Kia Sorento: whole new level for 2015

2015-07-07 06:00
Kia says its two and all-wheel drive Sorento - apart from a carried-over engine - is ‘a whole new car from the ground up’.PHOTO: sourced

Kia says its two and all-wheel drive Sorento - apart from a carried-over engine - is ‘a whole new car from the ground up’.PHOTO: sourced

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THE third generation of Kia’s top-end wagon, the Sorento, has just been launched in South Africa with an all-new bodyshell, a powerful new diesel engine and a level of interior design and quality that takes the car to indisputably luxury standards.

David Sieff, marketing director for Kia South Africa, recalled a little of the Sorento’s history during a conference as part of a media test-drive.

“The first Sorento was a 2.5 V6 back in 2002,” he explained, “but then came designer Peter Schreyer and the original car’s ladder-frame chassis gave way to a monocoque body.

A facelift followed but now we are into the latest design and the Schreyer language continues.”

The car is slightly longer and wider but has a marginally lower roof than its predecessor. There’s also a choice of wheel rims: 17, 18 or 19” in a variety of designs.

The 2015 Sorento (and sister car the Soul) also scored top marks in the most recent JD Power quality report, its best ranking yet.

The front design incorporates long, wrap-around headlights and more prominent fog lights, the now iconic “tiger’s nose” grille between them has been reshaped slightly but is still eminently recognisable in other drivers’ rear-view mirrors.

All models come with a radio, CD, MP3 player, multimedia ports for USB and auxiliary connections, and six speakers.

Sorento units for South Africa will have a choice of only two - a 2.4 four-cylinder petrol that has been with the Sorento entry models almost since birth (127kW/225Nm) and a 2.2 turbodiesel (147kW/440Nm).

Both engines have been tuned for more mid- and low-range torque and the turbodiesel has component upgrades to improve smoothness and efficiency.

A six-speed manual or six-speed auto send movement to the front wheels or, in the upper models, all four.

Manual shift models, instead, get Kia’s Flex Steer system which has three levels of assistance from Sport, normal and Comfort which will be handy in traffic with the most assistance.

The 2015 Sorento will be offered in four specification, ranging from LS and LX at the entry level to the mid-spec EX and top-spec SX.

Prices

Kia Sorento 2.4 LS – R379 995

Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi LX - R499 995

Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi EX AWD - R599 995

Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi SX AWD - R634 995

All units will be delivered with Kia’s five-year or 150 000km warranty and three years of unlimited roadside assistance.The Sorento 2.4 LS comes as standard with a four-year/90 000km service plan, while LX, EX and SX models include a five-year/100 000km maintenance plan.

- Wheels24

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