Sorento gets high-tech makeover

Izah Azahari

The new Kia Sorento was unveiled in Brunei on October 31 at Kia showrooms with members of the media invited to test the new Kia Sorento’s capabilities on November 5.

Powerful, progressive and versatile – Kia Motors Corporation’s fourth generation flagship SUV is designed and engineered to take on everything life throws at it.

It is a mainstay of Kia’s global line-up with more than three million models sold worldwide since its launch in 2002. With rising standards in the midsize SUV class for space, efficiency and quality, it sits at the heart of Kia’s reinvigorated global SUV line-up, which also includes the Seltos and Sportage.

The Sorento’s redefined exterior design – with sharper lines, high-tech details and elongated proportions – gives it a more confident and mature presence. Inside, its attractive cabin also introduces premium-quality materials, cutting-edge infotainment technologies, and a stunning new design.

As the first vehicle to be based on Kia’s new-generation midsize SUV platform, the new Sorento is paired with a larger body to maximise cargo and luggage space, giving a platform that ensures it is one of the most versatile and spacious three-row SUVs on the road.

Furthermore, the Sorento’s innovative interior packaging means it can offer all this while accommodating Kia’s new ‘Smartstream’ electrified powertrains. As a result, the new model offers greater fuel efficiency, lower emissions, and higher performance than its predecessors.

The all new Kia Sorento. PHOTO: IZAH AZAHARI

This will be Kia’s most high-tech car ever, thanks to its progressive connectivity, driver assistance and infotainment technologies. Its user-friendly twin digital displays deliver advanced graphics, new telematics features and smartphone connectivity.

Looking at its exterior design, the new Sorento is stylish and modern – a result of the collaborative design effort between Kia’s worldwide design network. It conceptualises ‘refined boldness’ inspired by Kia’s designers, who sought to maintain the robust-touch-looking aesthetic of earlier generations of Sorento, while applying a greater degree of refinement and elegance, and even a sense of sportiness.

Its bodywork incorporates sharp lines and creases – noticeably more sculpted than its more round-edged predecessor. With more contemporary geometric details and more swept-back, elongated proportions, the result is a more confident, mature and desirable design than ever.

The new model is 1,900mm wide and 10mm wider than the third-generation Sorento, yet features shorter front and rear overhangs.

The additional length is found in the wheelbase which has grown by 35mm to 2,815mm. This subtly adapts the visual character of the Sorento, making it look longer and faster, despite being 10mm taller.

The new Sorento is available with a choice of 10 paint finishes, and the option of 18- and 19-inch aluminium alloy wheels.

The interior of its attractive, upscale cabin with premium material quality and progressive tech provides something altogether more striking, desirable and comfortable, which retains the spaciousness and versatility that has characterised the Sorento over its 18-year existence.

Based around twin digital displays in the dashboard, the 12.3-inch digital driver instrument cluster comes with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system at the centre of the dashboard, clearly within the driver’s line of sight, and creates an innovative wide-screen user experience. The car’s many functions can also be controlled with new haptic buttons on either side of the screen, which also features the climate control system further down the dashboard. The focal point of the dashboard is the eye-catching vertical ventilation stack, with a chrome-effect surround that extends onto the centre console below.

For passengers, the new platform maximises space in all three rows, offering more head, leg and shoulder room than many rivals. In particular, the new platform has created a significant amount of extra legroom for first and second row occupants, as well as more headroom for third-row passengers.

The Sorento also offers higher levels of active and passive safety than many of its rivals thanks to an enhanced range of driver assistance systems such as Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that help to reduce many of the inherent hazards and stresses of driving, protecting occupants and other road users on every journey.

Depending on specification, the ADAS range in the new Sorento includes Kia’s latest Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM), Surround View Monitor (SVM) and Driver Attention Warning (DAW), as well as the Rear View Monitor (RVM) and Remote Start Engine feature as one of the convenience features of this SUV.

The Sorento is also fitted with seven airbags, and all Sorento models are equipped as standard with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Electronic Stability Control systems to help drivers maintain control under braking and cornering.

A Multi-Collision Brake system is also implemented in the new Sorento which enables the vehicle to mitigate the severity of secondary collisions as 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 Sorento’s body is made up of a blend of steel and aluminium, maximising torsional rigidity while keeping weight low. The bodyshell construction features a higher proportion of Advanced High-Strength Steel and hot-stamped steel components than its predecessor.

The blend of High-Strength Steel enhances occupant safety, giving it a 12.5 per cent torsional rigidity that is higher than the perceived ‘safety leader’ in the Sorento’s segment – yet the strengthening to the bodyshell construction renders it 5.6 per cent or 21.3kg lighter than that of its predecessor. Furthermore, the more rigid bodyshell reduces road vibrations in everyday use.