The next generation Kia Sorento R has arrived in New Zealand, delivering a new level of sophistication and driving pleasure and starting at a lower price than the outgoing model.
Detailed body changes deliver sharper and more aerodynamic styling to the 2013 Sorento R and it will now be more recognisable on the road thanks to the adoption of LED Daytime Running Lights, bringing it into line with other Kia models featuring this distinctive design and safety item.
The LED lights are part of a new headlamp cluster that angles in towards the more aggressive tiger nose grille and new front bumper, which contains vertical-axis fog lights. There's also a new tailgate with LED rear combination lamps, new rear bumper and an expanded range of wheels that include larger diameter (19-inch) alloys.
However, there is much more to the latest Sorento R than high-tech lighting and refreshed styling. Built on an entirely new platform, major upgrades include a stronger, yet lighter re-engineered bodyshell, enhanced powertrain for improved fuel economy with lower emissions and revised suspension for a smoother ride, sharper handling and greater refinement.
"The changes have turned what was an extremely good vehicle into an extraordinary one," says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand.
"The best way to appreciate the new Sorento R is to get behind the wheel and take it for a long drive on twisting back-country roads - the ride, handling and road-holding have been transformed. It's engaging and entertaining in a very sophisticated way."
The 2013 Sorento R range includes 2.4 Petrol and 2.2 Diesel in both urban and AWD in various specification levels all with three rows of seating for seven occupants and pricing starting from $46,490 + ORC, a reduction of $500, in spite of higher equipment levels and an all-new chassis.
Kia is also introducing a new top-of-the range model to head the line-up - the Sorento R Premium, which comes with a full luxury package, including a 2-part panoramic sunroof and powered blind that runs almost the length of the roof, ventilated front seats and new adaptive headlights that automatically point in the same direction as the vehicle resulting in improved driver visibility at night.
For the first time in a Kia, there is also the new Smart Park Assist function that automatically parallel parks the vehicle, hands free (on Limited and Premium only).
The most important feature of the latest Sorento R is the all-new platform, which has increased holding. The ride height has also been lowered 10mm to further improve on-road handling.
Although the handling bias has shifted towards on-road motoring, the latest model is still a capable off-road performer when fitted with Kia's full-time all-wheel-drive system that distributes drive to wheels with more traction when it senses slippage. The front and rear axles can also be locked 50:50 to enhance traction up to 30km/h. Approach angle is 19.7-degrees, departure angle 22.4-degrees and ramp-over angle is 17.1-degrees.
The new platform delivers another bonus; more legroom for the second and third row passengers - up 30mm and 9mm respectively, due to a reshaped floor. Both second and third row seats can be folded to provide a huge 2,052 litres of cargo carrying capacity.
Passengers will also notice a much quieter cabin, with the platform and suspension changes lowering the transmission of road noise through the wheels and steering, and more insulation deadening noise from the engine bay. The improved aerodynamic shape also reduces wind noise, too.
Kia says the upgrades have made the new Sorento R even safer and expect it to score enhanced 5-Star Euro NCAP and ANCAP ratings when tested and an improved pedestrian injury score, thanks to another innovation called Active Hood System, which raises the bonnet in an impact to reduce head trauma.
The latest Electronic Stability Control is fitted to all Sorento R models and features Hill Start Assist to prevent roll-back when starting on an incline. Braking distances have reduced as a result of an increase in front brake disc size from 298mm to 320mm.
The already acclaimed R-series 2.2-litre diesel engine, which powers all but one model in New Zealand, has been enhanced, too. Already one of the most powerful (145kW) and tourquey (436Nm) diesel engines for its size, the R2.2 is also one of the cleanest for its size with CO2 emissions as low as 187g/km. There is also a 2.4-litre petrol engine option in the Urban 2WD and AWD models.
Kia's smooth, ultra-compact 6-speed automatic transmission, with sequential manual shift, is now standard across the range. Fuel economy has been improved through ‘Neutral Control', which automatically shifts the transmission from ‘D' to ‘N' when the car is stopped for more than a few seconds - reducing engine load. The gear selector lever has also changed to a straight gate layout.
Thanks to the powertrain upgrades and weight reduction of up to 141kg on some models (an 8% reduction), fuel economy in the combined cycle is down an average of 4%, to 7.1-to-7.3L/100km (ADR), depending on model.
Inside, there's a new optional LCD instrument cluster, new dashboard and controls, with tactical surfaces and trim that imparts a more luxurious feel.
As expected, all Sorento R models come packed with features and equipment, including cruise control and steering wheel controls for the 6-speaker touch screen audio, dual zone air conditioning, trip computer, rain sensors, remote locking and reversing sensors with rear camera that now displays in the dashboard. Leather (with front seats heated) is standard from EX models-up.
* The views and information in this press release are solely from the company listed in the release. If you have any questions please contact the company directly.
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