Time for Some Tinkering: Kia Reveals Sorento Styling Alterations and a New Transmission In Korea

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
time for some tinkering kia reveals sorento styling alterations and a new

Launched in third-generation form for the 2016 model year, it appears as though the Kia Sorento is due for some upgrades only two years into its lifecycle.

Perhaps the Sorento is in need of some changes. In a booming SUV/crossover market, Kia Sorento sales are down 15 percent in the United States through the first six months of 2017. It’s difficult enough matching 2016’s sales pace in 2017 when car sales are fading, but at Kia, both the Sorento and even newer Sportage are in decline, as well.

Granted, short Sorento supply remains something of an issue for Kia’s Georgia-built Sorento. But regardless of the issues at play, it’s unlikely that these Sorento changes — if and when they reach across the Pacific to the U.S. market — will be all that noticeable.

Kia USA’s 2018 Sorento is officially labelled a carryover model, which means Kia USA is either skipping these modest changes for MY2018, accepting them as mid-model year changes (as Kia has done with the Sorento in the past) or benefiting from the upgrades for MY2019.

Tipped by Australia’s CarAdvice, we checked Kia’s Korean consumer site to find that the “Over The Upper Class” new Sorento is featured quite prominently. One wonders, as always, if the word “new” is being overused.

The headlights go full LED. The grille asks for more attention, the foglights resemble more closely the Sportage’s, the lower intake may appear capable of slightly more intake. The rear features exposed tailpipes. The interior displays some available quilted leather and a new shifter.

That shifter, according to Kia.com/kr, controls an eight-speed transmission — Kia’s 2018 U.S.-market Sorentos still route power through six-speed automatics.

We do know that, despite calling it a carryover model, Kia is making some equipment changes to the U.S. market Sorento for MY2018. A third row will now be standard on basic 2.4-liter all-wheel-drive models. A Cool & Connected package for 2.4-liter-powered Sorentos also adds dual-zone automatic climate control and UVO infotainment to lower-end models.

[Images: Kia.com/kr]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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  • Carrera Carrera on Jul 20, 2017

    I test drove its Hyundai brother. Wasn't impressed how the V6 felt. Didn't feel like all the HP were there.

    • Liger Liger on Jul 21, 2017

      I sold Hyundai and Dodge vehicles. I also noticed that it didn't feel like the Hyundai engines had as much power as claimed. Yet, when Hyundai owners would trade their existing Hyundai in for another Hyundai (typically the same model even, Hyundai owners loved their Hyundai) I would drive the trade in to the used car manager, I noticed that the engine felt much more lively than in the new cars I was used to driving everyday. I talked to a mechanic at the dealership who worked on both dodge and Hyundai, and he said that the engine tolerances on the Hyundai was much tighter than the Dodge. I think that Hyundai engines are very green when new, but once they are broken in, they perform much better.

  • ACCvsBig10 ACCvsBig10 on Jul 20, 2017

    Get rid of the 3rd row with the v6, and make it the the 2-row premium vehicle its meant to be

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