Kia releases pricing for bigger, bolder Sorento SUV
New features to increase appeal in tough market.
The notion of a car that can park itself has long been a dream for anyone who has ever kerbed a wheel or dinged a panel when misjudging a parking manoeuvre.
It is a dream that’s about to become a reality, too, thanks to Kia’s all-new Sorento SUV, with the top-spec GT-Line model featuring Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA).
RSPA allows drivers to park the Sorento, or exit from a parking spot, by standing outside the vehicle and manoeuvring it using only a remote a smart key.
The technology is a first for Kia Australia and uses front, side and rear ultrasonic sensors to identify an available parking spot, then park the vehicle while avoiding obstacles, by controlling the steering, acceleration, deceleration and gear shifts.
While RSPA will only be available on the upmarket GT-Line, the Sorento will debut another first for Kia, with its front centre side airbag – mounted between the driver and passenger – to be offered as standard equipment across all model grades.
Kia has confirmed pricing for the new Sorento line-up, which will present in four grades: GT-Line, Sport+, Sport and S in both diesel and petrol models. Only the diesel will be available at launch, followed by the petrol version within months.
For diesel models pricing will start at $48,850 for the S and top out at $63,070 for the GT-Line, while petrol pricing starts at $45,850 for the S and goes through to $60,070 for the GT-Line.
Power comes from the same 3.5-litre petrol V6 (200kW/332Nm) and 2.2-litre four-cylinder CRDI diesel (148kW/440Nm) as is found in the current line-up, with an eight-speed automatic driving the front wheels in petrol models and on-demand all-wheel drive for the diesels.
In other markets the Sorento is available with Kia’s new Smartstream engine technology, featuring Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology that promises greater power and fuel efficiency, with reduced emissions.
There’s no word yet from Kia on when we might see the new engine tech in Australia, but it won’t be a feature of the new Sorento at launch.
The generational changes included in the new model encompass a raft of new technologies including 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple Carplay, Android Auto and multi-connection Bluetooth functionality in the basic Sport variant. Further up the model grade the GT-Line gets a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, blind spot view monitor, a shift-by-wire dial instead of a gear lever, and the aforementioned Remote Smart Parking Assist.
As we reported following the Sorento’s global reveal in March, this fourth-generation Sorento promises to increase Kia’s competitiveness in the large SUV segment.
Its June year-to-date sales of 1435 units lag well behind category leader the Toyota Prado’s 8632, but with the new model boasting significant increases in space, features and quality, the Korean brand will no doubt be looking to put some heat on rivals, including stablemate the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The new model features a larger and roomier body that is 10mm wider (1900mm), longer (4810mm) and taller than its third-gen predecessor.
The extra length comes courtesy of a wheelbase that has been stretched by 35mm to 2815mm, with much of that going into increased passenger accommodation.
In addition to increased head, leg and shoulder room for occupants, the Sorento’s boot space has also been expanded by a healthy 32%, up to 187 litres with all seven seats in place.
The new model rides on fully independent suspension with Kia claiming a 4% increase in tensile strength throughout the body, which helps reduce body vibrations, road noise and improve body control and steering responses while cornering.
Other new features not yet confirmed but likely to be included on select Australian-spec Sorentos are Bose audio, ambient interior lighting, and a head-up display that projects vehicle speed and navigation onto the base of the windscreen.
Safety features include up to seven airbags, a multi-collision brake system that mitigates secondary collisions and automatically applies the brakes when the airbags are deployed, and a range of advanced driver assistance systems, like forward collision-avoidance assist, blind spot view monitoring, lane follow assist and more.
Stylistically, the Sorento draws inspiration from the Telluride and ProCeed models, with its vertical tail lamps, sharpened lines, and so-called “tiger-nose” grille.
“The outgoing Sorento was a game-changer in the Australian market with previously untapped safety and convenience levels in the segment and the all-new model continues to take that story forward,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith.
“Across the four trim levels we believe the Sorento will meet the needs, and exceed the expectations, of anyone shopping in the seven-seat SUV market.”
The new Sorento comes standard with Kia’s outstanding seven-year warranty, seven-year capped price servicing and seven-year roadside assist package.