Friday, September 19, 2014

Kia's New Sorento Couples Smooth Ride With Responsive Driving Experience

SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Yonhap) -- Kia Motors Corp.'s all-new Sorento offers a sedan-like refined ride with a responsive driving experience that should give the carmaker a competitive edge in the global SUV market.

The vehicle, lengthened by 95 millimeters bumper to bumper compared to the previous generation model, has better structural rigidity thanks to extensive use of high tensile steel and industrial adhesives in its construction.

Its wheelbase, another factor that improves ride quality and passenger comfort, has grown 80 mm, with the track gaining 5 mm. The SUV's roofline, on the other hand, sits 15 mm lower, which, combined with other dimensions, gives the car a more planted appearance that is in vogue with many crossovers and multipurpose vehicles.

South Korea's second-largest carmaker said it also revised both the front and rear suspension setups by employing dual lower arms with the rear shock absorbers placed more vertically and stiffened by a multi-link arrangement to better handle road imperfections.

Up front, Kia used the compact and lightweight MacPherson strut, yet this has been bolstered by high performance dampers and hydraulic rebound springs.

The electric power steering system, a weak point in many modern cars, has been tweaked so it feels less "numb" and more "precise" on winding roads.

The arrangement, Kia claimed, will improve drivers' confidence in the car.

Other changes that the carmaker made are the generous use of the underbody tray that covers a 2 1/2 times greater area than on the outgoing vehicle.

This helps reduce drag, translating into better fuel economy as well as helping with noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

On noise insulation, Kia said it paid attention to strengthened sound deadening between the engine and passenger compartments, while specially designed doors and floor insulations have lowered wind and road noise, even at high speeds.

The shutout of noise from the 2.2-liter, 202 horsepower diesel engine compared favorably with many other cars.

In regards to the four-wheel drive system, the car can respond to changes in the road surface as to give the driver best possible grip. The car comes equipped with a "lock" mode that distributes power 50-50 between the front and back wheels on unpaved roads, providing traction.

Kia said the all-wheel drive arrangement bolstered by advanced traction cornering control can prevent understeering that is invariably linked to the car's safety.

On the safety aspects, the third generation Sorento comes with forward collision warning systems that use onboard sensors, lane departure warning and blind spot detection.

When moving into tight areas or parking spaces, the upper trim cars get full "around view monitoring" and a high beam assist feature, a first for a locally made SUV.

As for the multimedia system, the upper-tier Sorento has a bright eight-inch touch screen display with wide-viewing angle and a 10-speaker audio package with JBL premium sound.

The car comes equipped with the upgraded UVO 2.0 infotainment system that offers better connectivity with mobile devices and clear navigation.

Kia said that it hopes to sell 5,000 units per month in the domestic market this year and 270,000 for the whole of 2015 that includes 220,000 vehicles sold abroad. The Sorento competes with the Ford Edge, Toyota Prado, Chevrolet Equinox and Volvo XC60.

Since its launch in 2002, sales of all models of the Sorento have reached 2.09 million units, with next year's target equal to 13 percent of the total.


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