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Paris show: More details emerge for new Kia Sorento

Paris match: The new Kia Sorento is expected in Australia early next year and will be offered with a choice of a 3.3-litre V6 petrol or 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine.

Kia to keep two engine choices for locally-tuned next-gen Sorento SUV

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Kia logo29 Sep 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

KIA has revealed more details about its new-generation Sorento SUV, including a two-engine line-up for Australia and local tuning program, ahead of its Paris motor show debut later this week.

The all-new Sorento is set to roll into local showrooms in the first quarter of next year, and while pricing and specification will be held back until closer to launch, the line-up is expected to remain in-line with the current model.

Pricing for the outgoing model starts at $38,490, plus on-road costs, for the base two-wheel drive petrol Si and climbs to $50,790 for the diesel-powered all-wheel drive Platinum CRDi.

Last week, Ford Australia announced a drop in price for its final Territory SUV – one of the Sorento's direct competitors – with the base petrol TX front-wheel drive variant down by $3000 to $36,990, plus on-roads.

Kia Motors Australia general manager of media and corporate communications Kevin Hepworth said it was too early to discuss pricing, but added that the Sorento will be “competitive in the market”.

The South Korean car-maker also announced that the Australian engine line-up will consist of a revised 3.3-litre petrol V6 and an updated 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, confirming a previous report by GoAuto.

Australia is likely to get the most powerful of the petrol engines and a 198kW 3.3-litre V6, while the 2.2-litre diesel makes 147kW and 441Nm, which marks an increase over the 135kW/392Nm output of the existing model's oil-burner.

The six-speed manual gearbox that is currently offered in Si diesel will not return, with both engines matched with a six-speed automatic transmission only.

Fuel consumption figures are yet to be confirmed, but there could be minor improvements to the 9.8 litres per 100 kilometres and 7.3l/100km figures for the petrol and diesel (auto) respectively.

Kia will offer a 138kW/241Nm 2.4-litre GDI petrol unit and a 136kW/402Nm 2.0-litre diesel in Europe, however these powertrains were deemed too small for Australia and lacked pulling-power for towing.

Sorentos headed Down Under will benefit from locally tuned ride and handling, thanks to the company's Australian suspension team. Kia puts all of its new models through the local tuning program to ensure each new addition to the range is better suited to Australian roads and conditions.

As reported, the new Sorento will benefit from improvements to cabin quality and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels, while suspension modifications, including larger bushings for the subframe at the rear and larger, vertically mounted shock absorbers improve body control.

The body-shell is made up from 53 per cent ultra-high tensile steel will benefits the Sorento's structure in the event of an accident, as well as improving torsional rigidity by 14 per cent.

Available in five-or seven-seat configurations, the Sorento features an 80mm-longer wheelbase (2780mm) when compared with the outgoing version, freeing up more cabin space, with cargo capacity up from 515 litres to 605 litres.

Specification levels will not be released until closer to launch but the new model gains an electric tailgate that opens when the key is sensed near the rear of the car, but the around-view monitor which gives the driver a birds-eye view of the car will not be available in Australia.

The cabin will come with more soft-touch materials, a wider instrument cluster, single-tone or two-tone interior, cloth or leather trim (depending on grade), a Swiss watch-inspired user interface with Kia's most up-to-date human-machine interface (HMI) tech.

The Sorento features a new look that was penned in Korea with input from Kia's Irvine, California and Frankfurt, Germany design studios.

Kia's designers named the inspiration for the Sorento as 'Streetwolf', but incorporated the familiar 'tiger-nose' grille while taking inspiration from the striking Cross GT concept from last year's Chicago motor show.

The new Sorento will share its underpinnings with the next-generation Carnival people-mover, also due in Australia in the first quarter, as well as the next Santa Fe from sister company Hyundai.

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