The underrated Kia Sorento has not had the success it should have in South Africa. Kia is hoping a refreshed Kia Sorento with a revised model line-up of the local range will change this. The entry-level LS specification has been discontinued, as well as the high-spec SX and SXL models. The Sorento range will from now on comprise a mid-spec LX and a mid-high-spec EX.
Upfront the Sorento features an updated radiator grille, a new headlamp configuration and updated LED daytime running lights for the high end models. Completing the updated front end is a new bumper design with projection-type fog lamps.
At the back, a new bumper design, tail lamps, and a revised tailgate will give the Sorento more appeal. All models ride on newly designed 18-inch alloy wheels. In this age of tyre repair kits, buyers will be pleased to know that all models come with a full-sized spare wheel.
Staying on the outside of the updated Sorento, buyers will find many standard specification that includes, but is not limited to, dual zone automatic air-conditioning, automatic headlamp control (incorporating ‘Welcome Home’ and ‘Escort’ lighting), auto-folding and heated side mirrors with integrated side indicators, electric windows front and rear, and rear USB ports.
The higher-spec EX model also features an auto defog system, illuminated door scuff plates, rear sun shade blinds, electrically adjustable front seats (with two-way adjustable lumbar support for the driver’s seat), integrated roof rails and a wireless smartphone charger.
Inside, buyers will be greeted by a new steering wheel, a new gearshift lever, and a revised instrument cluster with improved graphics. There are also updates to the air vents and the centre console design. A welcomed update is that all models now feature a new 8-inch colour touchscreen with embedded Satellite Navigation and Apple CarPlay (and Android Auto, once released in South Africa). Sorento is equipped with 6 speakers.
Adding practicality to the ranges and options for buyers, all models of the updated Sorento now offer seating for up to seven passengers, with leather upholstery as standard across the board. The second row has 40/20/40 split folding seats and the seatbacks can be ‘remotely’ folded by conveniently located levers in the side of the cargo bay. The third row seats fold away flat in the luggage compartment. When the seats are folded flat, the updated Sorento offers 605 litres of luggage space, and also features an under-floor tonneau cover storage compartment and integrated cargo net to secure loose items. Luggage space goes up to 1,662 litres with the second and third row down. Buyers can still make a quick trip to the shops with all rows up as there will still be 142 litres of luggage space with all the seats up.
The Sorento features a full complement of safety and driver assistance systems, including ABS brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), six airbags and ISOFIX child seat anchors. Importantly, the all-electric windows also have a safety function that automatically halts the window closing if an obstruction – like a child’s hand – is detected. Drivers will also benefit from Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Hill-start Assist, while all models feature Park Distance Control at the rear, linked to a reverse camera displayed on the 8-inch colour touchscreen. An Electric Parking Brake with Auto Hold Function is offered as standard and so is Cruise Control.
Kia has retained the 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine that produces 147 kW of power and 440 Nm of torque. This engine is also renowned for great fuel economy. The updated Sorento is the first SUV from Kia to be offered with the company’s new eight-speed automatic transmission. This new transmission is said to shift more quickly than the outgoing six-speed automatic transmission, and enables more decisive acceleration.
KIA Sorento 2.2 CRDI LX R569,995
KIA Sorento 2.2 CRDI LX AWD R609,995
KIA Sorento 2.2 CRDI EX R599,995
KIA Sorento 2.2 CRDI EX AWD R639,995
All Sorento models ship as standard with KIA’s unlimited kilometre, five year warranty, as well as a standard 5-year/100,000km service plan and 3-years of roadside assistance.
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