Kia Sorento at 2009 Frankfurt motor show

Published: 10 August 2009

Kia is a company rapidly transforming its image with a series of new models targeting Europe’s best – and today we see the next arrival, the new Kia Sorento. We’ve already scooped the new Sorento earlier in the year and seen it in Korean guise at the Seoul motor show, but now we can see the Euro-spec 4x4.

Kia Sorento: what’s new?

Pretty much everything. At the front the grille is redesigned and enlarged, in line with Kia’s new growling tiger ‘face’. Although it’s quite obvious that the car hasn’t escaped from a zoo, the effect is quite different and striking from today’s slab-sided Sorento.

The large grille with the Kia badge in the centre bears more than a passing resemblence to tiger’s nostrils, and combined with the pointed and slanting lights and the front of the bonnet, there are definite undertones of a carnivorous nature.

Kia Sorento: the engineering story

The new Sorento eschews the hardcore 4x4 body-on-frame construction of the old Sorento, preferring passenger car-style monocoque build which saves 215kg of heft.

It’s a little longer (+118 mm) and lower than the previous model. This partially explains the improved aerodynamics, the drag figure dropping to 0.38 from 0.43.

The engine is a new 2.2-litre diesel with 194bhp and 311lb ft of torque, and is offered in manual or automatic transmission. More gadgets will be available this time, including keyless entry, reversing cameras and a panoramic glass sunroof.

When can I see the new Sorento?

The European premiere is on 15 September 2009, and takes place at the Frankfurt motor show. The new Sorento will roll into UK showrooms on 1 February 2010.