When the first-generation Sorento was launched in 2002, it was underpinned by a robust body-on-frame chassis, maximising space and all-road ability. The shift to a monocoque structure for the second-generation Sorento in 2009 marked a step change in the car’s on-road character and behaviour.
The latest Sorento will be the first SUV to be based on KIA’s new platform when production commences later this year. With a compact engine bay structure, shorter overhangs and a longer wheelbase, the platform enables the car’s stylish new design and on-road posture, as well as its comfortable ride and satisfying handling traits.
The overall length of new Sorento has been extended by 10 mm than its predecessor, while the wheelbase is up 35 mm to 2,815 mm. The cabin now provides more room than in many other midsize SUVs, while intelligent packaging means the new Sorento will also offer class-leading cargo space.
KIA’s new midsize SUV platform represents a similarly important leap forward for the next-generation Sorento, allowing the car to set new standards in its segment for space, practicality, efficiency and quality.
For Korea, Europe and North America, the structure and layout of the platform accommodates the Sorento’s potent new ‘Smartstream’ turbo hybrid powertrain. Representing the first application of electrified power in the Sorento line-up, the new powertrain comprises a 1.6-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine, 44.2 kW electric motor and 1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The engine and motor produce a combined total output of 169 kW power and 350 Nm torque, providing low emissions with high levels of performance from the new electrified powertrain. The intelligent packaging of the new platform means the battery pack can be located beneath the passenger cell, with no impact on cabin or luggage space.
Korean and European customers can also specify the Sorento’s new four-cylinder 2.2-litre ‘Smartstream’ diesel engine, producing 149 kW and 440 Nm torque. This is paired with KIA’s new 8-speed wet double-clutch transmission (8DCT), developed to offer the smooth shifting characteristics of a conventional automatic while enhancing efficiency over dry clutch DCTs.
Additional powertrains will be announced in future, including a powerful new plug-in hybrid variant.
In addition to its new platform and powertrains, the new Sorento implements a range of high-tech safety and convenience features, differentiating it further from other midsize SUVs. This includes KIA’s first Multi-collision Brake system, which enables the Sorento to mitigate the severity of secondary collisions. It automatically applies vehicle brakes when the airbags have been deployed after an initial collision, further protecting occupants from secondary frontal or side impacts. The Multi-collision Brake system will be available depending on market with a total of eight airbags to further enhance collision safety, including front seat center side airbags and knee airbags.
Designed and engineered to take on everything life can throw at it, the new Sorento will make its debut on 3 March at the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show.