Kia Sorento gets thorough redesign

Kia Motors America (KMA) recently unveiled a significantly redesigned version of its popular Sorento CUV.

Just three years after U.S. production of the CUV began in West Point, Georgia, the 2014 Sorento comes to market as no mere refresh or facelift, boasting instead an all-new chassis, a new Gasoline Direct Injected (GDI) V6 engine, a substantially redesigned interior and a next-generation infotainment system. The redesigned Sorento also adds a top-of-the-line trim level to its lineup - the SX Limited - which delivers an impressive roster of premium features and amenities.

"With each new vehicle launch Kia is advancing the concept of value to new levels of sophistication and with significant chassis, suspension, powertrain and comfort and convenience upgrades the new Sorento continues that trend," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing and communications, KMA. "With more than 80 percent of the 2014 Sorento including new or significantly redesigned parts, it's obvious that the improvements are not just skin deep; including technological enhancements such as UVO eServices, the next generation of our voice activated telematics system, and Kia's first-ever blind spot detection system."

POWER

If the engine is to be considered the heart of any vehicle, it's safe to assume the new 2014 Sorento has a powerful ticker beneath its sculpted hood. New this year, the all-aluminum 3.3-liter GDI V6 produces a smooth 290 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and a stout 252 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm. It's available optionally on the LX and EX, while residing as standard equipment in the LX V6, EX V6, SX and SX Limited. Power is routed to either the front wheels or, optionally, to all four using an enhanced Torque On Demand all-wheel drive system that seamlessly directs power to the tire with the most traction and now includes the benefit of Torque Vectoring Cornering Control (TVCC) that aids stability under certain driving conditions.

The 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder engine returns, now as standard equipment in the LX and EX, and replaces the previously-standard 2.4-liter MPI 4-cylinder. With 191 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 181 lb.-ft. of torque on-hand at a low 4,250 rpm, the lightweight all-aluminum powerplant is efficient while still providing enough grunt to perform yeoman's duty day in and day out.

Regardless of engine or driveline choice, the Sorento comes standard with a smooth shifting six-speed automatic transmission.

DESIGN

In a segment more often known for bland utility, the new 2014 Sorento sports dynamic and sophisticated design elements, inside and out. Redesigned front and rear fascias enhance the Sorento's road presence with a lower, broader appearance up front and a visually wider stance at the rear.

The ubiquitous Kia tiger-nose grille is enhanced with an anodized silver metal or black mesh appearance and the lower valance has been opened to expose an aggressive cross-hatched maw. Front LED positioning lamps create dramatic eyebrows while projector style headlights peer from behind tapered clear lenses.

VALUE

With the success of the Optima SX Limited launched earlier this year, offering a similar appearance package on the Sorento was a logical follow-up.

Offered only in Ebony Black, Snow White Pearl and Titanium Silver, the SX Limited is set apart visually from the Sorento SX by unique self-leveling Xenon HID head lights, exclusive 19-inch chrome wheels and sporty red painted brake calipers. Exclusive SXL badges adorn the exterior to complete the look.

Inside, unique and luxurious Nappa leather trimmed seats, a wood-trimmed, heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats are all standard. The exclusive soft-touch head liner and pillar accents make the Sorento SX Limited an inviting respite from the stress and strain of urban existence.

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