This is our first look at the all-new Kia Sorento, one of the new cars that will be lining up in the spotlight when the Geneva Motor Show opens its doors on 3rd March. And it’s absolutely massive.
These are teaser images to give us a flavour only, but they do preview the new model in its production-ready form, rather than as a concept. Post Geneva, the new Sorento should appear in showrooms pretty quickly, and it’ll be of particular interest to anyone in the market for a petrol-electric hybrid seven-seat SUV, the likely top model of the new range.
The promise of these images at least is of a more modern and expressive design, fronted by a wide new Kia grille and a new LED light signature, with a sharper take on the Sorento’s trademark angular C pillar. Anyone living in America might notice the Sorento seems to have been influenced heavily by the huge Kia Telluride, with a cabin long enough for three rows of seats.
Big, strong and roomy is what the Sorento has always been – so many SUVs these days are contrived products designed to ride the wave of current SUV popularity that it’s refreshing to find one with a genuine heritage. The Sorento may only date back to 2002 but it has evolved rather than just being magicked out of product-planning air.
It began as a separate chassis, six-cylinder off-roader with four-wheel-drive, a transfer box for sticky going and a big reputation for towing. Fashioning a modern sports utility vehicle more about lifestyle than mud-plugging from this has taken three generations so far.
And now the new fourth-gen model for Geneva promises to take Sorento evolution a big step further, as befits the South Korean brand’s global SUV flagship. It’s on a new mid-size platform but expect a major selling point to be cabin space to rival larger SUVs, with Kia saying the new car will raise class standards for practicality.
What else is Kia saying about it? New driver assistance systems, more connectivity and infotainment features, and that hybrid drivetrain, the first time the Sorento has been electrified. With so many new Kias electrified now, with plug-in hybrid versions of the XCeed and Ceed Sportswagon the latest to join the line-up, the new Sorento could find a ready niche as big brother to the hot-selling Sportage.