LOS ANGELES — Kia says its fourth-generation Sorento takes cues from the larger three-row Telluride that has been a major hit in the U.S. with customers and reviewers alike.
Why mess with a winning formula?
The midsize crossover, revealed in European specs on Wednesday, is bigger and more sculpted than its predecessor, and packs modern technology and upscale materials, Kia said in a press release.
"Raising standards in the midsize SUV class for space, efficiency and quality, it sits at the heart of Kia's reinvigorated global SUV lineup," the company said. U.S. specifications are expected to be announced shortly.
On the outside, Kia said the Sorento's exterior design features sharper lines, high-tech details and elongated proportions for a more mature presence than the already-handsome current generation. "The new Sorento is the first vehicle to be based on Kia's new-generation midsize SUV platform. Paired with a larger body to maximize cargo and luggage space, the platform ensures the Sorento is one of the most versatile and spacious three-row SUVs on the road."
The Sorento can hold up to seven passengers.
In Europe, the Sorento will come in a hybrid version, which is a first for the crossover. The hybrid offers not just better fuel economy and lower emissions than the outgoing model, but also better performance, Kia said. A plug-in hybrid will be offered later.
In the European market, the hybrid is powered by an electric motor paired with a new 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that's also available in the U.S.-spec Hyundai Sonata, where it makes 180 hp. The hybrid uses a six-speed automatic transmission. The Sorento is also available with a 2.2-liter diesel engine in Europe that pairs with an eight-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is optional.