New 2020 Kia Sorento SUV: more details released
More details have emerged about the new Kia Sorento SUV. Kia’s seven-seat SUV, revealed earlier this week, sits on a whole new platform and is available from launch with a choice of two powerful engines. The fourth-generation Sorento will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show on 3 March.
When it arrives in UK showrooms later this year, the new Sorento will rival the Skoda Kodiaq and the Hyundai Santa Fe. Pricing is yet to be confirmed but we’d expect the new car to start from around £37,500.
The new Sorento will be available with a 2.2-litre diesel engine and a petrol-hybrid. The diesel is likely to be the best choice for buyers who will regularly use the Sorento for towing. It produces 199bhp and is mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The hybrid system comprises a 1.6-litre petrol engine, a 44.2kW electric motor and a small 1.49kWh battery that combine to produce 227bhp. The small battery suggests that the electric motor will help make the petrol engine more efficient, rather than allowing the Sorento to drive solely on electric power.
A plug-in hybrid model will join the range after launch. Details of this powertrain are yet to be revealed, but it’s highly likely to be the same petrol engine and electric motor with a much larger battery. Other hybrids from Hyundai and Kia, such as the Kia Niro and Hyundai Ioniq, employ the same engine in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.
The inside of the new Sorento features updated technology, including a new 10.25-inch infotainment system and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, both of which are incorporated into one large trim piece. The infotainment will be powered by Kia’s UVO app interface and is expected to include both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Elsewhere, the revised interior features vertical chrome air vents and a new circular ‘rotary’ style gear shifter similar to the one seen in the Jaguar F-Pace. Soft-touch leather covers the upper portion of the dashboard and is complemented by the use of quilted leather trim in seat inserts, as well as ambient mood lighting in the dashboard and doors.
Full specifications will be confirmed in the coming months but features such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with both pedestrian and cyclist detection, should be standard across the Sorento range. Leather-trimmed seats will feature, along with dual-zone climate control. Range-topping models will get wireless phone charging, heated and ventilated seats and adaptive cruise control.
The new Sorento sits on an all-new platform, gaining around 10mm in length. The biggest difference is the car’s wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels), which has increased by 35mm.
The car’s design is significantly more angular than the previous model. The front gets a distinctive front grille, which is flanked by narrow LED headlights and LED daytime running lights, and there are new LED rear lights too. Elsewhere, the bodywork has black bodywork cladding together with silver scuff guards on the lower front and rear bumpers.
The Sorento will remain a seven-seat SUV as standard. Boot space with the third row of seats folded flat is expected to better the 610 litres offered by the old car. Kia says the new car will offer class-leading passenger and boot space.
What does it mean for car buyers?
The growing interest in plug-in hybrid SUVs bodes well for the new Sorento, particularly given that this sector of the market is currently dominated by an array of expensive, upmarket rivals including the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Hybrid, Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid and Range Rover Sport PHEV. There are relatively few alternatives for less than £40,000 - the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, widely considered the first plug-in SUV, is arguably the most well known. Factor in Kia’s seven-year warranty and the new Sorento could prove very popular.
Do you want to know more about the current Kia Sorento? Read our in-depth review for all of the details.