Although it received a low-key welcome at the 2009 Seoul motor show, we caught Kia’s new 2010 Sorento SUV strutting its stuff stateside well in advance of its North American debut.
Kia hasn’t done much to its midsize SUV in the past five years, but for 2010, the Sorento receives a considerable growth spurt. For the new model, Kia abandoned the body-on-frame construction, and elected to share the unit-body structure with the (larger) Hyundai Santa Fe. As a result, the Sorento is expected to gain a third row of seating, making it more competitive against foes like the Toyota Highlander. From a styling perspective, the Sorento seems to blend Kia’s latest design language with many of the cues first seen on the larger Borrego SUV. We weren’t able to snap a clear shot of the front fascia, but it uses Kia’s new corporate face, seen on the likes of the Forte and Forte Koup. The 2010 Sorento will be built in Kia’s assembly plant in West Point, Georgia, and will likely be available here with your choice of a 2.4-liter I-4 or a 3.5-liter V-6. We’d wager on seeing the entire ‘ute at the 2009 Los Angeles auto show, if not sooner.