Hybrid power for fourth-generation Sorento - Kia spills the beans on its new flagship SUV

2021 Kia Sorento. Image: MotorPress
2021 Kia Sorento. Image: MotorPress

Kia has just revealed its all-new Sorento. The big SUV is a mainstay in the Korean automaker's stable and has been around since 2002.

In the 18 years since, more than three million units have been sold globally, and even locally the SUV has garnered a loyal following.

Kia says that the new Sorento is the first vehicle to benefit from its new-generation midsize SUV platform, which resulted in the SUV having a larger body to maximise cargo and luggage space, according to Kia.

Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for KIA Motors Europe, comments: "The Sorento's evolution over the last 18 years echoes that of the Kia brand as a whole. While the car was initially launched in 2002 as a utilitarian all-terrain vehicle, the fourth-generation Sorento has been transformed into something altogether more desirable.

"It is an important model for Kia, particularly now that it also represents the first use of electrified power in our flagship SUV."

kia sorento,suv,

                                 2021 Kia Sorento. Image: MotorPress

The powertrain

A first on the Sorento, buyers will now be able to choose from hybrid or plug-in hybrid variants of Kia's flagship SUV.

Kia South Africa notes that engines, transmissions, and specifications refer to international markets as a whole, and that not all choices will necessarily be available locally. The local arm did say, however, that model choices and specifications will be announced when a launch date is confirmed.

READ: New Kia Sorento breaks cover ahead of 2020 Geneva Motor Show

According to the global press release, the Sorento will be available with a new 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine that delivers 147kW and 440Nm. Kia says that the revised version of this engine is 38.2kg lighter than the unit used in the previous-generation Sorento. The engine is mated to Kia’s new eight-speed wet double-clutch transmission.

The hybrid model consists of Kia's 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine that paired with a 1.49kWh litium-ion polymer battery pack and a 44.2kW electric motor. Total system output is 170kW and 350Nm. Kia says the system setup is as such that the powertrain boosts performance at low-to-mid engine speeds. As a result, fuel efficiency should see an improvement.

European sales are due to commence in the third quarter of 2020, while the SUV will be available to order in most of Kia's global markets by the end of the year.

kia sorento,suv,

                                 2021 Kia Sorento. Image: MotorPress

Quick facts on the fourth-generation Sorento, according to Kia:

• New Sorento sits at the heart of Kia’s comprehensive global SUV line-up

• Stylish, modern exterior design, with a high quality, high-tech cabin

• New platform accommodates hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains

• Greater levels of space and comfort and a more enjoyable drive

• Progressive connectivity and driver assistance features

• New 'Terrain Mode' enhances all-wheel drive capability

Compiled by: Charlen Raymond

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