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New Kia Sorento arrives in NZ


The new Generation Kia Sorento goes on sale in New Zealand this weekend, featuring an all-new design with seven seats, a new high-tech diesel engine and 6-speed automatic transmission

A 7-seat option, a frugal high performance diesel engine, 6-speed transmissions and improved road manners are highlights of the all-new Kia Sorento R, which has just gone on sale in New Zealand, according to Kia.

The new Sorento R ( named after the new R-series diesel engine) has grown in size, but shed more than 200kg in weight after abandoning the ladder chassis from the previous model replaced by a lighter, yet stronger and safer monococque bodyshell, becoming a modern Crossover, or CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle).

It has also adopted a new type of single range four-wheel-drive system that combines with Hill Descent and Hill Start Ascent technology.

“While retaining much of its off-road capability the new Sorento R is much improved for on-road driving in all weathers and surface conditions, which is what 99% of buyers require,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand.

“People who want a remarkably spacious, smooth and powerful vehicle to transport them to the ski fields with improved capability on slippery mountain tracks or to visit favourite beach spots, and be able to tow a boat or caravan without fear of getting stuck, now have it all in one package – the new Sorento R."

It achieves a towing capability of up to 2.5-tonnes braked.

The original Kia Sorento was first introduced in 2003 and went on to become a successful model for Kia, selling more than 900,000 worldwide and establishing itself as a popular recreational vehicle in New Zealand.

In redesigning the Sorento R as a Crossover, Kia Motors has increased the cabin space and include a third row of seats. Three of the four models being offered in New Zealand will have the 7-seat configuration.

Kia says the Sorento R is sleeker than the previous model with an aerodynamic drag figure of Cd 0.38 – down from 0.425 – enhancing fuel economy. The new, longer bodyshell has repositioned A-pillars and dashboard (moved forwards) and extended tailgate (moved rearwards) to deliver a cabin that is more spacious than the current model. Drivers now have tilt and telescopic adjustable steering.

Leather upholstery and a unique twin panoramic sunroof are standard in the top-of-the-range Limited model, along with dual zone climate control (other models have velour fabric and manual air conditioning).

Safety receives a boost, too, with the Sorento R gaining the top Euro NCAP 5-star rating. Among the safety features are rear parking sensors standard across the range and a reversing camera in the Limited model that displays in the rear view mirror when reverse is selected. Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), incorporating ABS anti-lock brakes and traction control, is also standard in every Sorento R, together with dual front, side and curtain airbags.

Kia’s all-new R-series diesel engine appears on this model, developed with third generation common rail diesel technology to meet the new Euro 5 emission regulations, matched to Kia’s 6-speed sequential shifting automatic transmission (and a 6-speed manual option).

The new R2.2-litre diesel reportedly has 16% more power (145kW @ 3800rpm)and 13.5% more torque (445Nm @ 1800-2500rpm – auto model only) than the previous 2.5-litre engine and it’s both cleaner and much more fuel efficient. The 7.4L/100km combined cycle fuel consumption for the automatic 4x4 Sorento R is 16.5% lower than the previous Sorento and the manual Sorento R does even better at 6.6L/100km. Emissions for CO2 are down 18% to 194g/km and lower for the manual model (174g/km).

The new four-wheel-drive system is permanently on demand and in most driving conditions will power the front wheels only (to save fuel and component wear) until it senses slippery conditions, then directs drive to the wheels with the most traction. It can be locked into 50:50 four-wheel-drive in very slippery situations. In another first, Sorento R will also be available in front-wheel-drive only, for those who want the practicality of a generously proportioned 7-seater but don’t require 4WD.

The Sorento R has a new suspension system - MacPherson struts in the front and a new fully independent multi-link system replacing the old live axle at the rear. Brakes are discs all-round (ventilated at the front) and wheels are 17- or 18-inch alloy with a full spare.

See new and used Kia Sorento for sale here.

Auto Trader New Zealand