Design & Technology / Product

All-new Sorento drives on water! (Well, a frozen lake actually…) July 3rd, 2009

Wan Seung, Kim By Kim, Wan Seung
Assistant Manager
R&D Strategy team

Extreme tests take the all-new Sorento around the world

The all-new Sorento tears through a blinding snowstorm on a frozen lake. The mercury reads -30ºC (-22ºF). This is extreme driving. Cornering on the icy lake requires nerves of steel. However, the all-new Sorento looks and handles as if it were driving on dry roads.’

Last year, the all-new Sorento test team visited Sweden’s Lake Uddjaure, located four hours north of Stockholm and just one hour away from the Arctic Circle. The frozen lake covers a surface area of approximately 500,000㎡ and poses some of the most challenging driving conditions on earth. Kia came to the lake with the all-new Sorento to check its braking, control systems and tires. The test team braved impossibly cold temperatures and snow to conduct the tests and were able to leave with satisfactory results.


After the bitter cold, the test team headed to yet another extreme destination: Death Valley in the US. The area still holds the title of the hottest place on Earth, when the mercury topped 56.7ºC (134.06ºF) in 1913. The surface temperature of rocks in the valley has been measured at 90ºC (194ºF). The all-new Sorento (the current Korean model) was put to another driving test in Death Valley to check its air conditioning system and driving performance. In temperatures upwards of 50ºC (122ºF), it raced for hundreds of hours at top speed. Although the Sorento showed no signs of fatigue, the test crew wasn’t as sturdy. While riding in the car, gloves were worn to protect themselves from burns from the hot metal parts radiating heat. And when the AC unit was turned off to test sensors, it felt like an inferno with temperatures soaring to over 50ºC (122ºF) inside the car.

In addition to these two challenging conditions, the all-new Sorento has also traveled around the US, along with the mountains of Spain and Switzerland. Local R&D personnel were always on hand for such trips to ensure that the all-new Sorento performed to meet with the demands of the local terrain and consumers.



Testing also took place in Korea along the countries highest mountains. The all-new Sorento sped along winding roads with sudden acceleration and braking, and the engine was pushed to its limit by going up a steep climb with a fully packed trunk on a scorching summer day.

After undergoing thousands of hours of testing in the most extreme places around the world, it’s clear the all-new Sorento will deliver exact performance in all conditions.

  • Alexey Drozdov, Russia

    Testing at extreme cold it’s good for my country =)
    Did you test only motion possibilities? What about heater at this cold weather?
    Does the windscreen work good? Was it comfortable for driver and passengers inside of all-new Sorento?
    You’ve test both engine type, gasoline and diesel?
    Has you try to start ’em after leave cars out of garage, as it’s became cold as outdoor weather?

    It important for Russia =)

    Thank you.

    P.S. Sorry for my english.

  • Colin

    Hi Alexey,
    Did you test only motion possibilities?
    We have tested the all-new Sorento’s ABS/TSC/VDC(ESP)/DBC/ 4WD and so on. We tested all those saftey units in all kinds of road condition.

    What about heater at this cold weather?
    Of course we checked heater and it worked fine.

    Does the windscreen work good?
    I’m sorry. We didn’t understand your question. Windscreen is the glass at the fornt and there was no problem with cold weather. : )

    Was it comfortable for driver and passengers inside of all-new Sorento?
    Yes, everbody in the all-new Sorento felt comfortable.

    You’ve test both engine type, gasoline and diesel?
    We tested petrol engine, diesel engine and even LPI engine too!

    Has you try to start ‘em after leave cars out of garage, as it’s became cold as outdoor weather?

    Yes, we left out test car at the outside for all night and next day morning there was no problem with start engine.

    I hope this answer satisfy your curiosity on the all-new Sorento.

  • javid

    hi colin
    could you tell me the which engines type new sorento will come?

  • Stefan Hansson

    Hello! I must congratulate to your car (Sorento) has worked so well in the cold in Sweden.
    My experience from the Sportage is not so pleasant. Because of condensation formed in the exhaust system becomes an ice plug, in cold weather, which plugs the exhaust pipe and choking the engine. For authorized KIA-workshop the problem was well known that it was something wrong with the design and that these replacement are free of charge on the guarantee, but unfortunately, my warranty had just expired. The workshop did not think it would be a problem to get it fixed but they wanted to check with the General agent in Sweden first. They couldn’t get in touch with KIA Sweden, so here I am with a car that I can not count on in cold weather.
    Next car is undoubtedly a European car.

  • Colin

    Hi Stefan,

    Thank you for your spending time to write a comment on Kia BUZZ.
    Your comment is important to us. We have forwarded your concern to After Sales department who is best suited to help you.
    I hope you won’t experience any discomfort from Kia Sportage.

    Thank you.

  • Alexey Drozdov, Russia

    Sorry, Colin, at “Does the windscreen work good?” I mean heater to widscreen. And you answered on it.


  • Alexey Drozdov, Russia

    New Sorento started in Russia.

    No diesel, so sadly.

  • Lu Wong

    I really like the re-designed 2011 Sorento and this vehicle is at the top of my list in the upcoming year. On the USA Kia website I can build a Sorento EX with the 2.4L 4cyl and option it with a 3rd row to seat up to 7 passengers.
    After seeing that I was so happy, so I then waited for the new Sorento on the Canadian Website so that I can option it out the same and find out the price because I reside in Canada. Why can I NOT configure a Sorento EX with the 2.4L and 3rd row seating in Canada? Very stupid planning on KIA Canada. Or is KIA afraid that it will take away sales from the Rondo?
    Will KIA Canada offer the 3rd row option with the 2.4L engine in 2012?? If not, I’ll be buying my next Sorento down in the States.

  • Colin @ Kia H.Q.

    @ Lu Wong,

    Thank you for your comment on Kia BUZZ. Here’s the response to your comment from Kia Canada Inc.
    Hope this answer helpful.

    Kia Canada does in fact sell the 7-seat model. It is stated as such in our vehicle brochure, on the vehicle’s showroom page on, and in all of our communications. The price calculator on was developed to accommodate the original 23 trims at launch, so concessions had to be made in the design.

    In order to properly price out a 7-seat Sorento on’s Price Calculator, you need to select an eligible trim. To find which trims are eligible the customer can visit the Model Overview page ( and look under “Available Options”. To summarize, 7-seat packages are available on LX V6 and EX V6 Luxury models. In order to price out one of these models, the 7 Passenger Seating package can be selected in option # 7 of the price calculator.

  • Jayantha

    I am planning to buy a KIA Sorento 2012 model of 2.2 Diesel version in Sri Lanka. Does these SUV have the same quality of the vehicle produce in USA or Canada?. In my country KIA has not won yet the confidence of the people regarding the quality similar to Japanese vehicles. People are saying that the depreciation of Korean vehicle are very faster than the Japanese vehicles.Does this new Sorento deliver the required performance with out any major technical problems. Is there any transmission iissues with new Sorento 2011?.

    Best Regards,