• Sep 24th 2009 at 9:29AM
  • 32
2011 Kia Sorento - click above for high-res image gallery

Kia America has just dropped the first official pics and details of the next generation Sorento. We first saw images of the Korean market model several months back, and unsurprisingly, the version we get looks to be pretty much unchanged. The Sorento is making the transition from midsize body-on-frame SUV to unibody crossover as it also comes to America for production. The handsome CUV will be the first product coming from Kia's new West Point, GA factory, with the line cranking up in November.

The new Sorento picks up about 4 inches in length and 3 inches in girth compared to the outgoing model. That, along with the new structure has allowed Kia to add a third row seat, although in a vehicle that is still only 184.4 inches long, those extra two seats will probably only be usable by small children.

For the first time, the Sorento will offer a four-cylinder engine in the lineup, a 172 horsepower, 2.4-liter unit in addition to the 273 hp 3.5-liter V6. We're guessing that the public will get its first look at the Sorento at either the Los Angeles or Detroit Auto Show in December, be we expect to get our mitts on it for a review before that. Either way, Kia tells us the Sorento will go on sale in January. Thanks to Keldon for the tip!

[Source: Kia]

press release

All-New CUV Embodies Kia Motors' Style, Value and Commitment

# Newest Kia vehicle offers premium style, technology and safety features

# The first vehicle built1 at KMMG, the 2011 Sorento is a symbol of Kia Motors' commitment to the U.S.

ATLANTA, September 23, 2009 – Kia Motors continues its full-fledged design and vehicle lineup transformation and today Kia Motors America (KMA) introduces the all-new 2011 Sorento CUV. The first vehicle to roll off the line at Kia Motors' state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia, the new Sorento adopts Kia signature design cues and offers the U.S. market a well-equipped, well-appointed and versatile CUV suited perfectly for the time and a fun, dynamic generation of drivers.

"Kia Motors is known for producing safe, affordable, appealing vehicles and we are furthering our commitment to U.S. market consumers with the 2011 Sorento as the first vehicle to come off the state-of-the-art assembly line at our new manufacturing plant in Georgia," said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO of KMA and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG). "Creating stylish and safe vehicles loaded with value is a core philosophy for the Kia brand, and the opening of KMMG along with the production of the all-new Sorento further reinforces those values."

With a streamlined and attractive look, the new Sorento represents a modern CUV that is just the right size for today's consumer. Built using a unibody design with the ability to comfortably fit up to seven passengers, Sorento has an overall length of 184.4 inches and overall width of 74.2 inches, and is longer and roomier than the previous-generation Sorento. With increased head and legroom and nearly five cubic feet more in cargo capacity, the 2011 Sorento effortlessly accommodates both passenger and cargo needs for all drivers. An available panoramic sunroof, the first on any Kia vehicle, increases the feeling of spaciousness and adds to the overall contemporary appearance.

In addition to offering a comfortable ride, a host of impressive technology features also come standard, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SIRIUS Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service2, auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting personal MP3 players, and Bluetooth® connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for all compatible cell phones. Available push button-start ignition, voice-activated navigation, rear sonar back-up cameras and air ionization purification technology complete the modern and high-tech driving experience.

To further match the needs and preferences for all drivers, the 2011 Sorento offers two engines, both more powerful than the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V3. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine outputting 172 horsepower or a larger 3.5-liter V6 providing a class-leading 273 horsepower are both coupled to a new six-speed automatic transmission, which together provide ample power and offers improved fuel efficiency and smooth performance. To further meet consumer needs, both engines can be mated to either front- or all-wheel-drive configurations.

"With a spacious, comfortable interior and multiple convenience features, the 2011 Sorento is the perfect, versatile choice for couples or young families taking a weekend getaway or merely handling everyday responsibilities," said Tom Loveless, vice president of sales for KMA. "Consumers are sure to take notice of Sorento's sharp styling, exceptional value and standard safety features, making it a standout in the competitive CUV segment."

Industry-Leading Warranty

The 2011 Sorento is covered by Kia's comprehensive warranty program, which offers unprecedented consumer protection. Included in this program are a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty and a five-year/100,000-mile anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan also is part of the comprehensive vehicle coverage.

Kia Motors Product Line

Kia Motors America offers a dynamic and diverse product line to meet the needs of all lifestyles. The vehicle line features the stylish and all-new Forte compact sedan and all-new two-door Forte Koup, the highly personalizable Soul, functional Rondo CUV, award-winning Sedona minivan, purposeful Optima midsize sedan and versatile yet fuel-efficient Rio and Rio5 subcompacts. The vehicle line also features the affordably luxurious Borrego and value-packed Sportage SUVs, while the rugged 2011 Sorento CUV hits showrooms in January 2010.

About Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 640 dealers throughout the United States. For 2008, KMA recorded its 14th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. Kia Motors subscribes to a philosophy of building high value, high quality, safe and dynamic vehicles. Kia Motors prides itself on producing vehicles that are exciting and enabling and evoke the Kia tagline "The Power to Surprise."

Kia Motors America is the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its Web site – www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.

1 KMMG vehicles are built with U.S. and globally sourced parts.
2 Customers must renew SIRIUS subscription after trial period if they wish to retain service. SIRIUS three-month complimentary subscription not available in Canada, AK, or HI. For full terms and conditions, visit sirius.com. SIRIUS, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. and its subsidiaries.
3 Based on available 2009MY information.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Considering what most midsized SUVs have stretched and bloated themselves into, this is welcome. The design is simple and refined. It's not something you're gonna look at in 5 years and go "AGH WHAT THE HELL IS THAT." Considering current automotive design, I'd call that a victory.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'd say that this CUV looks pretty good, just like you said.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like everything except the taillights. Looks like the result of a Borrego having a one night stand with an Outlander. In other words, I'm nitpicking an otherwise good looking vehicle. :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know the parent company has been taking most of the headlines as of late but Kia is not far behind in revamping their entire line of cars to good looking competitive automobiles..
      • 5 Years Ago
      looks like the 09 Honda Accord.. lolol headlights/grille..
      • 5 Years Ago
      Forgive me, I might need more coffee this AM but I'm a bit confused. Is this a 2011 they are going to start selling in January 2010? Is there no 2010 Sorento model?
        • 5 Years Ago
        That is correct, no 2010 model....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Kia is improving a lot.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very nice, KIA, very nice!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's okay. Certainly an improvement over its predecessor, though hardly a styling breakthrough.

      Two years ago, my wife and I were shopping for a minivan, and we drove pretty much everything on the market. The conclusion we came to was that the Kia Sedona offered about 95% of the refinement of its competitors from Toyota and Honda, 100% of the performance and driving dynamics (yes, even in a minivan we cared about that), at only 80% of the price, given comparable equipment.

      The value proposition was just too compelling for us, and we haven't looked back since. Our Kia was a great buy, and it's held up VERY well.

      All indications I've seen since are that Kia (along with parent Hyundai) is closing that refinement gap.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You forgot to mention that it is 475 pound lighter than the outgoing model.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I think it looks pretty good, except for the back. It just doesn't look integrated with the rest of the body at all (especially around the taillights).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Erm, there's been scads of videos on youtube for some time now that show the Sorento inside out. They're of the Korean version, but it seems we'll be getting the same thing here. Here's one for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMe7VYnImSo
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks pretty good to me. Good update to previous Sorento
      Styling, features, reliability great for
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