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New seven-seat SUV has been launched at Frankfurt

Kia has launched its new seven-seat Sorento SUV at the Frankfurt motor show.

The new Sorento is longer and lower than the current generation model, as well as being more aerodynamic. Its length has been increased to 4685mm, up from 4567mm on the previous model, while its drag coefficient is now 0.38, down from 0.43.

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It has been designed to “incorporate Kia’s new design language”, with Kia claiming the interior is more spacious and luxurious.

Kia thinks the 2.2-litre diesel unit will be the most popular engine in Europe and it produces 194bhp and 310lb ft of torque. It will be mated to either a six-speed manual or Kia’s new six-speed auto’ transmission.

Panu Vainamo, Kia’s European manager for marketing, said: “With the new Kia Sorento, we have created an all-new, ‘Highline Cruiser’ that we believe offers buyers the benefits of an exciting all-rounder with a much broader appeal.

“Kia engineers have ditched the original Sorento’s body-on-frame structure and designed an all-new monocoque bodyshell – achieving a weight loss of up to 215 kg, greatly improving fuel economy and contributing to a more controlled ride than expected from a 4x4.”

Kia says it has produced a road-biased set-up for the new model, without losing any or the original model’s off-road ability.

Other features expected to feature on the new Sorento include keyless entry, an engine start button, in-mirror reversing camera and a panoramic glass sunroof.

Kia has not hinted at any pricing for the new model, but has confirmed it will go on-sale in the UK on 1 February 2010.

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