New-generation SUV is the first European Kia to feature tech displaying the rearward blindspot in the car's digital instruments

Kia's upcoming new Sorento will be the first European Kia to feature a new type of camera-based display to help solve the issue of blindspots. 

The system, called Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM), will be offered from launch and uses wide-angle cameras mounted on the door mirrors. They relay a video feed to the SUV's 12.3in digital instrument cluster, briefly replacing the speedo or tacho when the driver indicates to change lane with another vehicle in the blindspot. 

Kia claims the system offers a much wider viewing angle than the standard mirrors, improving safety. It'll be offered alongside Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, which can take intervening action to pull the car back into lane if it thinks a crash will occur. 

The package (likely optional on all but the highest trim grade) includes a Surround-View Monitor, parking collision avoidance and a Bose sound system. Prices for the new model have yet to be revealed, but it's due to arrive in the second half of the year. 

The fourth-generation Sorento is a rival to the Skoda Kodiaq and adopts a design distinctly different from that of its predecessor or any other Kia sold in Europe. This angular styling, which apes the larger Telluride, is likely to be a reflection of its greater sales status in the US than Europe.

The brand's trademark 'tiger nose' grille has been subtly reshaped, and is flanked by a pair of LED headlights, while a wide lower air intake and air-channeling devices help to enhance the model's aerodynamic efficiency. At the rear, the outgoing car's elliptical brake light clusters have made way for vertically oriented units inspired by those on the larger US-market Telluride, and a new rear bumper has been designed to appear as if it houses twin exhausts. 

A skid plate also features as an indication of the new Sorento's off-road capability. Kia claims the SUV has been "engineered to maximise driving stability in all environments", with a new Terrain Mode helping the wheels to achieve peak traction on snow, sand and muddy ground. 

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Kia Sorento 2018 road test review hero front

Can the new Sorento live up to the high aspirations that Kia has for it, or is the Skoda Kodiaq still the seven-seat SUV of choice?

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The Sorento sits atop an all-new monocoque chassis, and its proportions have been altered with the aim of making it look longer, by way of shorter front and rear overhangs and a 35mm-longer wheelbase.

All other dimensions are only around 10mm greater, although space inside – especially for middle-row passengers – is said to be significantly enhanced, thanks to improved packaging. All UK models will be seven-seaters.

Kia says added benefits of the overhaul include enhanced rolling refinement and satisfying handling. 

Highlights include a Mercedes-style panel that links a larger infotainment touchscreen to a new digital instrument display, while a separate climate control panel is flanked by central air vents. The brand calls the new Sorento the 'most high-tech' model it has ever produced. 

Technical firsts for Kia include improved cruise control that automatically readjusts limits according to corner gradients, a self-parking function accessed via the key fob, automatic braking if the car is about to hit something while parking and a blindspot monitoring system that uses cameras mounted on the door mirrors to project images of what’s alongside the car onto the dashboard.

Infotainment functions, including live traffic data, weather forecasts and nearby parking spaces, are displayed on a centrally mounted 8.0in touchscreen as standard. An optional head-up display shows speed restrictions, route guidance and driver assistance alerts. 

Further optional extras in Europe include a 12-speaker Bose surround sound system, a mood lighting package and a larger 10.25in touchscreen. 

Alongside safety features such as park assist, blindspot assist, driver alertness detector and speed limit recognition, the Sorento is the first model to feature Kia's new 'multi-collision brake system', which can determine the risk of a secondary collision after a crash, applying the brakes to prevent additional impacts. 

The Sorento will be launched with a 199bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine and a hybrid powertrain comprising a 1.6-litre petrol engine, a 59bhp electric motor and a 1.5kWh battery for combined outputs of 227bhp and 258lb ft. The diesel sends its power to the wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, while the hybrid uses a six-speed automatic unit. 

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A plug-in hybrid will follow shortly after with 261bhp overall, an 89bhp motor and a 16.6kWh battery.

Buyers will have the choice of front- or four-wheel drive except with the plug-in hybrid, which will exclusively be a 4x4.

The Sorento will arrive in European dealerships this autumn. UK pricing and specification details will be revealed nearer the time. 

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Comments
13

17 February 2020

They should change the name to  Kia EyeSorento.

 

 

17 February 2020

The designers didn't know when to stop, perhaps Kia have hired someone from Honda. The back end in particular has too much going on. The interior looks better except for the centre air vents which remind me of a MK2 Prius.

17 February 2020

Its not one of Kia's best efforts for sure, but its not really aimed at me, a small car buyer in the UK. That cowl over the dials section of the dash looks odd, its like they changed their minds at the last minute and just plastered that big rectangle across in front of what they were going to do.

17 February 2020

I've just noticed, they've even managed to squeeze the DS3 'shark fin' in there.

18 February 2020
I cant abide people who love to criticise the hard work of others. Look at the car car what it is. It is leaps and bounds ahead of the previous outgoing model. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think it looks fantastic. A seven seater with the design for the modern age and young family in mind. Well done Kia, you have my attention!

20 February 2020
PhilM wrote:

I cant abide people who love to criticise the hard work of others. Look at the car car what it is. It is leaps and bounds ahead of the previous outgoing model. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think it looks fantastic. A seven seater with the design for the modern age and young family in mind. Well done Kia, you have my attention!

Yep. Looks fine to me. Nothing great, but a good looking family station wagon with a nice comfortable interior.

19 February 2020

Kia just keep getting better and better. 

I have to say that is one of the best Kia interiors I have ever seen. It looks very classy.  I think it would not look out of place in a Mercedes.

The only thing I dont like about it is the shark fin at the side. I think the designers went a bit overboard there. 

19 February 2020

IMHO, a huge leap back, compared to the outgoing model and especially the lovely Sportage and Niro. On the other hand, it will certainly be reliable (my previous gen Sportage is built like a tank) and a lot of car for your money. I also think it's the first 7-seater PHEV (the ubiquitous Outlander and the various PSA cars are all 5-seaters), so great as a single car for families in cities. Well done Kia!!

19 February 2020

Good to see that cars look far nicer when they're angular, great to see some muscular US design coming through.

Pity the interior is neither angular nor round (its still dingin nice)

18 March 2020

....if you're prepared to lose tens of thousands in short term depreciation.

No doubt the price of this will be close to what you could've got a Range Rover for not too long ago.

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