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!


Related Gallery2011 Kia Sorento

[Source: Kia]


press release

ALL-NEW 2011 KIA SORENTO ENTERS CUV SEGMENT
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.