From Kia press:
Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced the official North American debut of the all-new Sorento crossover utility vehicle (CUV) during a press conference at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. The first vehicle to be built at the all-new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) in West Point, Georgia, Sorento encompasses both the brand’s signature design cues as well as its distinct combination of value, safety and style.
Coming to market in early 2010 as a 2011 model-year vehicle, the all-new Sorento presents consumers with a well-equipped, well-appointed CUV with best-in-class power suited perfectly for the fun, dynamic and discerning driver.
With a streamlined and attractive look, the new Sorento represents a modern CUV that is just the right size for today’s consumer. Completely redesigned for 2011, the all-new Sorento now employs a unibody design with the ability to comfortably fit up to seven passengers, offering more space and ride comfort than the previous-generation model. Prominently displaying the signature tabbed grille and wraparound headlamps soon to be seen on all Kia models, Sorento offers a more aggressive stance and sleeker profile than the previous version.
Based on the KND-4 concept shown during the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show, Sorento offers the same swept-back lines and dynamic presence as the concept vehicle. With an angled window line, large flared-back headlamps, prominent fog lamps and rounded nose, the all-new Sorento clearly belongs to the Kia family and effortlessly conveys strength and authority. The view from the rear offers the same forceful attitude with a rounded back and tail lamps set powerfully within the rear lift gate.
Available in base, LX and EX trim levels, the versatile CUV offers tasteful exterior features on all three including 17-inch alloy wheels with 235/65R17 tires and wheel moldings, while moving to the LX trim includes standard body-color heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signal indicators.
All EX trims offer standard 18-inch alloy wheels outfitted with 235/60R18 tires, automatic headlamps, fog lamps (optional on LX trims) and a rear spoiler. Optional for LX and EX trims are roof rails for those looking to spend a weekend away or endeavor in recreational activities, while EX trims offer the options of 18-inch ultra bright mirror-finish wheels or a panoramic sunroof (V6 models only), a first for any Kia vehicle. With an overall length of 183.9 inches and overall width of 74.2 inches, the all-new CUV comes in longer, lower and roomier than the previous-generation Sorento, offering occupants a more spacious and comfortable ride.
The 2011 Sorento offers two engines, both more powerful than the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. A 3.5-liter V6 providing best-in-class 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 175 horsepower and 169 pound-feet of torque both are coupled to a new six-speed automatic transmission, which together provide ample power and offer improved fuel efficiency. This all-new six-speed automatic transmission is a proprietary design for Kia Motors that was designed, engineered and built specifically for Kia vehicles, making the brand one of only three manufacturers to employ such a transmission.
To further meet consumer needs, both engines can be mated to either front- or all-wheel-drive configurations, the latter coming with a locking center differential to evenly distribute power to all wheels while operating the vehicle at low speeds during more severe weather conditions. For enhanced ride performance, the all-new 2011 Sorento employs a more compact and lighter MacPherson strut front suspension and a fully independent multi-link rear suspension.