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Kia's 2010 Sorento Debuts At Seoul Motor Show

2010 Kia Sorento (copyright image)

Home > News > Kia

2nd April, 2009

Kia has taken the wraps off its all-new Sorento – today – at the Seoul Motor Show. And Next Car is the first Australian media outlet to bring you the story ..... once again.

Longer and lower, the new Sorento brings sleek styling and a futuristic touch to the world of the urban SUV.  With its longer front overhang, wedge profile, crisply defined greenhouse and accentuated wheel arch volumes, Kia’s new SUV looks thoroughly modern and sporty.

The 4.7-metre long Sorento moves vehicle design in this segment up to a new level of sophistication.

As part of Kia’s drive to expand market coverage with its latest SUV, the new Sorento will be manufactured with a total of four engines – with different engines being available in various regions around the world in order to best suit local requirements and with CO2 emissions from just 173 g/km.

The original Kia Sorento was a ‘landmark’ vehicle which took the Korean brand into a whole new section of the automotive market all around the world. Introduced in 2002, it marked a huge step for Kia, challenging many established 4x4 and SUV brands and starting the process of changing public perception of Kia as a ‘maker of small cars.’

Now, under the direction of Kia’s Chief Design Officer (CDO), Peter Schreyer, the Kia design team aimed to deliver futuristic styling with a bold sense of power and dynamism, to once again differentiate Kia’s larger SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) from potential rivals by incorporating Kia’s new design DNA.

“The dynamic design of new Sorento adopts simple, linear lines to create a powerful, yet polished appearance. Sporty and striking, the new Sorento represents a new breed of vehicle,” commented Peter Schreyer, CDO of Kia Motors Corporation.

Bold frontal styling incorporates Kia’s new ‘signature grille’ that blends seamlessly into the new Sorento’s four-light, black bezel wrap-around headlamps. The profile’s rising upper belt-line and the dynamic bevel treatment beneath the greenhouse plus the unique trapezoid C-Pillar adds tension and endows new Sorento with a unique appearance. Extending the rear window to the outer edges of the simply styled tailgate hints at the spacious cabin and the large tail lamps enhance the sporty appearance.

During the development of the new Sorento, Kia engineers ditched the body-on-frame structure and designed an all-new unitary (monocoque) body shell with room for up to seven occupants. Building on those new foundations, they concentrated on eight key areas – class-leading performance, increased fuel economy, reduced emissions, improved on-road handling, more fun-to-drive responsiveness, greater cabin space and comfort, enhanced overall safety and the introduction of new technologies.

The original Sorento earned widespread media and public acclaim for its innovative styling, durability, off-road abilities and value-for-money. Since 2002 it has attracted thousands of customers who had not previously considered buying a Kia and achieved global sales of almost 900,000 units.

“With the new Sorento, we have created an all-new, seven-seater CUV (SUV) that will soon be recognised as an ‘exciting all-rounder’ with a much broader customer appeal,” commented Hyoung-Keun Lee, Senior Executive Vice President & COO of the International Business Division. “Despite the current economic uncertainties, we are confident that the new Sorento will significantly increase Kia’s share of the CUV (SUV) market, achieving annual global sales of 140,000 units from 2010.”

The new, longer body shell designed for the new Sorento, with its repositioned A-pillars and dashboard (moved forwards) and extended tailgate (moved rearwards), ensures that the cabin is much more spacious than the outgoing model. The real and perceived quality of the cabin is greatly enhanced and available high-tech features will include: keyless entry, engine start button, reversing safety camera, built-in sat-nav and panoramic glass sunroof.

The new Kia Sorento’s interior styling echoes the sense of power and dynamism provided by the exterior appearance.  Kia is confident that existing Sorento owners and new customers will be equally impressed by the cabin’s generous proportions, sweeping dashboard design, high-quality fit, discreet trim accents and the availability of numerous high-tech features.

The thick-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel is becoming a Kia trademark feature and through it the driver can view another element of Kia’s developing design DNA – the ‘three-cylinder’ instrument cluster. Similar to the cluster fitted to the latest version of Magentis and the new Kia Soul, the new Sorento’s cluster has clear and precise graphics.

Depending on the model, new Kia Sorento will be equipped with a six, eight or 10-speaker audio system, with MP3 and iPod connectivity, plus built-in or external amplifier and a new sat-nav system with a 6.5-inch screen. Remote controls for the audio system are mounted on the steering wheel.

The longer body shell of the new Kia Sorento ensures that the stretched cabin is much more spacious than the current model, with seating for up to seven people. Interior head room is increased by 64 mm (to 906 mm) and legroom by 102 mm (to 795 mm). Luggage space in the new Sorento is amongst the best-in-class as cargo capacity is increased by 15 per cent, thanks to moving the tailgate back by almost 70 mm.

During the design and engineering process of the new Sorento, Kia’s research and development team prioritised achieving a major improvement in the vehicle’s refinement and minimising its noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). An excellent foundation for providing a vehicle with good NVH qualities is a stiff body shell structure and the new Sorento features a much higher percentage (70.4 per cent) of high-tensile strength steel compared to the previous model (40.0 per cent).

Kia’s all-new Sorento will be manufactured with up to four different engines to meet the needs of motorists in every region of the globe.

For the Korean market, Kia is offering the new Sorento with three engines, including a version of its 2.7-litre V6 engine running on low-cost LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) called the ‘Mu LPI’.  This unit delivers 165 ps and 244 Nm – the reduced outputs are a consequence of using LPG which contains 25% less ‘stored energy’. New Sorento will also be available in the Korean market with the four cylinder 2.4 litre Theta II petrol engine that delivers 175 ps and 225 Nm, as well as the new four-cylinder R2.2 diesel engine.

The all-new ‘R’ family of turbo-diesel engines proves that Kia’s engineering capabilities are indeed world-class.  The 2.2 litre engine comfortably out-performs most four cylinder and many V6 units from rival brands, while complying with Euro 5 emissions standards thanks to their third generation common rail fuel system. The R2.2 generates a maximum of 197 ps and 435 Nm.

The new Kia Sorento buyers will be offered a wide choice of transmissions and drivetrains – depending on model.  Five speed and six speed manual and automatic transmissions will be offered. Both six speed transmissions are new or upgraded.

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Kia’s all new six speed automatic transmission is a regular ‘torque converter’ automatic, but it incorporates a unique ‘flat’ torque converter, which allows the unit to be 54 mm shorter, has 62 fewer parts (than a five speed unit), weighs 12 kgs less and boosts fuel economy by up to 12 per cent over a traditional automatic transmission.

New Sorento buyers can select from two advanced drivetrains to ‘best-match’ the on-road and off-road abilities of their new Kia vehicle to their lifestyle. The 2WD drivetrain offers lower weight and enhanced fuel economy, while the 4WD drivetrain will be ideal for buyers who regularly face difficult driving conditions, tow trailers (weighing up to 2,500 kilogrammes, depending on model) or go off-road.

Traction is also boosted by the available HAC (Hill-start Assist Control) which prevents the vehicle slipping backwards, and DBC (Down-hill Brake Control) that limits vehicle speed to just 5 mph on steep declines.

For the new Kia Sorento, the suspension engineers’ brief was to shift the handling bias a little to improve the on-road driving experience, in terms of ride quality and steering ‘feel’ – whilst retaining the vast majority of the previous model’s off-road abilities. The suspension has been lowered by 10 mm and thanks to the new unitary (monocoque) body shell construction the centre of gravity has been lowered by 54 mm.

The MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension is ‘carried over’ from the previous model, but with significant improvements. The steering is now more direct, requiring fewer turns of the wheel lock-to-lock.

For maximum stopping power, new Sorento models are equipped with an all-disc braking system. Either as standard or an option, ABS anti-lock and EBD brake force distribution systems are available.

New Kia Sorento presents buyers with a range of state-of-the-art safety systems and equipment as standard or as options – depending on market. Active safety technologies that buyers can specify include ESC, HAC, DBC, TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) and RPAS (Rear Parking Assist System), plus several systems to boost braking performance during extreme conditions.

Reversing is made even safer by a new Kia Reversing Safety Camera mounted on the tailgate. This camera is fitted with a 130 degree wide-angle lens and transmits images to a 3.5-inch LCD display panel set within the cabin’s rear view mirror whenever reverse gear is selected.

New Sorento’s robust all new body shell structure delivers increased impact resistance. Using a much higher percentage (70.4 per cent) of high-tensile strength steel the new vehicle achieves excellent rigidity and strength.  Particular attention was paid to the B-pillar areas, with a roll-over hoop incorporated into the B-pillars and much stronger (60 kg grade) steel is used in the side sills.

The new Sorento body shell is designed to achieve the top-score 5-Star rating in Europe’s EuroNCAP and the USA’s current official NHTSA crash tests, plus a ‘Good’ rating (again the top-score) in IIHS tests for both frontal and side impacts.

The new Sorento is expected to reach the Australian market in ealy 2010.


New Kia Sorento

Body & Chassis

Five-door, five or seven seater, with new all-steel unitary construction body shell. Depending on market, choice of four transversely-mounted petrol and diesel engines, driving the front or front and rear wheels via a five or six speed manual or five or six speed automatic transmission with Sport Mode (depending on model).


(availability will vary by region and individual markets)

3.5-litre / 277 ps Petrol (USA, Canada, Australia, Middle East & Africa, General Markets)
Name Lambda 2 
Type  Quad-overhead camshaft, six-cylinder in V, with dual CVVT
Capacity 3.5 litres, (3,470 cc)
Max power 277 ps (206 kW) @ 6,300 rpm
Max torque 335 Nm (247 lbs/ft) @ 5,000 rpm
2.7 litre / 165 ps LPG (Korea)
Name Mu LPI (using LPG liquefied petroleum gas)
Type  Quad-overhead camshaft, six cylinder in V, with dual CVVT
Capacity 2.7 litres, (2,656 cc)
Max power 165 ps / 121 kW @ 6,300 rpm
Max torque 244 Nm (180lbs/ft) @ 4,000 rpm
2.4 litre / 174 ps Petrol (Korea, USA, Europe, Canada, Middle East & Africa, General Markets)
Name Theta II
Type DOHC, four cylinder in line, with dual CVVT
Capacity 2.4 litres, (2,349 cc)
Max power 174 ps (129 kW) @ 6,000 rpm
Max torque 225 Nm (166lbs/ft) @ 3,750rpm
2.2-litre / 197 ps Diesel (Korea, Europe, Middle East & Africa, General Markets)
Name R2.2
Type DOHC, four cylinder in line, with VGT
Capacity 2.2 litres, (2,199 cc)
Max power 197 ps (147 kW) @ 3,800 rpm
Max torque 435 Nm (320 lbs/ft) @ 1,800 to 2,500 rpm
Transmissions Choice of five-speed and six-speed manual and automatic transmissions (depending on model and market).
Drivetrains Choice of 2WD (front-wheel drive) or 4WD with electronically controlled single ratio (High) system that delivers 100% of torque to front wheels during normal road driving. Manually selected ‘Lock Mode’ splits torque 50/50 between the front and rear axles for enhanced stability during slippery conditions (up to 40 km/h).
Suspension & Damping
Front Fully independent by MacPherson struts, with coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers. Anti-roll stabiliser bar.
Rear Independent by multi-links, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, with self-leveling system.
Type Hydraulic power-assisted rack and pinion
Overall ratio 16.5:1
Gearing 3.02 turns lock-to-lock
Turning circle 10.88 metres
Power Single 11-inch booster
Front 298 x 28 mm ventilated discs (Korea)
  300 x 28 mm ventilated discs (North America)
321 x 28 mm ventilated discs (Europe)
Rear 302 x 11 mm solid discs
ABS 4-Channel anti-lock system with EBD
DBC Downhill brake control maintains 8 km/h speed during descents
HAC Hill-start assist control prevents slip-back on hill starts
ESC Electronic Stability Control
Wheels & Tyres (depending on model and market)
Standard  Steel 16 in x 5.5J with 235/70 R16 tyres
Options Alloy 16 in x 5.5J with 235/70 R16 tyres
  Alloy 17 in x 6.0J with 235/65 R17 tyres
  Alloy 18 in x 7.0J with 235/60 R18 tyres
Overall length 4,685
Overall width 1,885*
Overall height 1,710
Wheelbase 2,700
Front track 1,618
Rear track       1,620
Front overhang 945
Rear overhang 1,040
Ground clearance 184
Approach angle 25.1 degrees
Departure angle 23.1 degrees
*excluding door mirrors
Capacities(all models)
Fuel tank 70 litres
Luggage (SAE) 258 litres (behind 3rd row seats)
  1,047 litres (behind 2nd row seats)
  2,052 litres (behind 1st row seats)


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