SPORTIER: The Kia Sorento has seen a complete restyling.
SPORTIER: The Kia Sorento has seen a complete restyling. CONTRIBUTED

Next gen Kia Sorento about to land with striking new style

THE third-generation Kia Sorento has been unveiled in South Korea featuring an all-new body design, larger dimensions and a move upmarket in quality.

The new car will be almost 100mm longer than its predecessor, but its roof height will be reduced by 15mm in a comprehensive restyling to offer a sportier appearance.

Kia said the Sorento designers named their inspiration for the new car as 'Streetwolf', pointing out that its in-house Korean studio was assisted in its design following input from the brand's Frankfurt and California design studios.

The exterior incorporates long wrap-around headlights and more prominent fog lamps, as well as a larger more upright 'tiger nose' grille with a three-dimensional diamond pattern, first featured on the 2013 Kia Cross GT concept.

Kia promises a roomier and 'significantly higher quality' interior featuring soft-touch plastics and leather, plus a Swiss watch-inspired user interface incorporating Kia's latest HMI (Human-Machine Interface) technologies.

The new Sorento's improved engine options include three petrols and two diesels, but availability will vary between countries.

Power outputs range from 126kW to 198kW, with the petrols being a 2.4-litre direct injection plus 2.4-litre and 3.3-litre multi-point injection units. The oil burners are revised 2.0-litre and 2.2-litre 'R' turbo-diesel offerings.

Kia also says a key focus for its chassis engineering team was improvements in ride comfort, high-speed stability and handling.

For safety there's a stronger structure using more ultra-high tensile steel, plus a wealth of active safety technologies; the availability of which will again vary on the market the SUV sells in.

On the toys front, and again market dependent, the new Sorento debuts new technologies to boost its upmarket credibility.

An Around-View Monitor with four cameras should aid even the most incompetent of parkers, while the increasingly popular auto tailgate also makes an appearance. The Kia system opens the boot automatically when the key is in close proximity to the rear of the vehicle, helping those with armfuls of shopping.

The new Sorento will have its official world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in early October, and we can expect to see the new mid-size Kia SUV on Australian shores in early 2015.

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