Continuing our coverage from Naza Kia Malaysia’s double event is the launch of new third-generation Sorento SUV. The Sorento is a full size seven-seater SUV with three variants offered, a diesel and two petrol.

The first two generations of the Sorento have both been sold in Malaysia before, and now it’s up to this new Korean model (codename UM) to continue its people carrying duties. All three variants of the Sorento are available as an all-wheel drive.2016-Kia-Sorento

QUICK FACTS

Name Kia Sorento 2.2L CRDI Kia Sorento 2.4L MS Kia Sorento 2.4L HS
Engine 2,199 cc; Common Rail Direct Injection, DOHC 2,359 cc; 4-cylinder, DOHC
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Max Power 197 hp @ 3,800 rpm 168 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Max Torque 441 Nm @ 1,750 – 2,750 rpm 224 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
Price RM155,888.00 RM165,888.00 RM175,888.00

EXTERIOR

Where the Sportage has edgier aesthetics, the Sorento gets a bolder and more mature stance. Between a pair of projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights (only for the petrol premium variant) sits the large “tiger-nose” grille, quite possibly the largest grille ever fitted onto a Kia. This particular grille with distinctive three-dimensional cubic mesh pattern adds the Sorento’s maturing stance.2016-Kia-Sorento-23

Just like the Sportage, the Sorento is offered with 19-inch rims with 235/55 R19 tyres, but only for the petrol variants. Also to note, two different design of rims are used for two petrol variants as well. The diesel meanwhile settles for the smaller 17-inch rims with 235/65/ R17 tyres.

INTERIOR

The third row seats aren’t the most cramped seats we’ve seen, but still it’s best reserved for small children. Fold these seats and you’ll get 605 litres of space, but with both middle and rear seats are down, the Sorento swallows up to 1,662 litres of goods.2016-Kia-Sorento-9

The interior is surrounded by dark soft-touch materials and leather, giving it that hint of luxury that’s usually absent in cars of this price point. It also receives infotainment headset, electric seats, rear air conditioning vents, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 7-inch TFT colour LCD supervision cluster. So if you’re looking for maximum creature comforts with lots of space and comfort, look at Sorento petrol premium variant.

PERFORMANCE

Two engine choices are available, and for the first time, Kia is offering the diesel engine as the Sorento’s entry level variant, something other brands rarely ever do. The oil burner is powered by a 2.2-litre Common Rail Direct Injection turbo diesel that produces a healthy 197 hp and 441 Nm of torque. For the record, that engine is still in use for the current Hyundai Sante-Fe. The petrol variants utilise the same 2.4-litre MPI four-cylinder engine from before, and churns 168 hp and 225 Nm of torque.2016-Kia-Sorento-16

Just like the Sportage, all Sorento variants are mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox, which is developed in-house by the Hyundai-Kia group.

SAFETY

The new Sorento is boosted with class-leading safety features, ranging from six airbags, vehicle stability management, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and hill-start assist control. To top it off, the Sorento is a 5-Star achiever in the Euro NCAP crash test.2016-Kia-Sorento-6

WHAT ELSE?

The new Sorento is priced from RM155,888, making it a direct competitor to the Isuzu MU-X. The other two petrol variants, the standard and premium, are priced at RM165,888 and RM175,888 respectively. All prices are on-the-road figures with insurance and GST included, and it’s available in three colours – Clear White, Aurora Black Pearl, and Silky Silver. All Malaysia-bound Sorentos are locally assembled and is offered with a 5-Year unlimited mileage warranty.

So, dear readers, would you pick this over the newly launched Toyota Fortuner and Ford Everest?


IMAGE GALLERY


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Travis Chang
Formerly spamming articles about cars and motorsports on this site until the day-job caught up. While the day job remains as exciting as a certain beige sedan, writing about cars could be his closest display of showing passion on cars until he gets either a Bimmer, or an Hachiroku one day...