Although it has already been shown in Korea, the third-generation Kia Sorento is one of many vehicles making their international debut at the Paris auto show this week.
The Sorento's new look is an evolutionary progression from the current design with a smoother, more swept-back profile and sculpted surfaces that give it a more sophisticated, premium demeanour.
Upscale as it may appear, the new Sorento remains a versatile and practical ute that blends practicality with its style. Its longer, lower and wider than the model it replaces, by 95 mm, 15 mm and 5 mm respectively, and it rides on a wheelbase that's extended by 80 mm (to 2,780 mm).
The result is more interior room for all occupants plus an additional 90 litres of cargo space behind the second-row seats, increasing that capacity to 605 litres.
Inside, more premium soft-touch materials and a horizontal design theme with a wraparound instrument panel create a modern luxury look and feel. A Swiss watch-inspired centre-console incorporates Kia’s latest HMI (human-machine interface) technologies.
Cabin noise is said to be reduced by 3-to-6%, thanks to a combination of more rigid body structure and enhanced sound absorbing materials.
Five engines are offered globally, including two diesels. The only one likely to make it to North America is a 2.4-litre gasoline direct injection (GDI) powerplant.
Detail changes, together with the longer wheelbase, are said to deliver a more compliant ride, with a more progressive response to bumps, and an all-new electric power steering system provides better steering feel and quicker response.
Depending on the market, available ‘active’ safety technologies include adaptive smart cruise control, lane departure warning, front collision warning, blind-spot detection, lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert.
The new Sorento is expected to go on sale in Canada and the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015.