The all-new, third-generation Kia Sorento got its full home-market reveal in Seoul this week prior to its scheduled global debut at the Paris Auto Show in October and North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. On sale here next year as a 2016 model, the latest iteration of the automaker's popular mid-size crossover SUV has bolder looks, a more sophisticated cabin design and enhanced safety features with redesigned underpinnings providing better ride, handling and control.
As we previously reported, the 2016 Sorento is 3.7 inches longer than the current model and gains 3.2 inches of wheelbase - changes that improve people space in all three rows while expanding overall cargo capacity. Its more aggressive exterior was a collaborative effort between Kia's Namyang design studio in Korea and the automaker's styling crews in Frankfurt, Germany and Irvine, California, studios. Culling a number of cues from the cool Cross GT Concept, the new Sorento's signature "tiger nose" front end features a larger 3D-look grille while its more swept-back windshield and lower roofline further bolster its presence.
More sophisticated interior
Beyond additional space, photos of the Sorento's recast cabin confirm a far more sophisticated character. Additional soft-touch surfaces, richer cloth and leather and new color/trim choices are complemented by Kia's latest interface technologies and enhanced noise isolation that add a new level of refinement. Also offered for the first time will be driver-assist features like an Around-View Monitor and hands-free Smart Power Tailgate as well as Adaptive Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Front Collision Warning systems, Blind-Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and a Speed Limit Information functions.
Beneath its sexier skin, the remade Sorento has a more robust core structure with double the amount of ultra-high strength and hot-stamped steel found. Upgraded electric power steering offers better feel and quicker response while the Sorento's fully independent suspension has been redesigned and retuned to improve both comfort and control. Kia claims those enhancements will ensure the new Sorento is one of the sportiest and most agile-handing SUVs in its segment - a category that includes rivals like the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Edge, Honda Pilot and Toyota RAV4. While five different engines will be available in various world markets - including a 2.2-liter turbodiesel - the U.S. spec Sorento is expected to retain the existing 2.4-liter/4-cylinder and 3.3-liter V6, both matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
More Midsize SUVs
Having grown in size, the new Sorento will likely become a more viable alternative to midsize SUVs like the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander. Check out our Midsize SUV Buyer's Guide to find out what's new and what's next in this popular segment.
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