Kiwis get first look at 2021 Kia Sorento

Blending elegance with SUV muscle, the boldly designed 2021 Kia Sorento has arrived at Giltrap Kia.

In addition to new exterior details, the next-generation Kia Sorento also picks up a raft of new technologies and safety specification, underlining its growing status as an all-rounder family vehicle with premium pedigree.

Fulfilling more adventurous expectations of the Sorento’s buyer segment, the fourth-generation SUV will also incorporate a newly developed ‘terrain mode’ drive setting, offering all-wheel drive control on surfaces such as mud, snow or sand.

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The boldly designed 2021 Kia Sorento has been publicly unveiled and features a number of outstanding new technologies, including a brand-new wet double-clutch automatic transmission that makes gear changes smooth, improves performance and reduces fuel consumption.

“The new Sorento is a blend of elegant style and cutting-edge technology, designed to provide drivers with greater confidence and control at the wheel – we can’t wait for it to arrive,” says Todd McDonald, Managing Director of Kia Motors New Zealand.

A highlight among a wide array of new features for the Sorento, the Kia Smartstream eight-speed wet double-clutch transmission (8DCT) is featured for the first time in any vehicle in this segment.

The new transmission utilises cutting-edge technology to offer the smooth shifting characteristics of a conventional automatic with the responsiveness and fuel efficiency of a dual clutch system, making it equally at home in rush-hour traffic, on the highway or on twisty back roads.

The new transmission makes the most of the Sorento’s 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, which has been redesigned around a lighter, all-aluminium block. The new Smartstream diesel engine is 38.2kg lighter than the engine in the third generation Sorento and offers more power, translating into improved performance and reduced fuel consumption.

For those venturing off the beaten track or heading to the ski fields, the fourth-generation Sorento will also be equipped with a newly-developed ‘terrain mode’ that offers better traction, stability and control on different types of surfaces such as mud, snow or sand.

The different modes are selected via a dial on the centre console. The system then automatically optimises the drivetrain to suit each surface, adjusting engine torque output and distribution, shift timings, as well as the characteristics of the vehicle’s stability control. The new system is quick to react to changing conditions and lets drivers enjoy more effortless progress, making the new Sorento more capable than ever before.

Safety also takes a major leap forward in the new Kia Sorento when it goes on sale later this year.

Kia has introduced a number of safety initiatives under its Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) programme, which aims at reducing many of the inherent hazards and stresses of driving, in addition to protecting occupants and other road users.

Among the new technologies seen on the upcoming Sorento is Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM), which Kia describes as “a second pair of eyes”, designed to enhance safety by eliminating a driver’s left- and right-side blind spots.

BVM enhances the driver’s rearward vision either side of the vehicle and is linked with the vehicle’s turn signal. It displays a high-resolution video feed on the left or right side of the high-tech 12.3” digital cluster if the driver indicates a lane change or turn, with another vehicle, or cyclist, hidden in their blind spot.

The video briefly takes the place of either the speedometer or tachometer dial display while still showing the driver the vehicle’s current speed. The video feed comes from discreet wide-angle, high-resolution cameras, one functioning in each of the door mirror housings. These provide a wider viewing angle than the mirrors themselves to give drivers a view of other road users.

The new Kia Sorento will also feature Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), allowing the driver to move the vehicle autonomously out of a front-and-back parking space remotely with the key fob. This is designed to make it easier for passengers to get in and out of the car in tight parking spaces, or if another driver parks too close to access any of the doors. Plus, RSPA applies the Sorento’s brakes automatically if it detects another car, cyclist or pedestrian behind the vehicle.

And, for the first time, the Sorento now features an 8.5’ Head Up Display (HUD) that enables drivers to see all the information displayed in the instrument cluster without taking their eyes off the road. The HUD projects driving information onto the base of the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight. The system displays alerts from the car’s numerous driver assistance technologies, details of vehicle speed and turn-by-turn navigation instructions.

Kia’s latest Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) technology, with pedestrian, cyclist and vehicle detection, is now more advanced and detects oncoming traffic even when making a turn at a junction. This ‘junction view’ technology detects other road users on more acute angles and helps the driver to safely navigate situations where vehicles cross paths, applying the brakes if it detects danger.

Other safety features on the new 2021 Kia Sorento include Rear Occupant Alert, which uses ‘rear door opened & closed history’ to inform the driver to check the second and third row seats before leaving the vehicle. The system is there to help prevent passengers, such as babies or small children, from being left behind in rear seats on a hot day.

Another Sorento first is Lane Follow Assist (LFA), which uses the front camera to detect the lane markings and vehicles to help keep the vehicle centred in its lane. 

The new Sorento will come with seven airbags, including one in the centre console between the driver and front passenger, designed to prevent heads coming into contact during a collision – a first for a vehicle in this segment.

Further specification information on the new Kia Sorento please contact Giltrap Kia.

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