New Kia Sorento goes on sale with prices starting at €38,995

The new Kia Sorento goes on sale in Ireland this week
The new Kia Sorento goes on sale in Ireland this week

Motormouths had the privilege of getting behind the wheel of the new Kia Sorento this morning for a quick spin.

Building on the success of the outgoing model with a unique blend of style, practicality and technology, the all-new Kia Sorento  goes on sale in Ireland this week.

The new SUV’s smoother, swept-back profile and deeply sculpted surfaces introduce a more refined design to the third-generation model, delivering a premium look and feel, with more space and numerous innovative features. 

The designers of the third-generation Kia Sorento named their inspiration for the new car as ‘Streetwolf’.

Although the styling changes are evolutionary, they subtly alter the character of the new Sorento, highlighting its sleek, sinuous, profile, as well as class-leading style and ensuring the new model has a bolder on-the-road presence. 

 The front of the new Sorento incorporates long, wrap-around headlamps and more prominent fog-lamps, as well as a larger, more upright ‘tiger-nose’ grille, with a distinctive three-dimensional diamond pattern, first featured on the 2013 Kia Cross GT concept.  

 The sleeker look of the new Sorento is enhanced by its increased length (+95 mm to 4,780 mm)*, reduced height (down 15 mm to 1,685 mm) and extra width (+5 mm to 1,890 mm) 

Irish Prices and Headline Specs  

Kia Motors Ireland are offering 2 AWD variants of the new car the EX at €38,995 and the expected volume model the Platinum at €43,995. 

The entry-level model is a five-seater with a generous level of spec that includes 17” alloys, rear privacy glass ,super vision instrument cluster and 7” Sat Nav with reversing camera. 

The Platinum as the names suggests is a seven-seater with  a luxury spec that included the above plus panoramic sunroof ,Xenon lights, leather and heated (front and second-row rear) seats, heated steering wheel, eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat.  

The Platinum automatic (€49,500) adds 18” wheels and an electronic parking brake.  

Power continues to come from the Kia 2.2 197 hp  Euro V1 diesel unit which sees a drop in C02 from 155 to 149 for the MT still remaining in Band C ( €390) for road tax purposes. 

“Sorento is one of the most recognizable model names associates with the brand since Kia Motors Ireland entered this market just over 10 years ago “commented James Brooks Managing Director.  

” In this time Sorento has evolved from a traditional 4 x 4 to a more refined urban SUV. The new Sorento reflects everything the Kia brand now stands for in terms of styling, engineering, technology and quality and it clearly shows that we able to compete in one of the most demanding car segments where consumers demand this level exterior styling and a  premium refined and quality interior.

"We are confident that Irish customers in the market for a D segment SUV will take to the Sorento in the same way that C segment CUV customers have taken to Sportage and that this model will add both sales and brand enhancement for the Kia brand in Ireland “  

 ‘Modern and wide’ theme for interior styling  

Inside the all-new Sorento is where some of the most significant improvements are to be found. Interior styling was led by the brand’s European design team, based in Frankfurt, and Kia’s designers have created a more stylish, more luxurious cabin, featuring significantly higher quality materials.  

 The styling of the cabin follows a ‘modern and wide’ theme, providing the interior with a stable, horizontal layout and appearance. This width is echoed in the wider instrument cluster, interior garnish and the wrap-around shape of the dashboard which extends into the door trims. 

A higher proportion of soft-touch materials and leather creates a modern luxury feel to the cabin and gives the new Sorento a genuine premium vehicle ambience.  

Comfort, convenience and new technologies 

Compared to the previous-generation model, the increased exterior dimensions and the extended wheelbase (+80 mm to 2,780 mm) have liberated additional space in the cabin of the new car.  

 Although the roofline is 15 mm lower, repositioned seat cushions ensure increased headroom for occupants in all three rows, who will also enjoy greater legroom.

Cargo space also increases, with a longer cargo bay floor (up by 87 mm), and capacity with the third row seats folded flat up 17.5 percent, from 515 to 605 litres (VDA).  

Available in 5 ( EX ) - or 7-seat ( Platinum )  versions, the new Sorento features 40/20/40 second row split folding for improved versatility, with a higher folding centre armrest. 

The second row seats of the 7-seat version are equipped with ‘remote folding’ controlled by two levers in the side of the cargo bay, and also slide to allow easier entry and exit to the third row of seats. 

Enhanced refinement  

Throughout the development of the new Sorento, Kia engineers also focused on strengthening the bodyshell structure and improving NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) characteristics to increase refinement and create a tranquil travelling environment. 

The increased torsional rigidity of the new bodyshell (up by 14 percent compared to the outgoing model) provides an excellent foundation for both enhanced refinement and improved safety. 

NVH-reducing measures adopted for the new Sorento include new soundproofing material for the transmission tunnel, a 29 percent thicker dashboard soundproofing panel (increased from 0.7 mm to 0.9 mm), larger engine and transmission mounts for greater powertrain refinement and, for diesel models, a new DPF cover and an acoustic shield integrated into the engine’s timing chain cover. Cabin noise is reduced by 3-to-6 percent, depending on driving conditions.  

Improved ride and handling  

To match consumers’ rising expectations, Kia engineers worked to improve every aspect of the new Sorento’s driving experience, creating upgrades steering and suspension. 

When developing the new Sorento, a key focus for the Kia chassis engineering team was achieving improvements in ride comfort, high-speed stability and handling response to match the leaps forward in interior quality and NVH.  

The fully-independent suspension retains the format of the outgoing model (MacPherson struts at the front and Kia’s multi-link system at the rear), but features a range of modifications.

At the rear, the subframe supporting the suspension has larger bushings to better isolate it from the cabin and the larger shock absorbers are now mounted vertically behind the axle line, improving body control motion.  

 These changes, together with the longer wheelbase, deliver a more compliant ride, with a more progressive response to bumps in the road, making the new Sorento a very comfortable place in which to spend time on longer journeys.  

At the front, an all-new electric motor-driven power steering system (R-MDPS), available as standard across Europe, is mounted directly onto the steering rack – rather than the steering column as on the outgoing model.

This provides greater steering feel and quicker response, ensuring that new Sorento will be among the more agile and sporty vehicles in its segment, without sacrificing the ride quality that customers expect from a luxurious SUV.  

Better passive and active safety 

The all-new Kia Sorento has been awarded the maximum five-star crash safety rating by Euro NCAP, scoring highly in all four areas (90 per cent Adult Occupant Protection, 83 per cent Child Occupant Protection, 67 per cent Pedestrian Protection and 71 per cent Safety Assist) thanks to an even stronger bodyshell and a wide array of passive and active safety equipment. 

The Sorento was praised in particular for a passenger compartment that remained stable in the event of a collision, with good protection for passengers of different statures no matter where they were seated in the car.

All passengers – including those in the third row of seats – were also well protected from whiplash, while pedestrian impact was aided by the Sorento’s active deployable bonnet.  

In the recent Euro NCAP safety test, the Sorento achieved a high score in the Safety Assist category. The new model’s standard-fit Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system ensures the car remains stable when simultaneously braking and cornering, particularly on low-grip surfaces, by carefully controlling both the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and electric motor-driven power steering.

Both systems are activated as soon as the car’s sensors detect a loss in traction, helping the driver to remain safely in control of the vehicle. 

 As with every Kia sold in Europe, the all-new Sorento benefits from Kia’s unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty. 

We will bring you our verdict when we get behind the wheel in the coming weeks for a week-long test drive.