2016 Kia Sorento launch-1

Previewed yesterday, the new 2016 Kia Sorento has finally been launched in Malaysia. The UM-generation seven-seater SUV – replacing the outgoing XM – is available in a base diesel variant, along with mid- and high-spec petrol models.

Let’s start with the prices. The 2.2 LS diesel gets the ball rolling at RM155,888 – putting it slightly above equivalent base-spec, petrol-powered competitors – while the 2.4 MS petrol is priced at RM165,888. At the top of the range sits the 2.4 HS petrol at RM175,888. All prices are on-the-road inclusive of insurance and a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.

The new Sorento is a massive thing, measuring a whopping 95 mm longer (4,780 mm), 5 mm wider (1,890 mm) and 15 mm lower (1,685 mm) than before, with a wheelbase some 80 mm longer (2,780 mm). It’s considerably larger than rivals like the five-seat Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5, seven-seat Nissan X-Trail and Mitsubishi Outlander, and even its sibling, the seven-seat Hyundai Santa Fe.

2016 Kia Sorento launch-9

The handsome styling makes the most of that bulk, with sweptback twin-barrel headlights framing the trademark ‘tiger nose’ grille, now with a more three-dimensional look and inset with “diamond” studs. The fluid surfacing flows without much adornment towards the rear of the car, where you’ll find trapezoidal tail lights, large rear fog lights and a skid plate that matches the one at the front.

Inside, there’s a much more upscale cabin, with an expansive dashboard (plus a stitched top panel), a new three-spoke steering wheel from the new Optima (minus the flat-bottomed rim) and satin chrome air-con vent surrounds that jut out from the dash. The 40:20:40 split-folding second-row seats can slide and recline, and the third row can be folded 50:50 to provide 605 litres of luggage capacity.

Powering the new Sorento is a choice of either a 2.2 litre R CRDi turbodiesel delivering a punchy 200 PS at 3,800 rpm and 441 Nm of torque between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm, or the ubiquitous 2.4 litre Theta II MPI CVVT petrol producing 172 PS at 6,000 rpm and 224 Nm at 4,000 rpm. Drive is sent to all four wheels on all models via the new Dynamax all-wheel-drive system and a six-speed automatic transmission.

2016 Kia Sorento launch-30

Despite being at the bottom of the range, the 2.2 LS doesn’t want for kit, coming with automatic halogen projector headlights with LED daytime running lights, 17-inch wheels (which admittedly look tiny under the big body), keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control with an ioniser and second-row air vents, as well as front and rear parking sensors

Other features include an automatic engine start-stop system, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a 3.5-inch Supervision multi-info display. You only get fabric seats, however, and there’s no reverse camera to help you park the leviathan. There’s no Bluetooth connectivity, either.

The 2.4 MS ditches start-stop, but bumps things up with 19-inch Y-spoke alloys, LED tail lights, a shark fin antenna, an acoustic front windscreen, eight-way power-adjustable front seats with driver’s side electric lumbar support and leather upholstery.

2016 Kia Sorento launch-23

Also included is a touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, a reverse camera, second-row sunblinds, a separate third-row air-con blower, a powered tailgate and a rear tonneau cover.

Sitting at the very top of the range, the 2.4 HS gets all the bells and whistles, including adaptive xenon headlights, chrome 19-inch ten-spoke wheels, park assist and a full seven-inch Supervision virtual colour speedometer and multi-info display.

Safety-wise, all models get six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control, a tyre pressure monitoring system and ISOFIX child seat anchors. So, what do you think of the new 2016 Kia Sorento? Sound off in the comments section after the jump; you can also read what we think of how the new SUV drives through our review here.

GALLERY: Kia Sorento 2.2 LS

GALLERY: Kia Sorento 2.4 MS
GALLERY: Kia Sorento 2.4 HS