The current gen of Sorento has been quite a faithful old girl in recent years. After all, it was the first Kia to sport the svelte Tiger Nose design style thats evolved across the range into one of the brands key selling points, and it sells in decent numbers as well.
However, it is starting to show its age now, so we werent too surprised by the announcement of a mid-life refresh for the seven-seater SUV. However, we were quite surprised by how thorough and extensive this update went in certain places.
Kia are strangely being quite tight-lipped about some of the changes to the Sorento its planning on announcing them closer to when this new model ends up going on sale but we do know that there will be a few alterations to the interior trim.
The biggest and most noteworthy change that we know of so far is the introduction of a new LCD display for the instrument binnacle, along with a revised centre stack and console that brings with it a built-in 7 inch touchscreen.
Kia has also revised the trim levels for the Sorento as well its now been simplified to four numbered stages, with 1 being the most basic model in the range whilst 4 comes with all the bells and whistles.
That said, its been tipped that standard equipment levels will be improved across the range, and its likely that therell be a slight improvement in build quality in order for it to keep up with the rest of the Kia range.
The Sorentos design, though starting to show its age when compared with recent Kias like the Optima and the new ceed, is still sharp and crisp when compared with most rivals, so there havent been many major changes to the Sorentos bodywork.
The most noticeable changes have been made to the front and rear bumpers, which are now a bit more chunky than they were on the pre-facelift model. The front headlamps have also had a bit of a redesign, with integrated LED running lights and a new sharper look to them.
Its also worth pointing out that this facelifted model can also be specified with 18 inch wheels. Whether or not itll do any wonders for the ride quality is anyones guess though, as quite a few critics of the current car reckon the rides a bit firm on the 17 inchers.
Under the skin
This is where the most thorough part of the Sorentos update can be found, as the Kia unusually perhaps, given the Sorento is only halfway through its life cycle comes with all-new underpinnings.
Yep, thats right theres going to be an all-new chassis design for the Sorento, and it is actually quite a remarkable one. According to Kia, this new platform is 100kg lighter than the one that forms the backbone of the current Sorento, which should bode well for improved ride and handling, along with better fuel consumption figures.
The engine line-up will also be updated, though we wont know the full extent of these changes until a later date. However, given these improved engines will be bolted into a car thats a tenth of a ton lighter than it was before, expect it to become one of the most efficient cars in its class.
It seems that itd be entirely wrong to simply regard this new and improved Kia Sorento as just another refresh that weve come to expect from mainstream manufacturers nowadays, Yes, there are elements of that, but the overall package has now been hugely improved upon on paper at least and promises to keep the Sorento at the top end of the family-orientated SUV market.
We should expect to receive more details, such as mpg and pricing, once the new Sorento goes on sale later on during the autumn period, so the first batch of reviews (and, of course, our buzzscore!) will be up and about in the next few months or so.
Overall, were quite looking forward to seeing whether or not this significantly altered Kia Sorento is as good on the road and to live with as it is impressive on the spec sheets.
Check out our full summary of the Kia Sorento alongside reviews, photos, stats and videos!