Kia Motors America (KMA) today unveiled a significantly redesigned version of its popular Sorento CUV at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. 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. Expected to arrive in showrooms during the first quarter of 2013, 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.2”
Fundamental Changes Improve Performance, Ride and Handling
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. Also standard in the new 2014 Sorento, Electric Motor Driven Power Steering replaces the hydraulic unit from the 2013 model, which improves steering feel and reduces weight to aid efficiency. New available FlexSteer offers drivers a choice of three steering modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport.
Just three years into its product lifecycle, Kia’s engineers saw fit to bring the new 2014 Sorento to market on an all-new chassis that increases torsional rigidity by 18-percent. A major focal point in designing the new chassis was to improve ride and handling. Within the engine bay, a strut-tower brace increases chassis stiffness and provides a solid platform for the new independent front suspension that incorporates a stiffer H-shaped sub-frame cradle which offers improved vehicle tracking. Around back, a reinforced multi-link setup utilizes new bushings and mounts to better isolate road noise vibration, while its compact design allows for more interior space.
Sophisticated Design, Inside and Out
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. Available fog lights on all trim models have been upended and pushed to the far corners of the front bumper for better forward and side visibility. Horizontally positioned rear LED combination lamps embrace the turn signal and back-up lights, emitting a warm corona that makes the 2014 Sorento instantly recognizable from behind. The new Sorento rides on redesigned 17-, 18- and, a first for Kia’s best-selling CUV, larger 19-inch wheels.
To step inside the new 2014 Sorento is to experience a new level of sophisticated elegance. A redesigned instrument panel deftly combines technology with proven ergonomics. On EX trims and above, the large center gauge cluster features a 7-inch TFT LCD that projects a digital speedometer flanked by easy-to-read analog instruments for the tachometer, fuel level and engine temp. The TFT LCD readout also displays trip and vehicle information, along with navigation updates (optional). The center stack’s appearance and layout has been modernized and button positions have been rearranged for a more user-friendly experience. The new design also provides room for Kia’s new larger touch screen. Diagonally spanning eight inches, the optional screen integrates navigation, SiriusXM Traffic™3 with real-time road information updates, a premium Infinity®4 audio system, SiruisXM™ Satellite Radio5, Bluetooth® hands-free connectivity6, vehicle settings and UVO eServices, Kia’s next generation of infotainment and telematics. Other new available features in the 2014 Sorento include Kia’s first-ever programmable power liftgate, a redesigned panoramic sunroof with a one piece power-operated shade, integrated 2nd row sliding sunshades, available dual ventilated air-cooled front seats, a 115-volt power inverter, and illuminated door handle pockets.
Using advanced sonar sensors, the 2014 Sorento is also the first of many Kia vehicles to begin offering a blind spot detection system. The system continually monitors traffic around the Sorento and if another vehicle is detected within a set distance, audio and visual elements alert the driver to the issue.
Advancing Value to New Levels of Sophistication: Sorento SX Limited
Shortly after the arrival of the new 2014 Sorento, the Sorento SX Limited is destined for market within the second quarter of 2013. 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.
Kia’s Unprecedented Growth
Kia Motors is one of the world’s fastest moving global automotive brands; from 2009-2011 Kia launched more new vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, and under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer earned a reputation as an industry leader in automotive styling. Kia Motors America’s full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs has earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In 2011, KMA recorded its 17th consecutive year of market share growth, thanks in part to the largest increase of any major brand in perceived quality7 and the industry’s highest brand loyalty ranking8. Kia’s U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia – KMMG – is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and builds two of the company’s best-selling vehicles in the U.S. – the Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan*. Kia’s value and technology-laden lineup also includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official Automotive Partner” of the NBA and LPGA. In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S.9 Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.
1 The Sorento is built in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.
2 The blind spot warning system is not a substitute for proper and safe lane changing procedures. Always drive safely and use caution when changing lanes. The blind spot warning may not detect every object alongside the vehicle.
3 Sirius services require subscriptions, sold separately after 3-month trial included with vehicle purchase/lease. Subscriptions governed by SiriusXM Customer Agreement at siriusxm.com© 2011 SiriusXM Radio Inc. Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of SiriusXM Radio Inc.
4 Infinity is a registered trademark of Harman International Industries, Incorporated.
5 Sirius services require subscriptions, sold separately after 3-month trial included with vehicle purchase/lease. Subscriptions governed by SiriusXM Customer Agreement at siriusxm.com© 2011 SiriusXM Radio Inc. Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of SiriusXM Radio Inc.
6 The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Kia is under license. Other trademarks and tradenames are those of their respective owners. A compatible Bluetooth® wireless technology enabled cell phone is required to use Bluetooth® wireless technology.
7 Source: Automotive Lease Guide Spring 2011 Perceived Quality Study.
8 Source: Experian Automotive Q2 2011 market analysis.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX Trims and certain LX Trims only) and GDI Turbo are built in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.
9 Based on 5-year cumulative growth between 12-month retail sales for periods ending October 2007 and October 2012 of all U.S. automotive brands.
*Automotive World is not responsible for the content of this news release.