The Kia Sorento has been around since 2003 when it was introduced as a body-on-frame model that was common among full-size trucks and SUV’s at the time. By the time 2014 came around, Kia was introducing the redesigned, third-generation model that came with a slew of updates to keep it among one of the strongest competitors in its class. Compared to the previous model, the front fascia has been updated with larger corner intakes and rectangular fog lights, and the frame around the grill has been redesigned to be much thinner than before. The side profile has more character from new body lines, and the rear now has a much cleaner look. Since the new Sorento shares a platform with the Kia Carnival, it is now nearly 3.75-inches longer – a feature that translates into more interior room. To go with the extra interior space, comfort and luxury have been increased by the introduction of softer surfaces and plenty of updated options.

With competition like the Toyota Rav4 and the Honda CR-V, Kia pulled out all the stops to make sure its Sorento would stick in the minds of consumers. As such, the car benefits from a large infotainment screen, a comfortable back seat, and third-row seating, to name a few important features. For a rather thorough update, the price for 2016 only increased by $1,000, while the 2017 model will come at a $300 premium. It’s not bad, and more than appropriate for the quality the new Sorento brings to the table. So, if you want to learn more about the new Sorento, check out our in-depth review below that includes pictures from the Sorento’s debut.

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

  • 2016 Kia Sorento
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    six-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    185 @ 6000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    178 @ 4000
  • Displacement:
    2.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    9 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    24100 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

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

2016 Kia Sorento Exterior
- image 562351

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.

2016 Kia Sorento Exterior
- image 562350
2016 Kia Sorento Drawings
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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

2016 Kia Sorento Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Kia Sorento Interior Spyshots
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2016 Kia Sorento Exterior Spyshots
- image 558755
Although it lost some its camouflage, the crossover is still hiding its most important novelties, including the redesigned front and rear fascias.

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

2016 Kia Sorento Exterior
- image 579284
2016 Kia Sorento Exterior
- image 579287
2016 Kia Sorento Exterior
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By the looks it, 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 that 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

2016 Kia Sorento Exterior
- image 564072
From the side, you can really make out that the Sorento has grown quite a bit

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 2015 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 and in comes a more arched set to add a level of class, and the scallops in the doors flow smoother 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.

Exterior Dimensions

Overall length mm/(in.) 4,760 MM (187.4 Inches)
Overall width mm/(in.) 1,890 MM (74.4 Inches)
Overall height without roof rails mm/(in.) 1,685 MM (66.3 Inches)
Overall height with roof rails mm/(in.) 1,690 MM (66.5 Inches)
Wheelbase mm/(in.) 2,780 MM (109.4 Inches)
Track, front/rear mm/(in.) 1,628 MM (64.1 Inches) / 1,639 MM (64.5 Inches)
Ground clearance mm/(in.) 185 MM (7.3 Inches)
Approach angle (degrees) 16.9 degrees
Departure angle (degrees) 21 degrees

Interior

2016 Kia Sorento Interior
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2016 Kia Sorento Interior
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2016 Kia Sorento Interior
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Kia upped the ante for luxury and convenience by adding new premium textures and more soft-touch surfaces to the Sorento’s interior

Kia upped the ante for luxury and convenience by adding new premium textures and more soft-touch surfaces to the Sorento’s interior, as well as a host of updated options. The dashboard, center console and door panels are now wrapped in premium materials, on top of featuring an updated layout, with a more modern and ergonomic design. With much of the rock-solid plastic gone and with a driver-oriented cabin at its disposal, the 2016 Sorento seems like a great place to spend time in.

The second- and third rows will also enjoy enhanced comfort, as both rows come with a 0.5-inch increase in legroom. Cargo room sees improvements as well, with the overall volume increased by 1.5 cubic-feet to 74 cubic-feet. Same goes for cargo room behind the third-row seats, now at 11 cubic-feet compared to the previous model’s nine cubic-feet.

Customers looking for more luxury have a host of options to choose from, including heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, 14-way power driver and eight-way power passenger seats, driver’s seat thigh extension, a four-way headrest with and a panoramic sunroof. The SUV can also be equipped with premium Nappa leather trim seating surfaces similar to those found in the Kia K900 flagship. Lastly, the 630 watt, 12-speaker Infinity stereo system with an 11-channel amplifier turns the Sorento into a rolling boombox.

Interior Dimensions

Leg room
Front mm/(in.) 1,120 MM (44.1 Inches)
Middle mm/(in.) 1000 MM (39.4 Inches)
Rear mm/(in.) 805 MM (31.7 Inches)
Head room
Front mm/(in.) 1004 MM (39.5 Inches)
Middle mm/(in.) 998 MM (39.3 Inches)
Rear mm/(in.) 921 MM (36.3 Inches)
Shoulder room
Front mm/(in.) 1,500 MM (59.1 Inches)
Middle mm/(in.) 1,472 MM (58.0 Inches)
Rear mm/(in.) 1,342 MM (52.8 Inches)
Hip room
Front mm/(in.) 1,439 MM (56.7 Inches)
Middle mm/(in.) 1,433 MM (56.4 Inches)
Rear mm/(in.) 1,051 MM (41.4 Inches)

Drivetrain

2016 Kia Sorento Drivetrain
- image 579316
Three engine options are offered for the 2016 Sorento, one of which is brand-new for the United States

Three engine options are offered for the 2016 Sorento, one of which is brand-new for the United States. The unit in question is a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, inline-four that motivates the mid-range trim levels by means of 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

The familiar naturally aspirated, 2.4-liter, four-pot continues to fill in as the Sorento’s base engine, but output has decreased to 185 horses and 178 pound-feet of torque. For reference, the 2015 base model had 191 ponies and 181 pound-feet of twist.

Lastly, the 3.3-liter V-6 soldiers on unchanged, delivering the same 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque while being able to tow up to 5,000 pounds. All three engines mate to a six-speed automatic transmission featuring Kia’s Sportmatic shifting.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine L 2.4 LX 2.4 EX 2.0T SX-L 2.0T LX V6 EX V6 SX V6 SX-L V6
Type Four-cylinder, aluminum block and aluminum head Four-cylinder, aluminum block and aluminum head Four-cylinder, aluminum block and aluminum head Four-cylinder, aluminum block and aluminum head Six-cylinder, aluminum block and head Six-cylinder, aluminum block and head Six-cylinder, aluminum block and head Six-cylinder, aluminum block and head
Valve System DOHC with dual CVVT DOHC with dual CVVT DOHC with dual CVVT DOHC with dual CVVT DOHC with dual CVVT DOHC with dual CVVT DOHC with dual CVVT DOHC with dual CVVT
Horsepower (hp @ rpm) 185 HP @ 6,000 RPM 185 HP @ 6,000 RPM 240 HP @ 6,000 RPM 240 HP @ 6,000 RPM 290 HP @ 6,400 RPM 290 HP @ 6,400 RPM 290 HP @ 6,400 RPM 290 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque (lb. ft. @ rpm) 178 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM 178 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM 260 LB-FT @ 1,450-3500 RPM 260 LB-FT @ 1,450-3500 RPM 252 LB-FT @ 5,300 RPM 252 LB-FT @ 5,300 RPM 252 LB-FT @ 5,300 RPM 252 LB-FT @ 5,300 RPM
Displacement (cc) 144 (2,359 cc) 144 (2,359 cc) 122 (1998 cc) 122 (1998 cc) 204 (3342 cc) 204 (3342 cc) 204 (3342 cc) 204 (3342 cc)
Compression ratio 11.3:1 11.3:1 10.0:1 10.0:1 11.5:1 11.5:1 11.5:1 11.5:1
Fuel tank capacity (gal.) 18.8 gal. 18.8 gal. 18.8 gal. 18.8 gal. 18.8 gal. 18.8 gal. 18.8 gal. 18.8 gal.

Prices

2016 Kia Sorento Emblems and Logo Exterior
- image 579566

Pricing for the 2016 Sorento will be announced closer to its launch date. Sales will begin in the first quarter of 2015. The 2015 model year SUV retails from $24,100.

Competitors

Toyota RAV4

2013 Toyota RAV4 High Resolution Exterior
- image 483938

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 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

2014 Honda CR-V Exterior
- image 518173

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.

Conclusion

2016 Kia Sorento High Resolution Exterior
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The Sorento’s much-needed update is finally here to confirm Kia is moving forward in a quick fashion. It seems the Sorento joins the company’s updated sedans as far as luxury and convenience features go, although we advise you stay away from the base trim if you’re looking for a premium family-hauler with seating for seven. The new Sorento should give the RAV-4 and the CR-V a run for their money as long as you’re willing to spend a bit more for the better equipped trims.

  • Leave it
    • Stay away from the base model
    • The 2.4-liter, base engine lost a few ponies on the way
    • The Toyota RAV-4 and the Honda CR-V carry more affordable base stickers

Press Release

With its roads and freeways as the foundation of driving adventures encompassing sunny surf-side beaches, rugged snow-covered mountains, starkly beautiful deserts and a wide variety of other destinations, Kia Motors America (KMA) chose Los Angeles for the North American debut of the all-new 2016 Sorento CUV. Owing many of its design inspirations to the highly regarded Cross GT concept that was unveiled in 2013, Kia’s design and engineering teams focused on a stronger body structure, delivering premium-grade NVH reduction and providing the driving confidence to enable the active lifestyle CUV owners covet. Sorento buyers have their choice of three engines, including a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder, the silky smooth 3.3-liter V6 and an improved 2.4-liter normally aspirated inline-4. Standard premium features and luxurious amenities will be available across five trim levels – L, LX, EX, SX and SXL – when U.S. sales begin in the first quarter of 2015. Pricing will be announced closer to Sorento’s launch date.

2016 Kia Sorento Exterior
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“The core principles in the development of the all-new 2016 Sorento were simple: Deliver class-up premium materials and features in a capable, confidence-inspiring CUV,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, Product Planning, KMA. “During the development process, engineers started from the ground up by reinforcing an already stiff body structure. This added rigidity pays dividends when conditions are less than perfect and helps deliver a premium driving experience. By painstakingly crafting a vehicle with significant reductions in NVH and substantial gains in overall driving comfort and dynamics, the 2016 Sorento sets a new standard for Kia in the highly competitive mid-size CUV segment.”

Inspired Exterior
Reimagining the Sorento was no easy task for Kia’s designers, as the previous generation was lauded for its exceptional design. Not unlike the sophisticated Cross GT concept, which debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in 2013, the new Sorento finds some of its design inspiration in nature, as well as in the journey to nature’s outdoor adventures, revealing a vehicle of exceptional exterior presence that is larger than the outgoing model in nearly every way.

Overall, the all-new Sorento takes on a brawnier, more planted stance, communicating its edginess and rugged personality. The clean profile is easily recognizable as Sorento, enhanced with stronger shoulders and a long hood to deliver a more aerodynamic and sleek appearance. Combining a significantly longer 109.4-inch wheelbase (up 3.1 inches) and overall width that’s broadened to 74.4 inches (increased by 0.2 inches) the Sorento’s packaging is more efficient and allows for greater interior room. The aggressively styled front end, with its narrower headlight design, is an evolution of the upper fascia seen on the Cross GT concept and bears a strong family resemblance to the all-new highly praised Sedona multipurpose vehicle. Distinctive LED positioning lights set the Sorento apart from others in the midsize CUV segment.

Sitting below the headlights, the lower intake and fog lamp pockets are more prominent, creating a sportier appearance, which blends harmoniously with the overall design proportions. Premium enhancements include available LED rear dimensional tail lamps and LED fog lamps. The Sorento’s muscular body sits atop four new alloy wheel designs ranging from 17 to 19 inches, depending on trim level.

2016 Kia Sorento Exterior
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Class-Up Interior
With an overall interior theme focused on the stability of a horizontal plane, the design motif provides a strong foundation for the premium textures and high-quality materials found throughout the 2016 Sorento’s cabin. The liberal application of soft-touch materials is particularly evident around the instrument panel, center console and door panels.

Depending on trim level, the ready-for-adventure 2016 Sorento comes with standard 40/20/40 second-row folding five-passenger (4-cylinder models) or 50/50 folding third-row seven-passenger (V6 models) seating configurations. The seating system of the new Sorento is designed to offer optimum comfort and ideal seating positions to fulfill the needs of every occupant. For added luxury, also available are heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, 14-way power driver and 8-way power passenger seats, driver’s seat thigh extension, a 4-way headrest with one-button adjustment, dual-zone HVAC and Kia’s second-generation panoramic sunroof, as well as available premium Nappa leather trim seating surfaces, similar to those found in Kia’s luxury flagship sedan, the K900. Second- and third-row passengers will enjoy enhanced comfort thanks to a 0.5-inch increase in rear passenger space for both rows and a roomier flattened second-row center floor. Access to third-row seating is improved with 1.5 inches of additional boarding space, while headroom throughout the cabin is also increased.

Overall cargo volume in the new Sorento increases from 72.5 cu.-ft. to 74 cu.-ft., while cargo volume behind the 3rd row increases from 9.1 cu.-ft. to 11 cu.-ft., providing increased space for essentials and active-lifestyle equipment without sacrificing rear-passenger room. In addition, an easy-folding lever allows various seating arrangements, flexible luggage space and greater overall versatility. Users can fold the second-row seatback without opening the rear door by pulling the lever mounted on the luggage-area side trim. This feature allows quick and easy loading of large cargo.

2016 Kia Sorento Exterior
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The available premium sound system is well suited to Sorento’s now-more-upscale interior environment. Piping in music from an available 630 watt, 12-speaker Infinity®2 stereo system with an 11-channel amplifier, audiophile sound has gone mobile in the Sorento with the addition of Clari-Fi music restoration technology. Clari–Fi scans all types of compressed audio files for lost music details and intelligently corrects waveform deficiencies based on existing music information and audio source quality. It then recaptures the missing highs and lows, restores the vocals to their natural tone, returns to a true stereo sound and removes unwanted distortions and artifacts.

Progressive Technology - UVO3
New in the 2016 Sorento, four additional UVO eServices are now available: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score. Additionally, with the introduction of the Kia App store, select apps can be downloaded for free from iTunes®4 or Google PlaySM5. The Kia app connector is now available for partnership with the content community, including Pandora®6, iHeart® Radio7 and Yelp®8. Many more new technologies for comfort and convenience are featured in the new UVO system, including Siri®4 “Eyes Free9” and Local Search – powered by Google® – for finding locations, addresses and points of interest. Sirius XM Travel Link10, offering access to traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports scores, stock information and movie times, keeps you well connected while taking those weekend excursions in the Sorento.

Accessed through a crystal-clear 8-inch capacitive-touch color screen, the available navigation11 system features SD card storage for MAP DATA and USB 2.0 support for high-speed updates as well as integrated rear backup camera, Bluetooth®12 hands-free support and UVO voice recognition. A 4.3-inch TFT color touch screen is standard and also incorporates Bluetooth, and UVO voice recognition capability.

A New Driving Experience
The core of the all-new 2016 Sorento is its significantly modified platform. The enhanced structure increases torsional rigidity by 14 percent over the previous generation. Fifty-three percent of the unit-body consists of advanced high-strength steel, a 115 percent increase over the outgoing model. Liberal application of industrial strength adhesives, the use of dual-seal lip joints as well as large diameter and laser welding techniques combine to make the 2016 model the most robust Sorento ever.

2016 Kia Sorento Exterior
- image 579283

The all-new 2016 Sorento offers a number of safety features, including seatbelt anchor pretensioners and six airbags, help give Sorento drivers the confidence and peace-of-mind they need when driving their families on the nation’s highways and bi-ways. All Sorento models come standard with active safety features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC)13, Traction Control System (TCS)13, Brake Assist System (BAS)13, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)13, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)13 and Antilock Braking System (ABS)13. Additional technologies such as Roll Over Mitigation (ROM)13 and Cornering Brake Control (CBC)13 on AWD models also were added as standard equipment for improved dynamic control and safety.

New available driver aid technology, including Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)14, Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS)14, Smart Cruise Control (SCC)14, Blind Spot Detection (BSD)14, Rear Cross Traffic Alert14 and Surround View Monitor (SVM)14, help provide Sorento owners with a more convenient daily driving experience.

The 2016 Sorento combines a strong base with additional design improvements to reduce NVH and provide a comfortable and quiet driving experience. Updates to the rear suspension include a redesigned rear cross-member span that’s longer than the outgoing model for improved wheel travel over harsh roads and revised bushings to help reduce road noise. Vertically mounted rear shocks contribute to a comfortable ride no matter what the driving conditions.

Up front, the Sorento’s revised suspension geometry and responsive steering system result in a quick and nimble behind-the-wheel feel. Ride and handling are optimized with the application of an "H" shaped subframe, four-point bushing mountings, and Hydraulic Rebound Stopper-type shock absorbers. The available Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) features direct mounting of the electric motor on the steering rack, enhancing steering response and improving handling.

Sorento continues to offer an advanced AWD system that automatically routes power to the wheel with the most traction. When conditions call for more sure-footed capability, the 4WD Lock Mode splits engine power evenly between the front and rear drive shafts. The system also provides drivers the added stability of Torque Vector Cornering Control (TVCC). The TVCC system is activated when yaw and steering sensors detect unwanted understeer.

2016 Kia Sorento Exterior
- image 579284

The spirited front- or all-wheel drive experience is brought to life with a choice of three engines, including a 2.4-liter inline-4 GDI, a 3.3-liter V6 GDI and a new 2.0-liter inline-4 GDI turbocharged powerplant. The 2.4-liter engine, with new Electronic Intake Continuously Variable Valve Timing (E-CVVT–) delivers a capable 185 horsepower. On the other end of the engine range, the Sorento’s V6 gallops to the tune of 290 horses on the open road and is now able to tow up to 5,000 lbs. In the middle, the new turbocharged I-4 provides a best-of-both-worlds scenario, making a stout 240 horsepower while also delivering commendable fuel efficiency15. All three engines channel energy through an electronically controlled six-speed automatic gearbox featuring Sportmatic shifting.

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