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Naza Kia has announced that the facelifted Kia Sorento will be launching this weekend (March 16-17) in conjunction with the nationwide Kia Customer Day. The refreshed Sorento was caught testing on local highways last month, so it doesn’t come as a complete surprise.

Many carmakers use the “all new” or “new” tag liberally these days, but this refreshed Sorento has a strong case. It might look familiar, with just a new face and tail design, but this Sorento sits on a different platform from the car it replaces. The new platform is shared with the latest Hyundai Santa Fe, and Kia also claims a re-engineered bodyshell plus improved ride, handling and refinement.

The chassis joint areas have been strengthened for enhanced body rigidity and better steering stability. There’s less road noise in the cabin as the engine bay is now lined with three-layer noise-lowering materials, together with a new sound insulator in the transmission tunnel. Legroom for the second and third rows have been increased, and the SUV is now lower by 10 mm for easier boarding.

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In Malaysia, the new Kia Sorento will be powered by a 2.4 litre Theta II petrol engine with 176 PS and 227 Nm of torque. Power is channeled to the AWD system via a six-speed automatic gearbox with manual override.

The equipment list includes 18-inch wheels, LED DRLs, Supervision cluster, 4.3-inch LCD touch-screen audio system with rear view camera, dual-zone climate control with third row vents, panoramic sunroof (retractable at the front section, motor driven blind), cabin mood lamps, push start button with smart key, leather and Bluetooth/AUX/iPod/USB functions.

Safety wise, there’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Assist Control, ABS+EBD and six airbags.

No price change, so you can have one for RM158,888 in Snow Pearl White, Bright Silver, Glittering Metal or Mahogany Brown. Kia is offering a five–year warranty with unlimited mileage for the Sorento. Read and view more of the car here.