2016 Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento was launched in 2002 and went on sale in the United States the following year. The first-generation Sorento was a traditional body-on-frame SUV with off-road capabilities and a four-wheel drive system. The first-gen Sorento was replaced in 2009, when Kia introduced a completely redesigned vehicle. Now built on a car-based platform and relegated to crossover status, the second-gen Sorento began rolling off the West Point, Georgia production line for the 2010 model year. Slightly longer than its predecessor, the updated Sorento gained new 2.4-liter and 3.5-liter V-6 engines on U.S. soil.

The crossover received yet another makeover for the 2013 model year. Although Kia introduced it as a third-generation model with an all-new chassis and redesigned front and rear fascias, the update is commonly considered a facelift rather than a brand-new generation. Going into 2015, Kia introducing a revamped Sorento with hefty updates inside and out, including a longer wheelbase.

Updated 08/11/2014: Kia unveiled the first images of the new generation Sorento, with weeks before after its official debut in Paris. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Kia Sorento.

Update History

Updated 07/29/2014: Kia unveiled the first teaser images of the third-generation Sorento set to be unveiled in Korea next month, and then at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. Details after the jump.

Updated 08/05/2014: Kia unveiled a new teaser image and the first details on the future Sorento’s interior. Details after the jump.

Teaser images

Kia Sorento

As Kia announced, the all-new Sorento will adopt a lower roofline, higher beltline, more muscular stance, rounded shoulders at the rear and deeply sculpted body surfaces. The last addition will be a larger, more upright "tiger-nose" grille.

Kia Sorento
Kia Sorento

According to the first details offered by Kia, the cabin featured in the next Sorento will feature a modern, wrap-around dashboard, high quality soft-touch materials and a range of advanced on-board technologies.

Spy Shots

July 4, 2014 - Kia Sorento testing in the European Alps

Kia Sorento
Kia Sorento
Kia Sorento

Although it lost some its camouflage, the crossover is still hiding its most important novelties, including the redesigned front and rear fascias.

Expected to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October, the 2016 Sorento continues testing in the European Alps for final adjustments. Although it lost some its camouflage, the crossover is still hiding its most important novelties, including the redesigned front and rear fascias. However, the front grille is obviously larger on the new model, while the redesigned headlamps extend further into the front fenders.

The most notable changes will occur inside, where the longer wheelbase will allow for a roomier cabin with increased legroom in the rear compartment. An updated infotainment system and redesigned climate controls were also spotted by our spy photographers, but expect more upgrades throughout the interior. We figure Kia is also enhancing the Sorento’s engine lineup, consisting of a 2.4-liter GDI and 3.3-liter V-6 in the United States, and word has it a plug-in hybrid is in the works as well. Expect the latter to pair a 2.3-liter gasoline unit and an electric motor powered by a lithium-polymer battery.

Exterior

Kia Sorento
Kia Sorento
Kia Sorento

By the looks of these initial images, the Kia Sorento is finally growing up. Its exterior was light years behind its posh interior in higher trim levels, like the SXL we tested in 2015. It was never ugly by any means, just not nearly as refined as the cabin was.

With this all-new body, we see a longer, wider and lower Sorento and also rides on a lengthened wheelbase. The body lines are also softened just enough to reduce the chances of it looking badly dated in just a few years. This also gives the midsized SUV a much more mature and refined look.

On top of the refined look, this enlarged body will likely help the Sorento haul even more cargo than it did in 2015.

2015 Sorento vs. 2016 Sorento

Kia Sorento

Kia calls this redesign more of an evolution of the current body style, but this is nearly as close as you can get to a full revolution. That said, I can see how the design is a tad evolutionary and I can see some of the 2015 model in there. It retains the basic hood design of the 2014 model though it’s massaged for 2016; it has a similar grille, but it has less abrasive angles and borrows the chrome 3D insert from the K900; and the headlights still meet the grille, but they are more rounded than the 2015 model. The fog lights also move from vertical units the a trapezoid-style for a more mature look. Rounding out the front mods is a new lower bumper that looks like it belongs to a far more expensive car.

From the side, you can really make out that the Sorento has grown quite a bit. The greenhouse remains similar to the shape and size 2015 model, but the D-pillar is much thicker. The rear overhang is slightly larger, letting you know that there is a tad more cargo room in the new Sorento. Gone are the almost-angled wheel-wells an in comes a more arched set to add a level of class, and the scallops in the doors flow more smoothly instead of being as angular as they were a year ago.

Around back, there are new taillights that are far less angular and flow better than the sharp-angled ones on the 2015 model. Also gone are those silly, vertical reflectors just below the taillights, as they are replaced by more traditional horizontal units. The lower, rear bumper is also sleeker and it lacks the boy-racer exhaust tip from last year’s model. Rounding things out is a shark-fin antenna up top that replaces the small, black antenna on last year’s model.

Length4,780 MM (188.18 Inches)
Height1,685 MM (66.33 Inches)
Wheelbase2,780 MM (109.44 Inches)

Competitors

Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV4

Revealed at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, the fourth-generation Toyota RAV4 is still fresh for the 2014 model year. The redesigned crossover borrows most of its styling cues from the rest of the Toyota Toyota lineup and blends them together with its unique, sculpted bumpers and fenders and the brand-new roof-hinged liftgate. The interior has been significantly improved, with more soft-touch materials and convenience features made available to customers. An updated dash panel, upgraded technologies and optional leather round off the redesigned cabin.

Under the hood of the RAV4 lies a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. The unit mates to a new six-speed transmission with Sequential Shift and Dynamic Torque Control with three drive modes. All-wheel-drive is available as an option. Pricing for the crossover begins from $23,550.

Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V

The fourth-generation CR-V went on sale for the 2012 model year and a facelifted version of the crossover is expected to become available by the time the new Kia Sorento arrives. The current model features a new grille design with horizontal bars, plastic body cladding all around, and an overall clean and conservative look. The interior is far from being a benchmark in terms of luxury, but its user friendly design and comfortable driving position remain strong selling points.

Engine-wise, the CR-V is also powered by a single, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder unit. The four-banger is good for 185 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque and uses a five-speed automatic to route oomph to the wheels. I all-wheel-drive guise, the vehicles needs 8.8 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph and reaches a top speed rated at 112 mph. The 2014 Honda CR-V retails from $23,120.

Kia Sorento

Kia Sorento

Press Release

The all-new third-generation Kia Sorento will be unveiled in Korea next month, featuring bold, swept-back exterior styling.

The new model boasts a lower roofline, higher beltline, more muscular stance, rounded shoulders at the rear and deeply sculpted body surfaces. Together with a larger, more upright ‘tiger-nose’ grille, these design changes raise the aesthetic sophistication of Kia’s best-selling SUV.

Styled at Kia’s design studios in Korea, Germany and the USA, the all-new Kia Sorento will be showcased in Korea at the end of August, and is due to make its European premiere on 2nd October at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

Press Release

Kia’s flagship SUV the Sorento will feature dramatic quality improvements at its launch next year.

The third generation Kia Sorento’s cabin will raise the bar in luxury thanks to a modern, wrap-around dashboard, high quality soft-touch materials and a range of advanced on-board technologies. Together, these developments will enhance the ownership experience of the brand’s popular SUV.

Interior styling was led by the brand’s design team in Frankfurt, Germany, which cited the finest modern Swiss watches as a key influence during the design phase. The smoothly-contoured cabin features a higher proportion of soft-touch materials, leather and stitching, as well as Kia’s latest HMI (human-machine interface). A large infotainment screen dominates the centre of the dashboard, which employs long, flowing shapes to cosset the driver and front passenger and to emphasise the width and space of the larger cabin.

The all-new Sorento will be showcased in Korea in late August, and is due to make its European Premiere on Thursday 2 October at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

Press Release - August 11, 2014

First photos of the all-new Kia Sorento released today confirm that the third generation of the popular SUV will feature a striking, more mature appearance, with bold, swept-back styling and sophisticated surface detailing.

Longer, lower and wider, with an extended wheelbase, the all-new Sorento builds on the success of the current model, delivering a premium look and feel, with more space and numerous innovative features.

The new look is an evolution of the current vehicle, incorporating fresh visual elements inspired by the Kia Cross GT concept that debuted at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, carrying over the long bonnet and the distinctive treatment of the wide D-pillars from the previous generation.

The exterior styling of the all-new Sorento was led by Kia’s Namyang design studio in Korea, with significant levels of input from the brand’s Frankfurt, and California design studios.

The front of the all-new Sorento features a larger, more upright ‘tiger-nose’ grille, with a distinctive three-dimensional diamond pattern, and long, swept-back headlamps. The lower roofline, higher beltline and more muscular, rounded shoulders at the rear give the car a dramatic appearance.

The sleeker look is enhanced by an increase in length (+95 mm to 4,780 mm) and a 15 mm reduction in height (down to 1,685 mm), while the 80 mm longer wheelbase (now 2,780 mm) ensures more passenger space in all three seat rows.

Soon-Nam Lee, Vice President of Overseas Marketing, Kia Motors Corp., said, "While we have retained the name based on the tremendous success of the current model, the all-new Sorento has been completely redesigned and re-engineered, and promises to surprise customers with its thoroughly updated styling, a host of new convenience and safety technologies, as well as enhanced space, driving comfort and handling response."

The all-new Kia Sorento will be showcased in Korea in late August and make its European premiere on Thursday 2 October at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. The all-new Sorento is expected to reach the UK market in Spring 2015.


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