Powerful, progressive and versatile, the fourth generation of Kia’s flagship SUV is designed and engineered to take on everything life throws at it.
Raising standards in the midsize SUV class for space, efficiency and quality, it sits at the heart of Kia’s reinvigorated global SUV line-up, which also includes the Seltos, Stonic, Telluride and Sportage.
Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, comments: “The Sorento’s evolution over the last 18 years echoes that of the Kia brand as a whole.
“While the car was initially launched in 2002 as a utilitarian all-terrain vehicle, the fourth-generation Sorento has been transformed into something altogether more desirable. It is an important model for Kia, particularly now that it also represents the first use of electrified power in our flagship SUV.”
The Sorento’s redefined exterior design – with sharper lines, high-tech details, and elongated proportions – gives it a more confident and mature presence. Inside, its attractive cabin also introduces premium-quality materials, cutting-edge infotainment technologies, and a stunning new design.
The new Sorento is the first vehicle to be based on Kia’s new-generation midsize SUV platform. Paired with a larger body to maximise cargo and luggage space, the platform ensures the Sorento is one of the most versatile and spacious three-row SUVs on the road.
Furthermore, the Sorento’s innovative interior packaging means it can offer all this while accommodating Kia’s new ‘Smartstream’ electrified powertrains – the first time that hybrid power has featured in the Sorento line-up (not for Australia at launch). As a result, the new model offers greater fuel efficiency, lower emissions, and higher performance than its predecessors.
This will be Kia’s most high-tech car ever, thanks to its progressive connectivity, driver assistance and infotainment technologies. Its user-friendly twin digital displays deliver advanced graphics and new telematics features.
A mainstay of Kia’s global line-up, more than three million Sorento models have been sold worldwide since it was launched in 2002. Since launching in Australia in January, 2003, there have been almost 44,000 Sorentos sold.
The front of the Sorento evolves with a new interpretation of Kia’s hallmark ‘tiger nose’ grille, displaying a wider shape which organically wraps around the integrated headlamps on each side. The headlamps themselves feature a new ‘tiger eye’ LED daytime running light, adding extra focus to the design by depicting the intense impression of the lines around a tiger’s eyes.
This sharper, more assertive appearance is complemented by a wide, rectangular lower air intake, bookended by wing-shaped air curtains to channel air around the car. A sharp bumper lip is also capped with a skid plate, enhancing its robust appearance.
The new model is 1900 mm wide, 10 mm wider than the third-generation Sorento.
The interior of the fourth-generation Sorento represents a step-change in quality and design for Kia cabins. From the first-generation 2002 Kia Sorento, which provided occupants with a practical, robust and utilitarian space, the Sorento today provides owners with something altogether more striking, desirable and comfortable.
One of the highest quality interior spaces found in any Kia to-date, the intuitive, tech-oriented cabin of the new Sorento is fitted with premium-quality materials and cutting-edge infotainment. At the same time, it retains the spaciousness and versatility that has characterised the Sorento over its 18-year existence.
The attractive, upscale cabin introduces a sophisticated next-generation design, based around twin digital displays in the dashboard.
The 12.3-inch digital driver instrument cluster is twinned with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system at the centre of the dashboard. These display information clearly within the driver’s line of sight, and create an innovative wide-screen user experience.
The car’s many functions can also be controlled with new haptic buttons on either side of the screen, which also feature further down the dashboard for the climate control system. The focal point of the dashboard is the eye-catching vertical ventilation stack, with a chrome-effect surround that extends onto the centre console below.
The cabin of the new Sorento subtly integrates a range of other technologies, including an available Mood Lighting system. This emits soft ambient downlighting from beneath the dashboard and door trim, creating a lounge-like feeling and greater sense of space. A powerful BOSE® surround-sound system is also available to provide a more immersive in-car audio experience.
Material quality is enhanced, with a cabin that blends metallic trim, leather upholstery, and embossed satin-effect surfaces. Applied throughout the interior and across the dashboard, the cabin boasts a more sophisticated appearance and ambience as a result. In Australia the Sorento will be available (grade dependent) with embossed black cloth, leather appointed black cloth and black quilted Nappa leather.
Kia’s newest SUV will be available with hybrid power – a first for a Sorento – and buyers will eventually able to choose from hybrid or plug-in hybrid variants.
The Sorento Hybrid is powered by a new ‘Smartstream’ electrified powertrain, pairing a 1.6-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) with a 1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack and 44.2 kW electric motor. The intelligent packaging of the Sorento’s new platform means the battery pack can be located under the floor beneath the front passenger, with minimal impact on cabin or luggage space.
Producing 230 ps and 350 Nm torque, this electrified powertrain combines low CO2 emissions with high levels of performance. The new 1.6-litre T-GDi engine features Kia’s new Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology, regulating valve opening time according to driving conditions, instead of operating on a fixed opening time. This boosts performance at low-to-mid engine speeds by between 2 and 3%, and enhances fuel efficiency by up to 3%.
Power is sent through the six-speed automatic transmission via a transmission-mounted electrical device, allowing the full power of the engine and motor to be transferred in parallel with minimal loss of energy. The result is immediacy in acceleration response at any speed, with direct access to available battery power at higher speeds.
The Sorento Hybrid will go on-sale in select European markets from launch, with others to follow later in 2020. The new Sorento will also be available as a Plug-in Hybrid variant from late in 2020.
The Sorento’s new four-cylinder 2.2-litre ‘Smartstream’ diesel engine is also available for European customers, producing 148kW and 440 Nm torque. With a new aluminium block replacing the cast iron block of its predecessor, the new engine is 19.5 kg lighter compared to that found in the third-generation Sorento. Furthermore, it is paired with Kia’s new eight-speed wet double-clutch transmission (8DCT). Designed to offer the smooth shifting characteristics of a conventional automatic, the 8DCT enhances fuel efficiency over a conventional eight-speed automatic by around 2 to 3%, depending on application.
Fuel efficiency and emissions data for the Sorento’s new powertrains will be announced closer to the car’s European on-sale date later in 2020.
The Sorento offers higher levels of active and passive safety than many of its rivals thanks to an enhanced range of driver assistance systems. Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) help to reduce many of the inherent hazards and stresses of driving, protecting occupants and other road users on every journey.
Depending on specification, the ADAS range in the new Sorento includes Kia’s latest Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA) technology with pedestrian, cyclist and vehicle detection. This also detects oncoming traffic when making a turn at a junction. The Sorento is also available with Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM), Surround View Monitor (SVM) and Blind-spot Collision-avoid Assist (BCA), Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA), Smart Cruise Control with Stop&Go (SCC) and Navigation-based SCC (NSCC), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and Highway Driving Assist (HDA).
Kia’s ‘level two’ autonomous driving technology, Lane Following Assist (LFA), controls acceleration, braking and steering depending on the vehicles in front. LFA operates between speeds of 0 and 180 kph, 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 new Sorento also features a Rear View Monitor (RVM) with Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA) and Rear Cross-traffic Collision-avoidance Assist (RCCA).
In addition, it is also the first Kia available in Europe with 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. This is designed to make it easier for passengers to get in and out of the car in tight parking spaces, or if another driver parks too close to access any of the doors.
RSPA brakes the Sorento automatically if it detects another car, cyclist or pedestrian behind the vehicle or crossing behind it. The Sorento’s Safe Exit Assist feature also prevents rear doors from opening if the vehicle detects a hazard approaching from behind, such as a cyclist or another vehicle.
The Sorento is fitted with up to seven airbags (dual front airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags with rollover sensor, and front centre airbag). The front centre airbag, a new innovation, provides additional head protection for front-seat occupants and is designed to prevent their heads coming into contact during a collision. All Sorento models are equipped as standard with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Electronic Stability Control systems to help drivers maintain control under braking and cornering.
The new Sorento also implements Kia’s first Multi-collision Brake system, 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.
The Sorento’s body is made up of a blend of steel and aluminium, maximising torsional rigidity while keeping weight low. The bodyshell construction features a higher proportion of Advanced High-Strength Steel and hot-stamped steel components than its predecessor.
The blend of high-strength steel enhances occupant safety, giving it torsional rigidity 12.5% higher than the perceived ‘safety leader’ in the Sorento’s segment – yet the strengthening to the bodyshell construction renders it 5.6% (54 kg) lighter than that of its predecessor. Furthermore, the more rigid bodyshell reduces road vibrations in everyday use.
2.2-litre / 148kW ‘Smartstream’ CRDi diesel
Type Four cylinder turbocharged in-line
Capacity 2.2-litres, 2151 cc
Bore and stroke 83.0 x 99.4
Compression ratio 16.0:1
Max power 148 kW @ 3800 rpm
Max torque 440 Nm @ 1750-2750 rpm
Valves 16 (four per cylinder)
Fuel system Common rail direct injection
1.6-litre / 132kW ‘Smartstream’ T-GDi hybrid
Type Four cylinder turbocharged in-line
Capacity 1.6-litres, 1598 cc
Bore and stroke 75.6 x 89.0
Compression ratio 10.5:1
Max power 132 kW @ 5500 rpm (engine only)
Max torque 265 Nm @ 1500-4500 rpm (engine only)
Valves 16 (four per cylinder)
Fuel system Gasoline direct injection
Battery and electric motor
Battery type Lithium-ion polymer
Battery voltage 270 V
Battery energy 1.49 kWh
Max power (motor) 44.2 kW @ 1600-2000 rpm (motor only)
Max torque (motor) 264 Nm @ 0-1600 rpm (motor only)
Combined hybrid system
Total power 169 kW
Total torque 350 Nm
Eight-speed double-clutch transmission (8DCT)
Six-speed automatic transmission (6AT)
8DCT Standard —
6AT — Standard
Press Release: Kia Motors Corporation