Since becoming the automaker’s best-selling vehicle after launching in early 2010, the Kia Sorento midsize crossover has been vital for the Korean automaker as it grows its share of sales in the U.S. and around the world.
The crossover debuted in most of the world as a 2009 model, though, meaning that it will soon be on sale in the U.S. for four years with very little changes. In the auto industry, that’s nearly a lifetime.
Seeing as the Kia Sorento is the brand’s most important model in the U.S., it stood to reason a refresh was coming up. But a thorough reworking is what the marketplace is getting.
Seen above are the first pictures of the updated U.K.-spec Kia Sorento, which don’t look dramatically different than the 2013 Kia Sorento that just went on sale in the U.S. a few weeks back. Kia says the Sorento has received a thorough reworking, though, and if the U.K.’s CAR magazine is to be believed, that means it could see a weight reduction of around 220 pounds. That’s a lot of weight for a crossover that tips the scales at 3,605 to 3,925 pounds in U.S. spec.
Additionally, the Korean automaker says most of the work to update the Sorento has been done under the skin, updating engines to make them more efficient. While Kia is likely only referring to the 2.0- and 2.2-liter turbocharged diesel engines available abroad, we’re likely to see improvements to the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines and 3.5-liter V-6 available in the U.S. model sooner rather than later.
Additional updates include new sheetmetal with updated LED headlights and tail lights in addition to wheels as large as 19 inches, more soft-touch materials on the inside, a new LCD instrument cluster, a 7-inch display screen likely to house Kia’s redesigned UVO infotainment and telematics system, and other smaller updates throughout.
Kia has been tight-lipped on when the refreshed Sorento will be hitting our shores. But seeing as the U.S. 2013 model is already on sale, it’d be a good bet to wager that what you see above is coming to the U.S. as a 2014 model.
Source: Kia, Car