Kia Sorento Drive Jordan 21

It has been a long time coming, the third-generation Kia Sorento, but it appears that the bigger and better SUV is finally around the corner. A source from Kia Malaysia has mentioned May 2016 as the time of local introduction, and that the seven-seater SUV will be available in both 2.2L diesel and 2.4L petrol forms, with three variants offered in total.

That’s welcome news, as the previous-generation Sorento XM was only available with a petrol engine in Malaysia, allowing sister SUV Hyundai Santa Fe to have the group’s 2.2 litre ‘R’ diesel engine all to itself in our market (197 hp and 436 Nm in the Hyundai).

Working on the two engines, three variants formation, we’re predicting a standard-spec petrol, a high-spec petrol and a range-topping high-spec diesel for the local line-up.

The Sorento UM made its domestic debut back in August 2014, and we drove the five-star ANCAP rated SUV later in that year in Jordan. Although we did not sample the oil burner in the Middle East, we know the CRDi well from two generations of the Santa Fe. It should be the pick of the range ahead of the 2.4L petrol if price isn’t an issue. Both are mated to a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

If the Sorento looks huge in pictures, it is. The current Santa Fe is to us already “half a size” larger than the average C-segment SUVs, but this big guy is 90 mm longer still, with 80 mm of that advantage going into the 2,780 mm wheelbase. Compared to the previous Sorento, the same size increase applies. Versus the Honda CR-V? 190 mm longer, 70 mm wider, 160 mm wheelbase advantage.

Very handsome, too. Read our full review of the Sorento UM for an idea of what to expect.