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Kia Sorento (2012) first official pictures

By Ollie Kew

First Official Pictures

18 June 2012 08:00

Kia has unveiled a new version of its popular Sorento SUV - and although the style is similar, the lightweight architecture is all-new.

Subtle exterior modifications belie a heavily re-engineered chassis and powertrain package for the three-year-old model.

What are the big changes on the new 2012 Kia Sorento?

Headlining the alterations is a new bodyshell – an unusually significant change for what is essentially a mid-cycle refresh. Kia hinted that this will likely save up to 100kg in weight: a boon for efficiency when the platform is twinned with Kia's revised engines.

Powertrain options will remain familiar, though all units will receive tweaks to further eek out frugality and cleanliness.

Expect to see improvments over the current 43.5mpg, 175g/km 2.2 diesel version - in fact, Kia is promising best in class fuel economy.

Anything else new on the Kia Sorento?

Exterior changes are all straight from chapter one, page one, of the modern car facelift handbook - there are LED-festooned lights front and rear, reshaped foglamps, less plastic cladding in favour of body-coloured surface, and new alloy wheel designs (now up to 19-inch in size).

There are improvements inside too: a large panoramic roof casts light over the new centre console, housing a seven-inch LCD centre infotainment screen, and LCD virtual instrument cluster. Kia's relentless push upmarket is further evidenced with yet more soft-touch plastic trim, too.

The revised Sorento will hit UK shores in the autumn of 2012, as Kia looks to build on the 620,000 worldwide sales the second-generation model has already chalked up since its 2009 debut.