New Facelifted Kia Sorento 7-seater SUV – European specs revealed

Kia’s seven-seater SUV gets external tweaks and a host of interior updates

  • Now features Kia’s latest interior tech 
  • Arriving in the UK in mid-2024
  • Starting price of around £40,000

We’d seen a sneak preview of the updated Kia Sorento earlier this year on social media, but now the car is out in the open following its reveal at the LA Auto Show, and Kia has now released details about the European version destined for UK shores next year.

What’s changed on the outside?

The most noticeable exterior updates can be seen up front, with new, vertical LED headlights replacing the horizontal units found on the old model. The new headlights are accompanied by thin, T-shaped daytime running lights, bringing the Sorento up to date with Kia’s latest design language as seen on the electric EV9 SUV. The front grille has grown in size and the bumper beneath it has had a minor rework too, with a new skid plate to provide some off-road protection.

The best family SUVs 2023Top 10 best family SUVs 2024

The Sorento’s side profile remains unchanged and the rear is largely the same, the only differences being a reprofiled bumper and new LED tail-lights. These rear clusters replace the split-element items found on the previous model, and feature a sharp new LED graphic. Wheel sizes range from 17 to 20 inches, depending on the trim level, and European customers will have ten colours to choose from, with new shades Volcanic Sand, Interstellar Grey and Cityscape Green joining the existing palette.

Anything new inside?

Moving inside the Sorento, the first thing you notice is the new curved panoramic display, with a pair of 12.3-inch screens. This appears to be the same item used in the previously mentioned EV9 and results in a simpler, minimalistic dashboard layout. The new display runs on Kia’s latest software, which will include over-the-air updates and the option to use your smartphone as a digital key. Kia has also fitted the new Sorento with ambient lighting throughout the cabin for some added theatre, as well as a panoramic sunroof.

Facelifted Kia Sorento dashboard view

With the aim of improving sustainability, all European cars will come as standard with what Kia calls a “PET reusable fabric” interior – essentially, upholstery made from recycled plastic. The seats, however, will remain as leather items and buyers will have the option to upgrade to a full leather interior.

What engines will be available?

Under the bonnet, the outgoing model’s 226bhp, 1.6-litre hybrid engine option will be carried over, along with the more powerful 261bhp plug-in hybrid. The plug-in hybrid model uses a 13.8kWh battery, allowing for limited pure-electric driving, and comes as standard with four-wheel drive (the less powerful hybrid model is available with two or four-wheel drive). Both of these options come with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Those wanting a traditional diesel engine in their Sorento will be pleased to know that this option will still be offered in Europe for the 2024 model. It’s the same 2.2-litre unit as before, mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. However, it’s unclear whether this engine option will find its way to the UK market to appeal to buyers who often need to tow heavy caravans or trailers.

Facelifted Kia Sorento rear-quarter static view

How much will the Sorento cost?

A starting price of around £40,000 is likely for the entry-level hybrid, which would undercut the outgoing model by several thousand pounds, and we can expect it to hit UK roads by mid-2024. Kia will reveal more detailed UK pricing information next year.

What does this mean for car buyers?

We’re fans of the current Sorento, enough to award it our Carbuyer Car of the Year title in 2021. Its premium interior and strong plug-in hybrid engine option gave it the edge over similar seven-seater rivals and the new model will only build on these strengths. We are most excited about the prospect of a cheaper starting price –  Kia slimmed down the current Sorento range during the recent parts supply shortage, leaving only expensive top trims in showrooms for a period. A £40k Sorento could be a family car bargain worth waiting for.

If you’re interested in a seven-seater family car, make sure to read our top 10 list…

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