Kia Sorento QM Facelift Spy-12

Here’s something rather unexpected. The third-gen Kia Sorento is still pretty fresh in the market, having been unveiled in 2014. We driven the big SUV and found it to be impressive, but the Sorento UM’s local introduction must have been delayed due to the soft economy as well as the negative forex situation, a powerful combo.

Now, Kia could be readying a facelift version of the Sorento as we type, as fully-covered test mules have been spotted in Sweden for winter testing. Admittedly, there aren’t a lot to spot here, no thanks to the comprehensive cover and snow, but our European spy photographers noted that the test mule’s identification tag had the “QM” codename, and not the “UM” of today’s Sorento.

Could this be a major facelift with altered mechanicals? The second-gen Sorento XM facelift got a lot more than just a bumper-and-grille change; it didn’t look too different from the pre-FL, but boasted a new platform (shared with the current Santa Fe), re-engineered bodyshell and all-new cabin, among other things.

Same script for this “Sorento QM”? Mere speculation at this point, of course, but Kia’s new product strategy is to have two “product enhancements” in a car’s life cycle in place of the traditional mid-life facelift. A car’s typical life cycle is six years, so PEs would come every two years instead of a facelift after three. Kia said that this strategy will help them better adapt to ever-changing market trends, keeping cars more up to date.

GALLERY: Third-gen Kia Sorento ‘UM’