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New 2020 Kia Sorento leaked on social media

30 January 2020 - autocar

New 2020 Kia Sorento leaked on social media

Reports suggest Kia's largest SUV will be shown at a dedicated event on 17 February, with a plug-in hybrid variant on the cards

Images of the new Kia Sorento appear to have surfaced online, several weeks ahead of the SUV's expected official debut.

The pictures, posted by the Kurdistan Automotive Facebook page, look to show a pre-production prototype wearing minimal disguise. We can see that the new Sorento has a more square-edged design than its curvy predecessor, and the brand's tiger nose grille will sit within a new front-end profile. The rear end design, meanwhile appears to take heavy inspiration from the firm's US-market Telluride large SUV, with vertically mounted brakelights and a chrome-style lower diffuser among the visible elements.

The leak also gives an idea of what to expect from the Skoda Kodiaq rival's interior. The dashboard features a substantial centrally mounted infotainment touchscreen flanked by a set of vertically mounted air vents, with little in the way of physical buttons and levers.

Earlier this week, a report from The Korean Car Blog stated strongly that the Sorento's full reveal, set to take place in South Korea, is planned for 17 February. This is also the date that domestic-market order books will open for the new car, the publication claims.

It could mean that the Sorento's European premiere would be the Geneva motor show in early March, although Autocar is awaiting confirmation of this from Kia UK.

The new large SUV shares much of its platform, mechanicals and technology with the latest Hyundai Santa Fe, and has been benchmarked alongside the pricier BMW X5, showing the Korean firm's ambition for the model.

The latest Santa Fe is actually slightly smaller than today's Sorento, at 4.77m long and 1.89m wide. Whether Kia has slightly shortened the Sorento or extended the existing platform to suit remains to be seen. Either way, it should remain one of the more spacious seven-seat SUVs.

The new Sorento is expected to initially use a 2.2-litre diesel engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and, on higher-end models, four-wheel drive. But Kia has confirmed that, as part of its electrification plans, there will be a plug-in hybrid version in due course.

That will make use of a four-cylinder petrol engine – likely a turbocharged version of the Kia Niro's 1.6-litre unit – and an electric motor mounted on the rear axle to give electric all-wheel drive.

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