Kia has rapidly introduced quality and modern style into its lineup over the last few years, and those efforts will soon bleed over into the popular Sorento crossover. The 2016 Kia Sorento increases in size and aims to grow its premium appeal in its latest iteration, positioning itself as a viable competitor to other three-row crossovers like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Chevrolet Traverse.
As expected based on earlier teaser images, the 2016 Kia Sorento is longer and wider than before, with a longer wheelbase. Kia increased the Sorento’s wheelbase by 3.1 inches, now totaling 109.4 inches. The 2016 Kia Sorento also grew 3.7 inches in length. The Sorento’s softer and more swept-back styling is in part a result of the higher beltine and 0.6-inch reduced height. While we don’t know exactly how much additional space there will be for passengers and cargo in the 2016 Kia Sorento, it should compete more reasonably with other three-row crossovers than it did before, when it was really a midsize crossover with an available third row.
Earlier teaser images of the Sorento’s interior show a much cleaner and more attractive interior than we saw in the outgoing model. Kia claims that the 2016 Sorento will use soft-touch materials to a much greater extent, while also implementing the Korean automaker’s latest infotainment system.
Although still recognizably a Kia Sorento, the updated crossover now looks decidedly more premium and suited to Kia’s modernized lineup. Up front we see a totally overhauled front fascia including chrome and gloss black trim on the lower bumper, angular foglight housings, and Kia’s trademark “Tiger” grille opening. Around the rear, prominent changes include restyled taillights and a new bumper. The overall styling scheme draws from the Kia Cross GT concept from the 2013 Chicago auto show, but the concept’s leaner, more elongated proportions were apparently left on the cutting room floor during the Sorento’s development.
The 2016 Kia Sorento will most likely use the familiar 3.3-liter direct-injection V-6 making about 290 hp, with a turbo-four another potential engine option. Front-wheel drive will come standard, with all-wheel drive available. Debuting later this month in Korea and then at the Paris auto show on October 2, the new Sorento will make its U.K. debut in the spring of 2015. It will likely go on sale here in the U.S. at around the same time.