Design & Technology / Product

New Sorento arrives with a fresh look and better fuel-efficiency April 21st, 2009

Seung-il KimSeung-il Kim, Vice President &
Head of Car Development Center 3

The Kia Sorento opened new horizons in the mid-sized CUV market when it was first launched in 2000. This legacy is the main reason the latest introduction of the all new Sorento holds high expectations for the car and the Kia brand. The newest model has been equipped with more power for better driving performance and class-topping fuel economy for our eco-conscious drivers. You will also find it boasts a comfort and exterior design.

The concept behind this next-generation Sorento was to offer drivers dynamic style and unrivalled performance. True to this goal, it realizes a refined yet aggressive style with the monocoque platform enhancing the ride. Once inside, the new style also makes it much more spacious for passengers. We’re proud to say that its power and fuel economy lead rivals in its class, too! And Kia never does away with the application of high-tech safety and comfort specs to cater to diverse customers around the globe, with their equally diverse tastes and lifestyles.

With this frame type, the city CUV showcases a sleeker and more sophisticated exterior than its predecessor. We lowered its height by 15mm and extended the length by 95mm. The front of the Sorento features Kia’s family look with the slim headlamps, a honeycomb radiator grille and mesh style fog lamp housing. Its profile is also a little more polished with side character lines (that looks a little like wings in flight), an angular wheel arch and a sturdy side garnish. The rear is modern with an LED-look combination lamp and two-tone large bumper.

Sorento is styling!

As a design-led brand, the Sorento has made every effort to incorporate elements of style with function. The inside offers a lot of space with some high-tech functional features. The crash pad was designed with an ergonomic layout but still maintaining a muscular exterior to the vehicle. Kia’s signature red lighting on the console is present with the three-cylinder cluster and the center fascia features driver oriented touches with ergonomic design taken into consideration.

We’ve also equipped the Sorento with versatile storage spaces for our young-at-heart drivers. These features include a spacious glovebox, a large center console box that can hold a 14-inch notebook computer with an extra portable tray, a dual cup holder to accommodate larger cups and mugs, a door map pocket, and a center fascia lower tray to store multimedia devices, like an iPod, cell phone or personal organizer.

For increased passenger comfort, head- and legroom for all three rows have increased dramatically. The lower hip point (37mm lower) provides greater ease for getting into and out of the vehicle (a nice touch for people of all ages!). The luggage area is especially cavernous at 1,047L which can fit about four golf bags – this change means the back is 137L larger than the old Sorento.

So what about the engine and the Sorento’s performance, you ask? Of course the new Sorento will have Kia’s technologically advanced engine line-up to offer drivers a wide range of choices. The R2.2 diesel engine is an eco-friendly engine that employs a third generation common rail injection system to satisfy Euro 5 emission standards. It has a maximum power output of 200 horsepower and 44.5kgm torque. As for fuel economy, the R2.2 diesel can run 14.1km on 1L of (Korean fuel consumption measurement standard) diesel which is unrivalled among CUVs in the current local market.

The 2.4L gasoline Theta II engine with 175 horsepower and 23.0kgm torque answers customer demands for a high performance and competitively priced vehicle, too. And, the 3.5L gasoline Lambda II V6 engine is currently under development for launch in North America (December 2009) and other general markets (September 2009). This engine packs a powerful 280 horsepower punch with 34.2kgm torque, and specially designed for maximum fuel efficiency.

The 2.7L LPI (Liquefied Petroleum Injection) Mu V6 engine with 162 horsepower and 25.0kgm torque will be available in Korea. This LPI falls under our ‘Eco Dynamics’ brand providing eco-friendly vehicles to the market. This engine delivers high performance along with economic savings thanks to this cheaper alternative fuel which is readily available at petrol stations around the country. Availability of the various engines for the Sorento will vary by region and you should consult your nearest Kia dealer for specifics.

The front engine, front wheel (FF) 6-speed automatic transmission that powers the new Sorento offers the best in fuel economy and performance. The engine actively distributes the driving force between the front and rear wheels, depending on the road and driving conditions with an electronic, four-wheel drive system.
With today’s need for superior fuel economy, all Kia engines and transmissions apply new technologies and reduce their weight for superior performance.

<Main improvements for fuel economy>
– Engine downsizing (lower displacement): 3.8L Lambda→3.5L Lambda II, A2.5→R 2.2
– More gears: 6-speed transmission
– Weight reduction: 215kg lighter than previous Sorento (US Lambda II: 1,965→1,750kg)
– Drag coefficient: 0.42→ 0.38
– Technologies to improve fuel efficiency: Alternator control, low-friction engine oil, etc.

To be continued…

Editor’s Note: The specifications, equipment and features contained in the above are for the domestic Korean model and may differ from the overseas model.

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  • James McGowan

    Please start bringing more diesels to North America. From my understanding there is demand to support it here in the Canadian marketplace, and as gas becomes more expensive, the US market demand will probably increase as well. Currently only Volkswagen and Mercedes offer diesels in passenger cars. It would be nice to see more manufacturers follow suit.

  • Daniel Fisher

    I own a 2005 Kia Sorento and its got good off road ability due to the low range gear box. Will be missed on the new model, Some of us still enjoy a real SUV/4×4 capability. I will be keeping my sorento for a little longer I guess.

  • Sylvain Blais

    I need more power to towing my rv. But gas is more expencive and i dont want a big v6 or v8 gas engine. The new R2.2 diesel engine is very interesting for fuel economy and maximum power. But i live in Canada… Only Jeep offer the Grand Cherokee with 3.0 CRD on CUV (2007 and 2008 models). It would be very interesting to see the new Sorento R2.2 Diesel (and a diesel engine into the Borrego to) in Canada. Thank you.

  • Joe

    Oh, look. Just another thing Americans desperately want! But thanks to that good ole’ “market research” you guys do so well, here is just more potential sale lost. Yeah, offering all of these standard features is nice. Are you targeting your main customers by doing that? Yes. Are you targeting those of us who want a little more luxury at a little less price? NO. There was a clean diesel promised to us at the 2008 NAIAS, and there was a 2.2L R diesel sitting there during 2009 NAIAS. So, what are you aiming at being? A car company with empty promises? Good job.

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