First pictures: Kia Sorento gets bold new look, smarter cabin

Published Jul 25, 2023


The Kia Sorento has become the third model, after the battery-powered EV9 and facelifted Picanto, to adopt the brand’s new design philosophy.

What you see here is the facelifted version of Kia’s midsize SUV, and these images have leaked onto the interwebs ahead of its imminent official debut.

The biggest changes, as it almost always goes with facelifts, take place at the front end, where we see the current model’s more conventional rectangular headlights replaced by new vertical units, with an upper LED strip running into the widened ‘Tiger nose’ grille.

The side view remains as before, barring new alloy wheel designs, and at the back we see a few subtle changes. The claw-like taillights carry over, but they’re now joined at the top, and the lower bumper has a smoother design, with the diffuser no longer incorporating imitation exhaust outlets.

Kia has cleaned things up quite nicely in the cabin too. As before there’s a wide upper screen that joins the digital instrument cluster and infotainment system, but it has a slimmer design.

Below that the central air vents now have a horizontal orientation that stretches across the dashboard, making the cockpit easier on the eye. The materials and textures appear more upscale than before, and the company has also added new upholstery options to the mix.

According to Carscoops, Kia has added a fingerprint recognition pad to the centre console, allowing owners to start the car, access valet mode and even make payments.

Kia has yet to release details on the globally-available versions, but it appears that the current range of engines - which differ depending on the market - will carry over from the current model.

For South Africans that means a 2.2-litre Smartstream turbodiesel unit that was upgraded when the current generation was launched. It offers up 148kW and 440Nm.

Given that the current version took around two years to reach South Africa, albeit with Covid-related delays at play, it’ll be interesting to see how soon the importer launches the facelifted model in South Africa.

The current Sorento was introduced in early 2022, and won the Premium category of the 2023 South African Car of the Year competition.

It’s currently available in a range of four derivatives, priced from R879 995 to R1 064 995.

IOL Motoring

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