Following the release of the first official pictures of the all-new Kia Sorento that will have its global debut next month, the Korean carmaker has now revealed details of its new platform and powertrains. The latest Sorento will be the first SUV to use Kia’s new platform when production commences later this year.
The overall length of new Sorento is 10 mm more than its predecessor while the wheelbase is lengthened 35 mm to 2815 mm. The cabin is now claimed to provide more room than in many other midsize SUVs with intelligent packaging offering class-leading cargo space.
When the first-generation Sorento was launched in 2002, it sat on a robust body-on-frame chassis, a typical approach for most SUVs at that time. The shift to a monocoque structure – similar to passenger cars – for the second generation Sorento in 2009 marked a major change on-road character and behaviour.
Kia’s new midsize SUV platform represents a similarly important leap forward for the next-generation Sorento, allowing new standards to be set in its segment for space, practicality, efficiency and quality. The new platform positions the battery pack beneath the passenger cell so there is no impact on cabin or luggage space.
For Korea, Europe and North America, the structure and layout of the platform accommodates the new Smartstream turbocharged hybrid powertrain. Representing the first application of electrified power in the Sorento line-up, the new powertrain comprises a 1.6-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine, and a 44.2 kW electric motor which draws energy from a 1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The electrified powertrain produces a combined total output of 230 ps power and 350 Nm torque, with high levels of performance but low exhaust emissions.
There is also a new 4-cylinder 2.2-litre Smartstream diesel engine producing 202 ps/440 Nm. This is paired with Kia’s new 8-speed wet double-clutch transmission (8DCT), developed to offer the smooth shifting characteristics of a conventional automatic while enhancing efficiency over dry clutch DCTs.
Another powertrain option is the Smartstream 2.5-litre T-GDi engine (281 ps/421 Nm) which is also paired with the new 8DCT. This turbocharged petrol engine combines direct injection and multi-point injection technology, enabling it to subtly adapt its combustion cycle at different engine speeds to enhance performance and efficiency in everyday use.
Additional powertrains will be announced in future, including petrol engines and a powerful new plug-in hybrid variant.
In addition to its new platform and powertrains, the new Sorento introduced a range of high-tech safety and convenience features said to differentiate it further from other midsize SUVs. It will have Kia’s first Multi-collision Brake system which can mitigate the severity of secondary collisions. This system automatically applies vehicle brakes when the airbags (up to 8 available) have been deployed after an initial collision, further protecting occupants from secondary frontal or side impacts.
In some markets, the Sorento will also have a remote smartphone Surround View Monitor option. This allows users to check the vehicle’s surroundings with their smartphone in conjunction with the in-vehicle Surround View Monitor to maximize parking convenience.