaging meaning extra legroom for first- and second-row occupants, as well as more headroom for third-row passengers. There’s also up to 821 litres of boot space.
Australian cars will get power from an upgraded 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine producing 148kW and 440Nm. It’s matched with Kia’s new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Locally, diesel models are likely to remain all-wheel drive.
The 206kW/336Nm 3.5-litre petrol V6 engine will be carried over and will be paired with a six-speed torque converter automatic which should drive the front wheels.
Overseas markets will have access to a new 2.5-litre turbo-petrol engine which develops 207kW and 421Nm. It’s also matched to the new eight-speed DCT. There’s also a petrol-electric hybrid that combines a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine with a 44.2Kw electric motor and a 1.49kWh battery pack. In total, the system produces 169kW and 350Nm.
Underneath, the Sorento has heavily revised fully-independent suspension to reduce the effect that road surface imperfections have on the body, and to reduce noise and vibrations through the suspension, while also improving body control and steering responses under cornering.
This has been achieved with a series of geometry changes and new components, as well as improvements to the structure of the suspension system.
All-wheel drive models will also feature a new Terrain Mode which makes the Sorento more capable in mud, snow and sand.
Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) will feature across the range including the brand’s ‘level two’ autonomous driving technology, Lane Following Assist (LFA), which controls acceleration, braking and steering depending on the vehicles in front. LFA operates between speeds of 0 and 180km/h, using camera and radar sensors to maintain a safe distance from the car in front, while monitoring road markings to keep the Sorento in the centre of its lane.
The Sorento will also get the company’s new Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), which enables drivers to move their car autonomously out of a front-and-back parking space remotely with their key fob.
Kia’s first Multi-collision Brake system is also available, which enables the Sorento to mitigate the severity of secondary collisions. It automatically applies vehicle brakes when the airbags have been deployed after an initial collision, further protecting occupants from secondary frontal or side impacts.
Locally, the new Sorento is expected to launch in June with diesel power with the petrol model arriving in the fourth quarter of this year.
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