Design & Technology / Product

‘R Engine’ for the new Sorento May 11th, 2009

Je Rok ChunBy Je Rok Chun, Senior Research Engineer
Passenger Car Diesel Engine Test Team

The new Euro 5 compliant R engine, which makes its world debut in the all-new Kia Sorento highline cruiser, has been developed with the aim of being the world’s best high-powered eco-friendly diesel engine in the competitive 2.0/2.2-liter segment. Full 3D CAD system was utilized at the engine design stage, and various kinds of computer simulations and experiments were used to optimize fuel economy, engine durability and acoustic comfort. Furthermore, numerous fleet tests for a wide range of road and weather conditions were conducted to ensure the reliability of the engine and vehicle.

R Engine Development Team at Nam Yang R&D Center
Source: (2009/05/11)

The R engine has two different versions — 2.0 liter and 2.2 liter. Power and torque of the new engines have been dramatically enhanced: the 2.2-liter engine provides 145 kW of power and 436 Nm of maximum torque while the 2.0-liter unit delivers 135 kW and 392 Nm. These figures make the R engine family class leaders in comparison to similar offering from Toyota, Mercedes Benz, BMW and Volkswagen. The R engine also features remarkable fuel economy and acoustic comfort.

The main features of the engines are a 1800 bar common rail piezo-electric fuel injection system, electrically controlled turbocharger system, a close coupled DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter), highly advanced EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) control system with a by-pass valve and a fast heat-up glow plug system. Stiffness of the engines was also reinforced, and harmonic combination of each part in the moving system including a balance shaft module was maximized for better NVH. In addition, replacement of conventional materials with plastics will play a part in improving end-of-life recyclability.

Thanks to the state-of-the-art technologies cited above, outstanding fuel economy of at least 10% better than the previous version of the Sorento was achieved, which will ensure that the R engine will contribute to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The R engine family will act as a vital cog in Kia Motors’ diesel engine lineup and be evolved into ultra-low fuel consumption and premium versions as well. Kia Motors will continue the development of environmentally friendly engines to meet the growing demands from markets around the world.

※ Editor’s Note: Thanks for the photograph from

  • Greg

    Hey Kia, why not offer this in the USA? It is compliant right? If you offered this engine in the USA market, you probably wouldn’t sell many gasoline Sorentos. Nearly every day we see a customers wanting a diesel engine. Why not appease us? Give us the R!!

  • I’m with Greg. These engines would definitely help move Kias. The Optima, Sorento, Rondo and Sportage would be the best to benefit; but also the Forte, Soul and maybe Sedona. Also, what happened to the 3.0L diesel engine the Borrego was supposed to get in 2010?

  • Greg

    Kia did promise a clean diesel at 2008 NAIAS.

  • admin

    Hi Jason,

    We haven’t decided to launch the Borrego with the 3.0L diesel engine.
    sorry for disappointing.
    But if customer’s needs get higher, who knows what will happen next? :)

  • Admin- Thank you, though you are correct that I am disappointed. Another question about the 3.0L engine: would it fit in the Sedona (Carnival)? Then it would be more cost effective, having it available in two different vehicles, rather than just the Borrego.

  • admin

    Hi Jason,

    Well, we are not considering 3.0 diesel engine but R 2.2.
    R 2.2 is more powerful, efficient and eco-friendly engine than previous one (J2.9 diesel).
    I had a chance to drive the new-Soento and I loved R 2.2!
    I hope you will have the chance to use R2.2 diesel.

    Thank you!

  • Admin- I will if you bring it to the USA! So please, please, PLEASE bring the R engines to the USA! :)

  • Tony Listi

    I am looking at buying the Soul, I really want a diesel engine.
    Can I special order a Soul with the diesel engine. I have been looking
    at the volkswagon jetta wagon(not stylish enough for me)It gets 43+ miles per gallon. I am an older person(58)young at heart.


  • admin

    Dear Tony,

    I answerd your question through e-mial for the comment on 3rd Jun.
    To satisfy your ask, we still need your information written in the e-mail.

    Please check out the e-mail and let me know. :)

  • Greg

    I don’t understand why Kia doesn’t bring the R diesel to the USA. It is obviously compliant with Tier2-Bin5 if it is compliant with Euro5. If the kind of marketing done for the Soul* was done for the Sorento with the 2.2 in America, Kia would have a huge hit. Look at the new Equinox. It gets 32 MPG on the highway. Will the 2.4L in the Sorento get that kind of mileage? The Forte and Optima’s 2.4L engine gets 32, but look what happens in the Rondo, it drops to 28 MPG. Will that be the MPG rating for the Sorento, 28? That is not competitive. To remain competitive in the “Fuel efficiency war”, the 2.2L diesel is a must have for the USA market.

  • Greg,

    There are currently no plans to introduce the R 2.2.

    Kia Motors continuously monitors the market situation in every region it serves and should demand for diesel engines increase,
    we may consider making a change in the products that we supply.

  • Greg

    How can there be a change in the market if no one offers a diesel engine? Why doesn’t Kia do some random polling to see if people would want a diesel engine? We would have purchased our Optima with a diesel engine. At the Kia dealership in Traverse City, Michigan, almost everyone who found out that the floor demo Soul had a diesel engine, they would have bought the diesel engine right then and there. So Kia must be blind if they don’t see the need for a diesel engine. I don’t mean to be rude, but it is very frustrating.

  • I’m with Greg. Kia needs to bring some diesel engines to the USA. I understand the cost of certifying the engine, but I am positive fuel prices are going to increase (as they have been slowing jump up every week) and many people are aware of the strengths of diesel vs. gasoline in fuel efficiency and engine durability. Please, please heed our calls! I work at a dealership in the central region and we too had people wanting a diesel Soul, especially since the dealer demo had a diesel engine, they saw that it was “available” but not so happy when they found out we will not be getting any in the USA.

  • jtz (Jamayl)

    When well the diesel arise out of Asia?

  • Jean-Francois Larin


    I’m from Canada (same market as USA) and I just happened to buy a Toyota Venza. Why: low fuel consumption (still gasoline). There happens to be a shortage of Venza, it takes 3 month to get one. The demand IS present. But there are no SUV on the Canadian market that offers low fuel consumption AND 4×4. Whenever a 4×4 model is available, it is only possible to get a V6 engine with it, which consumes too much fuel.

    Of course there is always the Mercedes ML350 which is diesel and 4×4, but with a 3.0l engine, it consumes too much fuel (8.2 l/100km), so there is no saving there. Still from people who have one, they say they love it.

    Right now, there a NO low fuel consumption 4×4 vehicule on which you can put a 1000 kg trailer in Canada (or USA). In France all of them (RAV4, CRV, KIA sportage, Jeep Patriot, …) exists in 4×4 with low fuel consumption. The first builder who will go through the trouble of bringing them to the Canada will have that whole market segment only for himself. I would buy one TODAY if it was available.


  • GP

    Kia! I am from Canada. You need to bring diesel cars to North America. I would love to drive Borrego, Koup, and Soul on Diesel. There is a market for it. The market is infact growing bigger and bigger. You should not disappoint your customers. Bring Diesel lineups and we will be happy. So please tell me now when you are going to bring them into NA market.

  • wonderboy

    Those who wonder why kia doesn’t bring R-diesel to Us.

    at this current technolwedge, only german engine can satisfy America’s (especially CA’s regulator), this is a little bit strict than what Euro 5 requires.

    I hope kia is working harder to bring Diesel engine but it looks like there is very slight chance for them to utilize it.

    it is no question why Japanese cars doesn’t bring it to U.S.
    you might ask yourself on diesel trucks , that is differnt regulation.

    second, gas vs. diesel price is not much different compare to europe and Asia market,( diesel is much cheaper ) but here is u.s we see sometimes diesel price is highier than reg. gas. there is not much merit for car makers to pay much money to bring diesel engine.
    not huge market at this moment. (easy case, BMW, AUDI ,VW. diesel engine is not popular.)

    1. bottom line is KiA does not have technolwedge to meet U.S. regulation.
    2. They do not want to take risk of cutting first tape of Diesel crossover (or SUV ) mass product.

  • monty in canada

    Number one all, I want the diesel smaller engines here also to canada and usa, I build high performance trucks, but Kia(and other) wont send those here because they know it will off set the plan of the automobile structure, believe it not, they all work with each other, if kia does this and that to offset the balance of it, it can be bad for all, and ever think Kia was stocks or investments in the fuel trade, they make money hand over fist, now, if canada or usa government said to make it manatory like other countries with diesel engines, you bet your ass they have the market flooded here, but until that day comes, we dont have a say in the matter, no big company will do nothin unless they are ordered to do, why not, they still make money

  • Stan

    The 2.2 CDI Sorento R is a perfect blend of power and fuel efficiency. If this thing can get 33mpg and tow a boat/trailor I’m sold. The wife and I have decided if they don’t bring this to the states we’ll purchase it over seas and have it shipped to the states, but I’d much rather Kia bring this 5 star vehicle here first.

  • they’ll notify you when you get there

  • John J

    Kia: Give me a US diesel or I buy a CRV!

  • Puddy

    Please note in the UK diesel is more expensive than petrol. It cost £1.18p per litre.

    I have the UK spec 2011 2.2 diesel Sorento KX-2 and love it

  • Paul in Canada

    They won’t bring it because the governments wouldn’t make as much money on fuel taxes since if I have a 2.2 liter gas engine and 2.2 liter diesel engine you can bet on it that the diesel has at least 50% less fuel consumption. 50% less profit for the governments and the fuel giants which also pushed and paid off some governors ( :- ) to tighten the regulations for diesel engines. So why sell you diesel car that can do 45 MPG if you can have gas one doing 22MPG.

  • hi kia why not make a 3.0 r evgt crdi engine for more power in the future

  • Tina

    I live in Canada and want a diesel, but also 4×4. Husband is in the navy and says he wants to buy one today but there is nothing out there that will not consume tonnes of fuel. I want to save my pocket book please bring it to Canada, there is demand, bring it and see how fast they sell out.

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