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Kia Sorento

XM Sorento

Kia logo1 Oct 2009

By LUCIANO PAOLINO

KIA launched its second-generation XM Sorento in October 2009.

Larger in all key dimensions and riding on a car-like monocoque chassis for the first time instead of the ladder-frame chassis that helped make the previous Sorento a renowned off-road 4WD, the redesign brings big advances in quality and refinement.

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

Improved safety is also central, with Kia claiming a maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.

The base Si 2WD model’s 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine produces 128kW of power and 225Nm of torque. Mated as standard to a six-speed automatic gearbox, it replaces the 180kW/309Nm 3.3-litre petrol V6 in either five-speed manual or auto guises of the old Sorento.

Meanwhile, replacing the previous version’s 2.5-litre diesel engine, the new ‘R’ CRDi 2.2-litre turbo-diesel produces 145kW of power and 436Nm of torque (manual: 422Nm). 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 CRDi 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 Korean-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.

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