Kia will add a new version of the Sorento SUV to its line-up next year, alongside an all-new Euro-built baby MPV, currently known by its internal codename, ‘YN’.
The Sorento will arrive in mid-2009 after a public debut at the Geneva motor show in March. The new car will be ditch the current model’s separate body-on-frame chassis in favour of a monocoque design.
The new SUV will also be available with the option of seven seats. It will be also be manufactured in the US, although European versions are likely to still be produced in Korea. Company insiders say that it has a vastly different look, influenced strongly by the KND-4 concept created under the stewardship of design boss Peter Schreyer.
Powertrain options will include a 2.4-litre petrol engine and two diesels. The more powerful diesel unit is a new 2.2-litre 185bhp motor, which will be offered in conjunction with a six-speed autobox for the first time.
The new car is 80mm longer than the old one, although marginally lower. Insiders say that they have worked hard on improving interior space and, especially, cabin quality. It’s also claimed to be vastly improved dynamically and much more refined, although it loses the off-road and towing credentials of the current version.
Kia’s new compact MPV arrives at the end of next year. It’s set to be built in the Czech Republic and shares the same platform as the new Kia Soul and Hyundai i20.
The ‘YN’ is set to continue Kia’s attention to making good-looking cars and we’re told it will be a trendier alternative to the likes of the Vauxhall Meriva, with a more extravagant interior – albeit with similar levels of versatility.