Last year, the Kia Sorento took the honor of being the best-selling vehicle in the Korean automaker's stable. That pace has slowed somewhat in 2012, as both the Soul and the Optima push past the CUV for sales dominance, but the company's engineers are already hard at work on the next Sorento facelift.

Our spy photographers spotted the heavily camouflaged version of the tweaked crossover prancing around the Nürburgring. This is the second time we've seen the machine out in open air. As you may recall, the Sorento was last spotted romping around in the snow along with a few friends, including an Audi Q5 and a Mercedes-Benz GLK.

With those kinds of benchmarks, there's a good possibility the next-generation Sorento will offer significant improvements in ride and interior refinement. Word has it the next revision will also bring along a fresh fascia, complete with LED headlights, as well as a freshened rear valance with LED treatments of its own.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      What type of tuning will be learned at the Ring that a Kia could not have figured out on some other track? I seriously doubt they are looking to truly benchmark the chassis.
      Christopher
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh I get it. It got caught on the Ring...Cause some one took a wrong turn to get on.
      Nick Allain
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm with James May on the absurdity on tested on "the ring". A family haulin' SUV has about as much place there as a duckboat or military vehicle. They all have wheels and carry people so must test them on das Nurburgring!
        UH2L
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick Allain
        Along the same lines, a family SUV or crossover doesn't even belong on the road when it is made for off-roading and holds less cargo than stationwagons. At least stability control keeps them from rolling over as much.
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick Allain
        James May is a passable entertainer, but he's not an authority on suspension tuning. Fact is, the Nurburgring, in addition to being a racetrack, is an almost perfect suspension laboratory. Many of the curves and corners are bumpy, off-camber, contain on-corner crests and dips, and otherwise challenge a suspension setup's ability to deal with poor surfaces and adverse conditions. For a company like Hyundai/Kia that has taken some criticism, well placed in my opinion, for its lackluster suspension tuning, I can't think of a better locale to improve stuff like weight transfer characteristics, high-speed stability on rough surfaces, compliance, ride/handling balance and traction control parameters. But then, I've actually tuned a suspension and I've driven on the 'Ring, so I know what you'd want to do to test it - have you? Has James May? James May's quotes dealt with chasing ever-lower lap times, in the narrow context of high-performance cars. He's still wrong, because any 'Ring setup has to be both incredibly dynamically composed and fairly compliant, because too stiff a setup - which is what he was bitching about - is going to be just as bad as one that's overly floppy.
        sebastián nicolás
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick Allain
        If they want to develop a car properly, the least they can do is test it in every possible environment.
        2o6
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick Allain
        Just because it's on the Nurburgring doesn't mean they're aiming for the fastest times. They're probably doing suspension tuning so that way it doesn't feel like crap when curves are taken with some verve. There's nothing wrong with improving cars on-road handling.
        flammablewater
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick Allain
        The Ring tests suspension, brakes and engine way beyond what they will see in average use. Extended periods of wide open throttle, testing handling at excessive speeds, repeated hard braking, and the Ring is not some smooth race track, it has bumps and dips that are horrendous at high speed.
      Snark
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Nurburgring, in addition to being a racetrack, is an almost perfect suspension laboratory. Many of the curves and corners are bumpy, off-camber, contain on-corner crests and dips, and otherwise challenge a suspension setup's ability to deal with poor surfaces and adverse conditions in the real world. For a company like Hyundai/Kia that has taken some criticism, well placed in my opinion, for its lackluster suspension tuning, I can't think of a better locale to improve stuff like weight transfer characteristics, high-speed stability on rough surfaces, compliance, ride/handling balance and traction control parameters. I've caught a frost heave midcorner on I-80 in Wyoming. A good suspension makes it a nonevent. In my old Land Cruiser, it was terrifying. Anything that makes a car more compliant and forgiving in real-world conditions is a win in my book.
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Snark
        I find it patently hilarious that people keep voting me down. I was at +4, now it's +2. Oy.
      Fonin
      • 2 Years Ago
      as silly as this sounds, the Sorento actually handles fairly well and corners very flat. i attribute that to it's mid/full size load capacity of over 1200lbs (requiring stiff springs). they may not be after top 'ring times, but the various turns, etc of the 'ring make it an apt test ground.
        fragmit50
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Fonin
        Yeah, except the various turns of a Sam's Club parking lot would have easily yielded more relevant data.
          fragmit50
          • 2 Years Ago
          @fragmit50
          You do realize that there are highways all over the world, right?
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Fonin
        You do realize that Sorentos get driven on highways, right, fragmit50?
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Fonin
        It's hilarious, by the way, that somebody is voting down any comment that points out the obvious truth that the 'Ring is a great place to test a suspension setup.
      David Donovan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder what car manufacturers were doing to tune their vehicles back in the 90's before the Ring was such a big thing today
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @David Donovan
        Whatever they were doing, it sucked. Ever driven an '80s car in anger? Most of them make even an ordinary family sedan seem like a goddamned supercar.
          David Donovan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Snark
          That has nothing to do with the Ring. Car technology is leaps and bounds what it used to be in the 80's.
      foxtrot685
      • 2 Years Ago
      I dont think there is anything wrong with having a good handling, confidence inspiring on curvy roads CUV, assuming that is the reason why they brought it to the ring. It seems to be working very well for Mazda, BMW, Porsche, Land Rover and Jeep (GC SRT8)...
      Scarboy6693
      • 2 Years Ago
      My Parents bought an EX V6 to replace our aging minivan and It's pretty nice. It drives pretty well for an SUV (not audi or BMW like, but good for what it is). The 3.5 V6 is really strong and pulls hard. The 4-cyl should be fine too, but we thought it felt a bit underpowered in such a big car. Overall though its nice and I can recommend it to anyone. Rebates are awesome too. Our car carried a sticker of 34K and we got it for 29K before Tax, title, and license. Plus a lot of features we weren't expecting like the Panoramic roof, power folding side mirrors, and smart key access. We were actually looking to get the Mazda CX-9 or Honda Pilot but we were impressed with the Sorento and got it. Only complaint is that I wish it had a power lift gate and the rear wiper control is in an odd location. As far as MPG is concerned our car is rated at 20/26 (FWD). Average in more city is 22 and we took it on a road trip with 4 people and luggage and it got 26.7 roughly calculated.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Slideways
      • 2 Years Ago
      A new Sorrento in the works.... already? Didn't Kia released the current ongoing model like a year ago? ]
      Kogar
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hopefully they've fixed the rare lights, only thing constraining me to get one.
    • Load More Comments