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2020 Kia Sorento: European details for new SUV confirmed

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SUV gets all-new platform, bold look, posh interior and a raft of new tech and hybrid options

Kia has revealed new details of the next-generation Sorento ahead of its arrival in European dealerships later this year.

The fourth-generation Skoda Kodiaq rival adopts a design distinctly different to that of its predecessor or any other Kia sold in Europe. This angular styling, which apes the larger Telluride, is likely to be a reflection of its greater sales status in the US than Europe.

The brand’s trademark ‘tiger nose’ grille has been subtly reshaped, and is flanked by a pair of LED headlights, while a wide lower air intake and air-channeling devices help to enhance the model’s aerodynamic efficiency. At the rear, the outgoing car’s elliptical brake light clusters have made way for vertically oriented units inspired by those on the larger US-market Telluride, and a new rear bumper has been designed to appear as if it houses twin exhausts. 

A skid plate also features as an indication of the new Sorento’s off-road capability. Kia claims the SUV has been “engineered to maximise driving stability in all environments”, with a new Terrain Mode helping the wheels to achieve peak traction on snow, sand and muddy ground. 

The Sorento sits atop an all-new monocoque chassis, and its proportions have been altered with the aim of making it look longer, by way of shorter front and rear overhangs and a 35mm-longer wheelbase.

All other dimensions are only around 10mm greater, although space inside – especially for middle-row passengers – is said to be significantly enhanced, thanks to improved packaging. All UK models will be seven-seaters.

Kia says added benefits of the overhaul include enhanced rolling refinement and satisfying handling. 

Highlights include a Mercedes-style panel that links a larger infotainment touchscreen to a new digital instrument display, while a separate climate control panel is flanked by central air vents. The brand calls the new Sorento the ‘most high-tech’ model it has ever produced. 

Technical firsts for Kia include improved cruise control that automatically readjusts limits according to corner gradients, a self-parking function accessed via the key fob, automatic braking if the car is about to hit something while parking and a blindspot monitoring system that uses cameras mounted on the door mirrors to project images of what’s alongside the car onto the dashboard.

Infotainment functions, including live traffic data, weather forecasts and nearby parking spaces, are displayed on a centrally mounted 8.0in touchscreen as standard. An optional head-up display shows speed restrictions, route guidance and driver assistance alerts. 

Further optional extras in Europe include a 12-speaker Bose surround sound system, a mood lighting package and a larger 10.25in touchscreen. 

Alongside safety features such as park assist, blindspot assist, driver alertness detector and speed limit recognition, the Sorento is the first model to feature Kia’s new ‘multi-collision brake system’, which can determine the risk of a secondary collision after a crash, applying the brakes to prevent additional impacts. 

The Sorento will be launched with a 199bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine and a hybrid powertrain comprising a 1.6-litre petrol engine, a 59bhp electric motor and a 1.5kWh battery for combined outputs of 227bhp and 258lb ft. The diesel sends its power to the wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, while the hybrid uses a six-speed automatic unit. 

A plug-in hybrid will follow shortly after with 261bhp overall, an 89bhp motor and a 16.6kWh battery.

Buyers will have the choice of front- or four-wheel drive except with the plug-in hybrid, which will exclusively be a 4×4.

The Sorento will arrive in European dealerships this autumn. UK pricing and specification details will be revealed nearer the time. 

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