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Kia teases third-generation Sorento SUV

More coupe-like design defines Kia’s vision for upcoming Sorento SUV

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Kia logo29 Jul 2014

By BARRY PARK

KIA has given a glimpse of the third generation of its best-selling SUV model, revealing a lower, more coupe-like Sorento.

The large SUV, due on sale in Australia early next year and scheduled to be unveiled in South Korea next month, was styled in the car-maker’s Korean, German and United States design studios.

According to Kia, it features a lower roofline, higher beltline, more muscular stance, rounded shoulders at the rear, and deeply sculpted body surfaces.

“Together with a larger, more upright ‘tiger-nose’ grille, these design changes raise the aesthetic sophistication of Kia’s best-selling SUV,” the car-maker said.

A video of the new car shows redesigned headlights, as well as a more sharply sculpted side profile that lacks the plumped sheetmetal guards that feature on the current model.

Down the rear, the tail-lights become more compact and integrated compared with the design they will replace, while the clearance and rear foglamp now integrates into the bumper with a contrasting horizontal design.

The rear hatch, too, appears to be more raked than on the existing car and in line with a falling roofline, with better integration of the roof-mounted spoiler.

Kia’s Sorento is a strong seller internationally, but in Australia it places second in the SUV ranks behind the smaller Sportage compact soft-roader.

In its segment, the large SUV also fights some established big names, including the locally made Ford Territory, rebadged Korean rival the Holden Captiva, sister brand Hyundai’s mechanically related Santa Fe, and Mazda’s petrol-only CX-9.

Kia sales are treading water over the first six months of this year, with the car-maker narrowly missing out on a regular berth in the list of Australia’s top 10 monthly best-selling brands.

Kia Australia is believed to already be working on a local suspension and steering tune for the new Sorento.

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