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First drive: Kia lands new Sorento

Step up: Kia has redesigned its Sorento SUV on a car-type chassis, with a choice of 2.2-litre petrol and diesel engines.

Bigger new seven-seat Kia Sorento SUV arrives, priced from $36,490

23 Oct 2009

KIA has landed its all-new seven-seat Sorento SUV in Australia, priced from $36,490 for the entry-level two-wheel-drive four-cylinder petrol-powered Si automatic – $2200 more than the 3.3-litre V6 automatic five-seater-only AWD model it replaces.

Larger in all key dimensions and riding on a car-like monococque chassis for the first time, Kia’s redesigned Sorento is claimed to bring big advances in quality and refinement.

Depending on the model, new technologies include keyless entry, push-button starting, a reversing camera, built-in navigation and a panoramic glass sunroof.

Improved safety will also be a key message with the new model, with Kia claiming a maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP – the same top safety score it will earn from independent Australian crash test body, ANCAP, in December.

17 center image The base Si 2WD model’s 2.4-litre petrol engine has been upgraded to return 128kW and 225Nm of torque. Mated as standard to a new six-speed auto, it sprints to 100km/h in 11.1 seconds and a top speed of 190km/h, and returns average fuel consumption of 9.2L/100km.

Next up in the two-engine Sorento range, which also comprises three trim levels and two transmissions – all of which are covered by Kia’s five-year private-buyer warranty – is the seven-seat Si diesel AWD model, priced at $39,990 as a manual and $41,990 as an auto.

Replacing the previous Sorento’s 2.5-litre diesel engine, the new ‘R’ CRDi 2.2-litre turbo-diesel produces 145kW of power and 436Nm of torque. As such, combined fuel consumption for the diesel AWD manual drops by 21 per cent, from 8.5 to a best-in-class 6.7L/100km (7.4L/100km auto).

The same diesel-auto powertrain is available in mid-range SLi specification ($45,990), while the premium Platinum version (also auto-only) tops the range at $48,990. Premium (mica/metallic) paint adds $450 across the range.

4WD versions of the Koran-built Sorento, which eschews the previous model’s low-range transfer case, offer a maximum towing capacity of 2500kg, while all models come with traction control and ABS brakes.

Watch this space for GoAuto’s full product story and launch drive report.

2009 Kia Sorento range prices
Si (a) $36,490
Si CRDi 4WD $39,990
Si CRDi 4WD (a) $41,990
SLi CRDi 4WD (a) $45,990
Platinum CRDi 4WD (a) $48,990

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