Kia Sorento XM

The all-new monocoque Kia Sorento XM is here, unveiled at the 2009 Seoul Motor Show and soon to hit Malaysian shoes when Naza Kia brings it in.

The new Sorento is longer, with the A-pillar and dash moved forwards and tailgate moved rearwards (70mm) to increase cabin room in the interior. It seats 7 in 3 rows. It is 10mm lower and thanks to the new unibody chassis its center of gravity is 54mm lower. Headroom is up by 64mm, legroom by 102mm. It measures 4,685mm long, 1,885mm wide, 1,710mm tall with a wheelbsae of 2,700mm (equal to the Santa Fe).

The MacPherson strut and multi-link design has been carried over from the outgoing model (I’m really surprised they admit this, could have easily said new) but with improvements including a more direct steering requiring less turns lock-to-lock.

Kia Sorento XM

A choice of 3 engines are available – a 2.7 litre V6 petrol from the Mu family (165 PS and 244Nm of torque, also supports LPI liquid natural gas), a 2.4 litre petrol (from the Mitsubishi-Hyundai-Daimler GEMA engine family) and a 2.2 litre inline-4 turbodiesel from the new R family. which makes a peak of 197 PS and 435Nm of torque. Of course the power hungry American market will get one more engine option likely to be the most popular there, a 3.5 litre V6 petrol with 277 PS and 335Nm of torque.

There is an all-new 6-speed automatic available, and Kia says the unit is more compact and lighter because it uses a new “flat” torque converter which allows it to be 54mm shorter with 62 fewer parts, 12kg lighter and boost economy by 12%.

The new XM Sorento is available in either 2WD or 4WD configurations. Naturally the 2WD version will be lighter and offer better fuel consumption, but 4WD will be avaliable for those who need it. The Sorento also has Down-hill Brake Control which can limit vehicle speed to 5 mph on steep decline. Front approach angle is 25.1 degrees and departure angle is 23.1 degrees.