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The Kia Sorento evolution story, an on-going journey to excellence April 17th, 2015

Now available in most markets, the 3rd generation Sorento has been well received by customers and auto communities worldwide and has already won several major awards including the Red Dot design award, iF design award and the highest five-star crash safety rating by Euro NCAP. Originally developed as Kia’s first crossover SUV model, the first generation Sorento exploded onto the automotive scene in 2002. Before we walk down memory lane and see how it has evolved into an ideal SUV for today’s motorists, let’s take a look at the Sorento of yesterday and today.



1st generation Sorento: The birth of a new urban SUV  

In 2002, the first generation Sorento was developed as the bigger brother to the Sportage, a successful pioneer of the compact SUV market. Kia carefully researched the crossover SUV market and decided to make its body larger while ensuring a high level of comfort and offering a rear-wheel drive drivetrain. Suitable for city life, it was also equipped with advanced convenience features. Sorento received many favorable reviews, as it delivered a smooth sedan-like driving experience while offering the powerful performance of an SUV.

Two powertrain options, a 2.5 WGT diesel engine and 3.5 V6 gasoline engine were offered with a four-wheel drive option. Thanks to its low noise and vibration, many drivers opted for the diesel engine model.


2nd generation Sorento: Tougher yet more handsome

The second generation Sorento was introduced at the Seoul Motor Show in 2009. The new model had a monocoque body and front-wheel drive system, making the body lighter and the interior more spacious compared to the previous generation. The R2.2 diesel engine with a rated maximum power output of 200 horsepower and maximum torque of 44.5 kgf∙m gave the Sorento compelling performance.


Noticeably, it was the first Sorento model to be designed under the guidance of world-renowned Peter Schreyer, Kia’s president and chief design officer. With its improved performance and sleek design, the second generation Sorento was a massive hit, especially in the U.S. market where it achieved annual sales of over 100,000 units, dominating the mid-sized crossover CUV market. A facelift model was also launched in 2012.


The all-new Sorento: The return of the king, the future of CUVs 

The much anticipated debut of the third generation Sorento came in 2014. It manifests the design identity of Kia Motors, especially with a tiger-nose shaped front grille and bold character lines. The latest Sorento is also equipped with advanced technological features including an active hood for improved protection, a smart tailgate that opens automatically when the driver approaches the car, and an Around-View Monitoring (AVM) system which gives a 360 degree view.


The use of ultra high-strength steel was increased to 53 percent and the use of specialty adhesion technology made for a significantly stronger and safer vehicle body. Depending on market, Kia offers numerous engine choices for the all-new model, including a 2.4-liter gasoline direct injection (GDI) unit and 2.0 and 2.2-liter diesel common rail direct injection (CRDI) units.

So that is how Kia Sorento evolved and surprised each time it transformed. Are you a Sorento owner who wants to share why you love it? Feel free to leave us a comment and find out more about Kia’s newest CUV model below!


Kia insiders explain why the all-new Sorento is #SoIDEAL

Video: All you need to know about the all-new Kia Sorento