After a relatively quiet year on the new-product front in 2019, Kia South Africa will roll out a number of updated models in Mzansi in 2020, including an extensively reworked version of the Sorento during the 3rd quarter of the year. Despite the recently leaked images of the Sorento, Kia continues to release teasers, this time sketches showing the interior design direction have surfaced...
Latest Teaser Images
The Sorento's cabin design is clearly moving more upmarket with highler levels of intuitivity.
These latest interior sketches hint at what we can expect from the Sorento which is due to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2020. Note the large digital instrument cluster and central infotainment system which appear to be visually connected which gives the Sorento a classy and premium feel. There also appears to be a third smaller screen below the central system which will probably take care of comfort functions such as seat ventilation and air conditioning.
A rotary gear shifter is also seen in the centre console as well as a drive mode dial with other function buttons neatly placed behind it for the electrontic parking brake, parking sensors, hill descent control, steering wheel heating and the start/stop system.
A neat gear dial and a drive mode dial will add conveniance while also saving space.
The recent introduction of the Seltos compact family car was a significant one for Kia Motors South Africa, which will follow up the launch with facelifts of the Picanto and Rio hatchback ranges in the coming months. The update to the Sorento – the Korean firm’s unibody rival to the bakkie-based SUV brigade (headed by the Toyota Fortuner), however, is arguably the most extensive of the lot.
The recent spy shots of the latest Sorento, posted by Instagrammer onecar.1 and the Kurdistan Automotive Blog – show a near-production version of the updated Sorento. As was the case with its Hyundai Santa Fe cousin, the visual upgrade to Kia's adventure SUV model is significant; it incorporates design cues from the eye-catching Seltos and looks sportier and more square-jawed than ever.
Apart from the bold “chain mail” mesh of the signature "tiger nose" grille and slim LED headlamps (with distinctive C-shaped LED elements), the bold chrome-look surround is the standout design element, because it appears to encase the grille and the lighting elements at the same time! Meanwhile, the front bumper features an enlarged central air inlet, ostensibly to improve engine cooling.
The back of the new Sorento is comparatively demure... The tail-lamps appear to feature a pair of vertical light bars.
The Sorento's design has been thoroughly revised to compete in a highly competitive large family SUV segment.
The newcomer’s fascia design is certainly much less generic than that of the current car, replete with myriad metallic finishes, as well as eye-catching vertical air vents. It’s hardly surprising that the fascia sports an enlarged touchscreen, which is flanked by a digital instrument cluster (this is likely to be a high-spec derivative, perhaps a demo unit). We assume those units will be customisable with extended features/Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability.
It’s too early to speculate on the number of features the new Sorento will gain over the current model (but we expect more mod cons and integral safety systems) or whether versions for the South African market will be quite as fancy as the unit pictured here. By the way... is that a Jaguar/Land Rover-style transmission selector knob we see on the centre console? We assume a wireless charging pad will be located under the new Sorento's fascia hang-down section.
However, the 2.2-litre turbodiesel (mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission) is likely to remain the only powertrain in the range; if Kia’s current line-up is anything to go by, there will be at least 2 trim levels, as well as both 2- and 4-wheel-drive derivatives in the line-up. Globally, Kia will also offer a hybrid powertrain for the first time in the Sorento but powertrain details have yet to be revealed. It is, however, unlikely that the hybrid Sorento will make its way to South Africa.
The updated Sorento will be revealed at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show on 3 March 2020.
We’ll bring you more details about the new Sorento as soon as they become available.