Now equipped with seven seats in three rows, a six-speed sequential automatic transmission and loaded with equipment, the new petrol-powered Sorento 2.4 LX AWD goes on sale for $49,490 – a good price point compared to large 7-seater SUV equivalents from Hyundai, Mazda and Toyota.
Kia says the success of its petrol-powered Sportage SUVs provided them with the inspiration to look at a similar entry-level petrol model for the larger Sorento, which has only been available with the 2.2-litre R-series diesel engine until now.
“Whilst it can make sense for SUVs to run on diesel there are buyers who prefer petrol because they do not have to worry about Road User Charges and the higher purchase cost and this area of the market appears to be getting stronger, especially for 7-seater models, which is a good alternative to traditional people carriers,” says Kia Motors NZ General Manager Todd McDonald.
“Sales of Sorento have continued to rise since we launched the all-new range at the beginning of last year and our recent decision to fit seven seats to every model has only added to its appeal. So the introduction of an all-wheel-drive petrol model with seven seats at a highly competitive price made perfect sense.”
The new Sorento 2.4 LX AWD features Kia’s revised 2.4-litre ‘Theta II’ petrol engine, with upgraded electronics and low-friction components to help it deliver more power, improved durability, enhanced refinement, reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions.
The four-cylinder power plant utilises dual CVVT (continuously variable valve timing) technology for both the intake and exhaust valves, four valves per cylinder and features weight-saving all-aluminium construction with a cast aluminium block, cylinder head and sump. This engine delivers 130kW at 6000rpm and torque is 227Nm @ 3750rpm. The 6-speed auto transmission is the same as used on the rest of the Sorento range, with the facility for drivers to manual shift gears or just leave it to change automatically.
While the Sorento 2.4 LX AWD may be the entry level model, it boasts a high level of specification and equipment, such as dual-zone climate control, leather steering wheel incorporating audio, bluetooth and cruise controls, height-adjustable driver’s seat, heated/folding/power door mirrors, remote central locking, power windows, trip computer, chrome door handles, front fog lights, reverse warning sensors, rear cargo blind and interior mood lighting.
There’s no skimping on safety, either, as the Sorento has been awarded the top Euro NCAP 5-star rating. Among the safety features are Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), incorporating ABS anti-lock brakes and traction control, plus Rollover Sensors, along with dual front, side and curtain airbags and active front seat headrests.
The new Kia sorento 2.4 LX AWD is now on sale at Kia dealerships throughout New Zealand.