Not just a pretty face

More kit, more com­fort and a bet­ter drive — that’s the com­ing Kia SUV

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - STU­ART MARTIN stu­art.martin@cars­

LOOKS can be de­ceiv­ing— take the next Kia Sorento.

The face might be fa­mil­iar but the big SUV sits on an all­new plat­form. On sale in midOc­to­ber, the Sorento re­tains the petrol V6 and four-cylin­der en­gines, as well as two diesels and the choice of 2WD or on­de­mand 4WD.

There’s some chance that Aus­tralia will get a sec­ond petrol engine – the 2.4-litre di­rect-in­jec­tion four but there’s no of­fi­cial word on that yet.

Work’s been done on weight re­duc­tion with ul­tra-high­t­en­sile steel used in the body and hot-stamped pan­els. A more re­fined sus­pen­sion is also promised.

Kia Aus­tralia spokesman Kevin Hep­worth says price and spec­i­fi­ca­tion are be­ing ne­go­ti­ated but it’s likely the Sorento will start in the mid- $30,000 and top out just un­der $50,000.

Kia has fol­lowed the prac­tice with most re­cent mod­els, giv­ing its Aus­tralian sus­pen­sion tun­ing team, led by Graeme Gam­bold, con­sid­er­able in­put into the un­der­pin­nings of the Sorento, so ex­pect good things of the steer­ing and han­dling.

A new op­tion is likely to be Kia’s FlexS­teer sys­tem, which has three modes— Nor­mal, Sport and Com­fort.

Kia has low­ered the ride height by 10mm for eas­ier ac­cess, while in­creas­ing leg room for the mid­dle and back rows of the seven-seater ver­sion.

Other ad­di­tions in­clude an eight-inch LCD cen­tre screen, op­tions such as pow­er­ad­justable and heated front seats, heat­ing for the sec­ond row and air-con for the third.

The new model also adds blind spot and lane de­par­ture warn­ing sys­tems and an auto park­ing sys­tem.

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