New Kia Sorento and compact SUV here in 2009
15 October 2008

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.

Chas Hallett

Our Verdict

Kia Sorento 2010-2014

An almost class-leading family 4x4, if a little pricey given its workmanlike flavour

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15 October 2008

Kia's European factory is in Zilina, Slovakia NOT Czech Republic


16 October 2008

Correct Kia's factory is in Zilina, Slovakia. This Kia however is being made in Hyundai's plant in the Czech Republic where it will eventually be made alongside a small Hyundai MPV. Just to confuse (or maybe irritate) you more, the next Hyundai Tucson will be made in Zilina, alongside the next Kia Sportage.

16 October 2008

It really is badge engineering when you think about that. Not that they are the only guilty party.

Where has all Japanese design went to?

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