SORENTO TAKES 4X4 MARKET BY STORM
- Diesel with manual and automatic options
- 4x4 Magazine “Car of the Year 2004”
- Sorento is Diesel Car’s 4X4 class winner
- Unprecedented customer demand
- Awards won in France , Spain , Austria , USA
- Top international expertise and components
The Kia Sorento matches the style of a premium "off-roader" with the strength of a rugged workhorse. With a traditional separate chassis, Sorento has an impressive maximum towing weight of 2800kg allied to the looks that would not disgrace a prestige 4x4 with a £30,000 plus price tag.
Sorento was launched into left-hand drive markets at the end of 2002 and has already won awards in the media in France , Spain , Austria and the USA . Sorento was voted "Best Overall Value" SUV by the Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAP) in the USA . The car is also winning accolades and group road tests in top European motoring magazines such as Auto Motor und Sport in Germany .
Since its UK launch Sorento has received highly favourable press coverage and recently claimed 4x4 Magazine's prestigious 'Car of the Year 2004' title. Diesel Car also presented the Sorento with best 4X4 of the year award. The Verdict of Diesel Car after a full road test in the May issue states:
"Those who are tempted into the Sorento, probably including many newcomers to the sports utility lifestyle, will quickly appreciate its spaciousness, comfort, refinement and even driving enjoyment, not to mention sheer value for money."
Paul Williams, Managing Director of Kia Motors (UK) Limited, said: "The Sorento is a very strong product from every standpoint and illustrates the quality and design that Kia is now capable of."
The Sorento was unveiled to the UK public at the Birmingham International Motor Show and has met with an unprecedented level of customer interest. For example, over 4000 people have registered for Sorento launch information at the Kia Motors UK website alone.
Kia sold 94,783 Sorentos in 2002 and expects to sell 175,000 Sorentos worldwide in 2003.
Sorento represents a new level of international integration for Kia with components and expertise sourced from top automotive names around the world. The list includes suspension tuning by Porsche, four-wheel-drive system components from Borg Warner (manufactured in South Wales), shock absorbers and self-levelling suspension from Sachs, ABS and fuel injection systems from Bosch, and air-bag technology from Autoliv.
The Sorento was styled with the sophisticated European consumer in mind and marks Kia's first foray into the prestige 4x4 market in Europe. Its distinctive styling and sleek, muscular lines make it an eye-catching addition to the Kia line-up.
Consumer clinics conducted, prior to the launch in Europe, indicated that the Sorento would compete successfully in terms of interior and exterior design compared to the best cars in the segment. The fact that in European countries prestige badge 4x4 cars have been traded-in for Sorento confirms these earlier research findings.
The Sorento derives its name from the southern Italian town of Sorrento, and carries connotations of relaxed gentility and cruising through sun-drenched holiday destinations. The name also echoes the high tech Sorrento Valley in San Diego, bringing to mind the very best in technological innovation. Combined, the Sorento name implies a pleasurable, sophisticated driving experience made possible by the very latest advances in engineering and automotive technologies.
The exterior of the Sorento was designed by Kia designer Byung-jun Min and has been applauded since it was first unveiled at the Chicago Motor Show in 2002. The design principles incorporate eye-catching styling combined with powerful, aerodynamic lines. The refined, sculpted front view features a sweeping V-shaped bonnet line that leads the eye naturally to the wide radiator grille with the oval Kia logo prominently displayed in the centre. The inside lines of the headlamps follow the hood sculpting down to the chiselled front bumper featuring built in fog lamps. The various elements
of the front end are harmonised to create a look of sporty elegance with the promise of underlying strength and power.
The side view carries on the sporty theme with sweeping side window graphics and a solid, sturdy D-pillar. A simple edged character line adds to the refined appearance of the Sorento while its high ground clearance and moulded arches housing solid 16-inch wheels makes its off-road capabilities abundantly clear. The large windows provide excellent all round visibility while providing the passenger compartment with plenty of natural light. The side cladding is toned to match
the body colour.
From the rear, the side surfaces flow naturally into the curved combination lamp cluster. The V-shaped lines of the rear view recall the plunging hood line at the front while the slightly upswept rear bumper relieves the solidity of the Sorento's tail without compromising on strength. The tailgate incorporates a large, flip-up rear window, which can be raised to an angle of around 110 degrees to allow unrestricted access to the rear cargo area.
The Sorento is conceived as a premium crossover vehicle and its stylish interior, by Kia designer Nak-Chul Ki, establishes this positioning. Upholstered in grey with wood grain mouldings, the passenger compartment is both comfortable and elegant and features all the creature comforts that one would expect from a prestige saloon. The large window spaces keep the interior light and airy while providing maximum visibility to the driver. The passenger compartment is also designed to be as comfortable and quiet as a saloon.
The Sorento's spacious interior seats five adults comfortably. In the front seats, passengers have 1,496 mm of shoulder space, 1,082 mm of effective leg room, 1,404 mm of hip space and 972 mm of head room. Rear seat passengers enjoy 1,484 mm of shoulder space, 916 mm of effective leg room, 1,472 mm of hip space and 965 mm of head room.
Both front and rear seats feature adjustable headrests and the driver's seat features lumbar and height adjustment. The driver's seat incorporates an 8-way power adjustment system (XS) to ensure the most comfortable, supportive position.
The moulded seats are upholstered in durable cotton fabric. Leather upholstery is standard on the XS.
The rear seat comes with a 60:40 split to easily accommodate large cargo items and the entire seat can be folded flat to provide an impressive 1,900 litres of cargo storage. Even with the seats up, the Sorento provides 890 litres of cargo space over and above the storage facilities in the passenger compartment and on the optional roof rack. All cars are fitted with roof rails. Seating configurations are quick and easy to adjust thanks to simple seat lock and adjustment mechanisms.
The interior has a refined yet sporty feel, combining ergonomic efficiency with premium comfort and convenience features. The front and rear use high quality materials and are comfortable and spacious for long journeys. Keeping the passenger areas tidy is a whole range of storage areas. The armrests at front and back both contain storage spaces and cup holders prevent spills. More storage trays can be found under the seats and there is further storage room in the large pockets on the back of the front seats. A lockable glove box with a map tray keeps valuable items secure.
The ergonomically-designed controls are carefully placed to allow the driver to keep both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road for the maximum length of time. The well-apportioned central fascia houses the temperature control panel, audio system and a digital clock, along with defrost controls and a ventilation grille. Also included are storage trays, an ashtray and cigarette lighter, and a cup holder. Further storage space is contained in the comfortably padded central armrest. The instrument cluster is designed to be read at a glance and features adjustable back lighting for night driving and an LCD odometer and trip meter.
Upmarket features include the multimeter in the roof console, which allows selection of ambient temperature, altitude, barometer and compass readings. While the provision of an opening rear window, which can be opened from the key fob, is very useful in tight car parks. Fold flat mirrors (electrically operated on XS) also attest to the practicality and thought that has gone into this off-roader.
The Sorento has been initially available in the UK powered by the 2.5-litre Common Rail diesel engine with two specification levels: XE & XS. Both are available with manual or automatic transmission.
The XE specification uses a part-time four-wheel drive system with a high level of equipment including driver, passenger and curtain side airbags (covering the front and rear), ABS with EBD, air conditioning, power sunroof, limited slip differential, self levelling suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, roof rails and body side cladding, leather steering wheel and gear knob, remote control locking with key mounted operation for rear tailgate window, in-dashboard CD player with eight speaker audio system and electric aerial, multimeter in roof console providing ambient temperature,
altimeter, compass and barometer, electric windows and heated mirrors, rear cargo cover and cargo net.
In addition, the XS is fitted with a full-time four-wheel drive system as well as climate control, leather upholstery, eight way adjustable electrically-operated drivers seat, heated driver and passenger seat, cruise control, electric folding mirrors, wood grain effect centre console and gear knob, rear spoiler, chrome handles (inside and out) and wiper de-icer.
The new 2.5-litre common rail diesel engine incorporates Bosch technology. The engine delivers a maximum horsepower of 140 PS @ 3,800 rpm and a muscular 314Nm of torque @ 1850-2500rpm. The engine is mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed fuzzy logic controlled automatic transmission.
The diesel engine has been designed for low vibration and exceptionally smooth power delivery, as well as low noise characteristics.
The manual diesel produces an extra urban fuel consumption of 40.9mpg and a combined figure of 33.2mpg, compared to 38.7mpg and 31.7mpg respectively for the automatic.
A 3.5-litre V6 engine, producing 193bhp, with standard automatic gearbox will be available by from 22 May 2003.
The four-wheel drive system incorporates technology from Borg-Warner with components manufactured in South Wales.
Either an "Electric Shift transfer" part -time or a full-time, active torque transfer, system is offered.
The part-time EST (Electric Shift Transfer) four-wheel drive system allows the driver to manually select three alternative modes (two-wheel drive High, four-wheel drive High and four-wheel drive Low). For "on-road" driving in good conditions the two-wheel drive setting provides maximum performance using rear wheel drive. For driving on wet or slippery roads, the high-range four-wheel drive system provides a combination of high torque and high speed. The driver can shift between two-wheel-drive High and four-wheel drive high at speeds of up to 50mph. For challenging off-road driving and severe towing conditions, the Sorento also offers a low-range four-wheel drive setting that provides the maximum amount of torque at very low speeds. The Low range gives a gear ratio of 2.48:1 compared to 1:1 for the High range, making it ideal for very steep descents and ascents.
All UK specification Sorentos are fitted with an Eaton carbon limited-slip differential (LSD), which restricts wheel spin by transferring power (up to 50% of torque) to the wheel with the most traction.
The full-time ATT (Active Torque Transfer) torque on demand system automatically transfers the optimum power between the front and rear wheels according to road conditions, from a maximum 100% rear wheel drive up to 50% front and 50% rear wheel drive. The free running differential system in four-wheel drive mode automatically disconnects the front propeller shaft and front drive shaft, eliminating the driving force from the front wheels and decreasing friction loss. The result is a highly fuel efficient system that has the added advantage of being comparatively easy to maintain.
The Sorento features double wishbone suspension on the front wheels for secure ride and handling, while the five-link setup at the back provides stability on rough surfaces. Gas filled shock absorbers developed by Sachs are fitted on all four wheels, absorbing vibration at faster speeds and providing a smooth ride on mixed road surfaces.
The standard self-levelling suspension system also incorporates Sachs technology. The system automatically adjusts the rear suspension when the vehicle is pulling a trailer or carrying a heavy cargo load, maintaining the ground clearance at the rear and keeping the front headlights level.
The Sorento's suspension system was fine-tuned by Porsche following road testing in Spain and Germany . The set-up has paid particular emphasis to directional stability and ride quality at motorway driving speeds.
The Sorento meets or exceeds all European and North American safety standards and has been internally tested to five star level in both front and side impact tests.
The ventilated disc brakes fitted to the both the front and rear wheels of the Sorento bring this 2,000 kg vehicle from 60 to 0mph in only 43.7m. The car is fitted with ABS with EBD, developed by Bosch, providing the most effective stopping power and ensuring the driver can maintain complete control in more challenging conditions. All UK cars are fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels with 245/70R16 tyres.
The Sorento's box-type steel monocoque body is mounted on a strengthened main chassis frame to provide excellent handling and great structural rigidity. Collision forces are dispersed through crumple zones and cabin deformation is kept to a minimum, providing a highly secure passenger environment.
Side impact bars and a heavy-duty roll-bar help keep the passenger compartment secure in the event of an accident, while the Sorento's highly rigid construction helps maintain the integrity of the body shell even in the most extreme conditions.
The airbag safety system in the Sorento incorporates side-impact sensors developed by Siemens and airbags from Autoliv, the US-based industry leader in vehicle safety systems. Driver and passenger airbags are fitted on all cars along with curtain side air bags that provide protection for front and rear seat occupants. Seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters hold passengers secure in the event of a sudden deceleration or collision.
The Sorento is fitted with deadlocks and an immobiliser as well as driver operated switch to lock windows and doors.
The Sorento uses some recycled and recyclable materials and all major plastic parts have been selected for ease of disassembly and stamped with a material composition code. The Sorento has been designed to meet Euro 3 and 4 standards.
20 May 2003
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MODEL LINE-UP AND PRICING
Sorento 2.5 CRDi XE £17,995
Sorento 2.5 CRDi XE automatic £18,995
Sorento 2.5 CRDi XS £20,995
Sorento 2.5 CRDi XS automatic £21,995
Sorento 2.5 CRDi XE/XS 12
KEY TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION:
||Overall width (without mirrors)
||Overall height (without roof rails)
||25.2 mpg (manual), 23.9 mpg (auto)
|| 40.9 mpg (manual), 38.7 mpg (auto)
||33.2 mpg(manual), 31.7 mpg (auto)
||226 g/km (manual), 238 g/km (auto)
||106 mph (manual), 104 mph (auto)
||(0-62 mph) 14.6 secs (manual), 14.5 secs (auto)
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