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Aesthetic, technical and equipment enhancements
For the 2013 Kia Sorento midsize sports utility vehicle

2013 Kia Sorento midsize sports utility vehicle: front-side static view.

New bumpers and front end with greater body-coloured areas.

15 Oct. 2012: Kia's midsized Sorento crossover SUV is getting a series of enhancements and upgrades for the 2013 model year, with deliveries starting from this December.

Fitting above its compact Sportage brother, the larger Sorento is getting significant upgrades in terms of design, quality, safety and standard equipment.

All models now feature (UK market) seven seats and all-wheel drive with the 2.2-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine, along with a lower ride height and revised suspension, steering and brakes. Two petrol (gasoline) engines are also available in other markets (such as the USA), as well as two-wheel drive (front-wheel drive) versions. UK prices range from GB26,495 to 35,095.

Kia Sorento midsize sports utility vehicle: rear-side view.

Redesigned tailgate, bumper and rear lights.

Although this second generation Sorento is about three years old, Kia claims that these changes are more than a usual mid-term upgrade.

The South Korean brand, which is part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group (since 1998) describes these enhancements as "a front-to-rear and top-to-bottom re-engineering."


While the length and width of the Sorento remain unchanged (4685mm / 184.45 inches and 1885mm / 74.2 in. respectively), as well as the 2700mm wheelbase (106.3 in.), Kia talks about "an all-new platform" and "a more rigid bodyshell with additional front, side and rear structures to disperse impact energy", as well as major changes introduced to the suspension, steering and brakes.

For instance, the use of 25 per cent ultra-high-strength steels in the body construction led to a torsional stiffness increase by 18 per cent compared with the previous model which already earned the five-star Euro-NCAP safety rating.

With an overall height of 1700mm (66.9 in.), the new Sorento is 10 mm (0.39 in.) lower than the outgoing model, which enhances stability thanks to the lower centre of gravity, in addition to an improved access and easier loading ability as well.


Petrol (gasoline) engines come in 2.4 litres (4 cylinders) or 3.5 litres 6-cylinder (V6) options, each with 4 valves per cylinder and multipoint fuel injection (indirect, port injection).

The 4-cylinder engine has a maximum output of 176 ps (129 kW, 174 bhp) at 6000 rpm and maximum torque of  226 Nm (167 lb-ft, 23.1 kg-m) at 3750 rpm.

The  V6 develops 280 ps (206 kW, 276 bhp) at 6300 rpm and 336 Nm (248 lb-ft, 34.3 kg-m) at 5000 rpm.

Kia Sorento midsize sports utility vehicle: profile view.

The new Sorento is 10 mm (0.39 in.) lower than its predecessor.

The third engine is a 2.2-litre CRDi turbodiesel. It powers all Sorento versions in the UK market (where the warranty covers seven years or 100,000-mile / 160,000 km), with AWD and a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox. Towing capability remains at up to 2,500 kg (5512 lb), with the appropriate equipment.

This revised version of Kias 2.2-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine develops 197 ps (145 kW, 194 bhp) at 3,800 rpm and 422 Nm of torque (311 lb-ft, 43 kg-m) from 1,800 to 2500 rpm. Acceleration figure for the 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) is 9.4 seconds (manual) or 9.5 seconds (auto), and all versions have a top speed of 118 mph (190 km/h).

A new exhaust-gas recirculation system gave the new Sorento 2.2-litre CRDi better fuel economy and CO2 emissions of 47.9 UK mpg (equivalent to 39.9 US mpg, 5.9 l/100 km, 17 km/litre) and 155 g/km (manual) an improvement of 5.7 UK mpg (4.7 US mpg, 49.6 l/100 km, 2.02 km/litre) and 22 g/km over the outgoing model.

With the six-speed automatic transmission, the figures represent reductions of up to 4 UK mpg (3.3 US mpg, 70.6 l/100 km, 1.4 km/litre) and 19 g/km. They come at 42.2 UK mpg (35.14 US mpg, 6.7 l/100 km, 14.9 km/litre) and 175 g/km with the 17-inch wheels fitted to the majority of models, or 41.5 UK mpg (34.6 US mpg, 6.8 l/100 km, 14.7 km/litre) and 178 g/km for KX-3 with 18-inch wheels. Automatic versions have Kias Active ECO feature which adjusts the operation of the engine and transmission to enhance fuel economy.


Kia Sorento midsize sports utility vehicle: interior, front.

Leather trim covers the steering wheel of all versions.

The new front end has a simple moulding with greater body-coloured areas, including the new bumpers. All models now have projection headlights and LED daytime running lamps.

The tailgate has been redesigned while the new body-coloured bumpers include a step, with  redesigned rear lights (LED on KX-3).


Kia says that the new platform has improved space for passengers in rows two and three. In the middle row there is an extra 30 mm (1.18 in.) of knee room and for occupants of the two rearmost seats an extra 9 mm (0.35 in.) of knee space.

UK Sorento comes in four trim grades: KX-1, KX-2, KX-2 Sat-Nav and KX-3. Leather trim covers the steering wheel of all versions. A wood grain finish on the KX-1 and KX-2 and metal inserts on the KX-3 have been added to the dash and door trims. All versions apart from the basic KX-1 have ambient lighting in the front centre console and door trims, and all models have door sill scuff plates, with aluminium on the two KX-2 models and aluminium with front illumination on KX-3.

The standard three-dial instrument cluster has been replaced in the KX-3 by a 7-inch TFT LCD multi-function high-definition display. All models receive dual-zone automatic climate control with rear-seat air ventilation.

Kia Sorento midsize sports utility vehicle: rear seats.

Improved space for passengers in rows two and three.

Rear luggage volume starts from 116 litres, 4.1 cu. ft. with the seven seats upright, up to 1,530 litres (54 cu. ft.) with all rear seats folded. It includes an under-floor storage tray and power outlet. KX-2 and KX-3 come with a standard luggage net.


Standard equipment includes (in the UK market) body-coloured bumpers, chrome exterior door handles, aero blade-type front wipers, projection headlamps with cornering lights, electrically folding, adjustable and heated door mirrors, chrome interior garnish, rear air ventilation, LED daytime running lamps, cruise control, extendable sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors and a ticket pocket, reversing sensors, high-performance dampers and the Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS).

Sorento KX-2 versions get rain-sensing to activate the front wipers, a leather-trimmed instrument panel and a 4.3-inch LCD colour touch-screen with reversing sensors.

The KX-2 Sat-Nav version adds a seven inch touch-screen navigation system with European mapping and Traffic Messaging Channel (TMC) while the KX-3 model also has a panoramic sunroof, Xenon adaptive front lighting with automatic levelling, a heated steering wheel, a multi-function full colour display, the Flex-Steer system, ventilated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable drivers seat and a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat and heated outer rear seats.

The satellite navigation system is combined with a 10-speaker premium audio system (495 watts) and includes a central speaker, external amplifier, sub-woofer and an 11-channel DSP amplifier.


Every Sorento is equipped in the UK specifications with anti-lock brakes (ABS) / Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), a flashing LED Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) featuring Downhill Brake Control (DBC maintains a steady speed of 5mph / 8 km/h on steep descents), as well as a Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) which connects to the ESC and steering system to help correct understeer or oversteer tendencies by braking individual wheels, reducing engine torque or both. A Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) helps by preventing wheel-spin or roll-back when setting off on steep or slippery slopes.

Six airbags (twin front, side and side curtains) are standard, as are active front headrests that prevent or minimise whiplash injuries from rear accidents, and front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters.


The basic suspension layout of MacPherson struts at the front and an independent multi-link arrangement at the rear is retained, with a new H-shaped front subframe and an additional reinforcement at the rear to improve ride comfort and straight-line stability with more precise tyre contact with the road. There are also new high-performance dampers at all four corners, larger suspension bushes and longer trailing arms at the rear.

A three-layer dash pad, a tunnel insulator and a redesigned wind deflector ahead of the panorama roof fitted to KX-3 help to reduce vibrations and road noise entering the cabin.


The hydraulic power steering system on the outgoing model gave way to what Kia calls a Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS). It saves fuel by drawing power from the engine only when the car is turning. The steering gear ratio was reduced to improve agility with a more direct steering.

Fitted to the range-topping KX-3 model, the Kia Flex-Steer system provides a selection of Normal, Sport and Comfort levels of steering assistance.

The standard 18-inch alloy wheels of the KX-3 are now 7.5 inches rather than 7 inches wide, for a wider footprint on the road and more stopping power, especially with the larger front brake discs now fitted to all models. Kia claims that the new Sorento requires up to 2.6 metres less than its predecessor to come to rest from 62 mph (100 km/h).


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