Interior styling was led by the brand’s European design team, based in Frankfurt, and Kia’s designers have used higher quality materials, with a higher proportion of soft-touch materials and leather.
The instrument cluster is wider and the wrap-around shape of the dashboard extends into the door trims.
Depending on market, customers will be able to specify the interior in either single-tone black or two-tone black and 'stone' colour schemes with cloth or leather trim. Additionally, brown or light grey colour schemes in leather trim will be offered as an option.
The Sorento features new technology. Depending on market, new features will include: an around-view monitor, with four cameras helping the driver to manoeuvre when parking, and a powered tailgate that opens the tailgate automatically when the key is ‘sensed’ in close proximity.
Buyers of the new Sorento will also be able to choose from a wealth of ‘active’ safety technologies, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning system, front-collision warning, blind-spot detection and lane-change assist.
There will be five engines available with the new Sorento worldwide, but Europe will only receive a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel and a 2.4-litre petrol and only the diesel will be offered in the UK. The 194bhp 2.2-litre CRDi powerplant is likely to receive minor revisions to improve fuel economy and emissions. The current Sorento offers 47.9mpg on a combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 155g/km in manual form.
A hybrid version – making use of a 2.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine combined with an electric motor – will arrive after the car's launch, but Kia is still deciding on whether to bring it to Europe. A fuel cell version, using technology from the ix35 FCEV, can't be ruled out.
The Sorento is based on a modified version of the current Hyundai Santa Fe platform. Kia's development engineers focused on strengthening the bodyshell structure and improving noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics. Cabin noise is said to be reduced by between three and six per cent, depending on driving conditions, compared to the outgoing model.
NVH-reducing measures adopted for the new Sorento include a new soundproofing material for the transmission tunnel, a 29% thicker dashboard soundproofing panel, larger engine and transmission mounts for greater powertrain refinement. Diesel models get a new diesel particulate filter cover and an acoustic shield integrated into the engine’s timing chain cover.
The torsional rigidity of the new body shell is increased by 14% compared to the outgoing model. The structure of the new Sorento makes more widespread use of ultra-high tensile steel and is said to be significantly stronger, with the material now used to reinforce the wheel arches, tailgate surround and rear-wheel surround.
The new Sorento also features more than twice as much ultra-strong hot-stamped steel as the outgoing model, up from 4.1% to 10.1%, greatly strengthening the A- and B-pillars.
The new Sorento's fully independent suspension retains the format of the outgoing model, which means it has MacPherson struts at the front and Kia’s multi-link system at the rear, but features a range of modifications.
At the rear, the subframe supporting the suspension has larger bushings to better isolate it from the cabin and the larger shock absorbers are now mounted vertically behind the axle line to improve body control motion. These changes, together with the longer wheelbase, are intended to deliver a more compliant ride.