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Kia Sorento Hero

2020 Kia Sorento – UK engines and interior tech confirmed

Fourth-generation Kia Sorento will get hybrid and diesel power with a plug-in hybrid following later this year.

Full details have been made available of the engines, interior tech and chassis of the forthcoming 2020 KIA Sorento, with the Korean manufacturer confirming that the latest iteration of its range-topping SUV will go on sale in autumn of this year.

This fourth-generation Sorento will initially be available with petrol-hybrid and diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid powertrain joining the line-up in late autumn.

A turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine and an electric motor producing a combined 227hp make up the Sorento’s hybrid powertrain, sending power to one or both axles via a six-speed automatic gearbox. A new turbocharged 2.2-litre diesel engine – which KIA says is 19.5kg lighter than its predecessor – produces 199hp and features an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The Sorento can be ordered with four-wheel drive as an option and all models feature a new ‘Terrain Mode’ engineered to ensure the car can cope with light off-roading. Performance, fuel economy and emissions figures will be confirmed later nearer the car’s launch.

While full specs have yet to be confirmed for the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model that will join the line-up later in the year, it is likely to get a more powerful electric motor giving it an output of around 265hp. It will also get a larger battery pack, giving it an estimated pure-electric range of 35-40 miles.

The car’s design is significantly more chiselled than the previous model. The front gets a distinctive front grille, which is flanked by narrow LED headlights and LED daytime running lights and there are new LED rear lights too. Elsewhere, the bodywork has black cladding together with silver scuff guards on the lower front and rear bumpers.

Inside, the new Sorento features updated technology, including a new eight-inch infotainment screen powered by KIA’s UVO app interface and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, both of which are incorporated into one large trim piece. A larger 10.25-inch infotainment display is available on the options list. Wireless smartphone charging along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard on either-sized infotainment systems.

The revised dashboard features vertical chrome air vents and a new circular ‘rotary’ style gear shifter, and soft-touch leather covers the upper dash level and is complemented by the use of quilted leather trim in seat inserts. Leather-clad furniture will also feature, along with ambient mood lighting in the dashboard and door panels, and dual-zone climate control.

Depending on specification, the new Sorento offers various safety features, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with both pedestrian and cyclist detection. Other safety kit includes blind-spot detection/avoidance, surround view monitoring and intelligent speed limit monitoring. This system also scans for oncoming traffic when you turn out of a junction.

KIA’s smart active cruise control also features, along with lane following assist, which can accelerate, brake and steer to keep the car in lane via a series of bodywork mounted cameras and radar sensors.

The 2020 Sorento sits on an entirely new platform and gains around 10mm in length. The biggest difference is the car’s wheelbase, which has increased by 35mm. Legroom is improved in each row and the rearmost seats benefit from extra headroom. Seven-seat models offer a huge 821 litres of boot space, and it’s likely that any five-seat models will be even more generous. The plug-in hybrid will also be available as a seven-seater.

European spec cars will be available in a choice of 10 paint colours, with alloy wheel options ranging from 17 to 20-inches in size, but exact UK specifications will only be confirmed prior to launch later in the year.

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By Wayne Gorrett

Wayne has been covering developments in the UK's automotive sector for over 10 years, providing news, reviews, first-drive impressions and opinion pieces for a number of print and web outlets in the UK and South Africa. A former marketing director, Wayne is based in a rural village near Winchester, Hampshire. You can follow him on Twitter: @WaynesWorldAuto Facebook: WaynesWorldAuto Instagram: WaynesWorldAuto