The Kia Sorento is receiving a mid-life update, and the brand has confirmed it will arrive in Australia in second half of 2023.
Spy photos have depicted the Sorento prototype with unchanged side styling but a camouflaged front and rear. However, we can see new vertically oriented headlights in the vein of Telluride and the upcoming flagship EV9 SUV.
The taillights appear unchanged, although they may feature revised graphics and may be joined by the light bar du jour. There are also likely mid-cycle cosmetic updates such as a fresh grille and bumper and new wheel designs.
Expect changes in the updated Sorento’s cabin, largely focused on display technology and a less cluttered dashboard.
A wrap-around cluster that includes a digital instrument cluster and infotainment display already appears in the smaller Seltos and Sportage, the latter of which is offered with a larger 12.3-inch center touchscreen. The updated Telluride has a similar setup, and we expect the same here.
The Sorento currently tops out with a 10.25-inch touchscreen, although in GT-Line trim it also has a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Kia has confirmed all updated models and the new generation will get Kia Connect.
A combination of both a direct service and a smartphone app, Kia Connect uses an onboard modem and an Optus SIM.
We also expect Kia to ditch the dashboard fascia, as we’ve seen with models like the EV6 and Sportage. Media and HVAC controls can be combined into a capacitive touch bar, with physical switches peeled back.
Given the Sorento’s flagship status for Kia globally – the Telluride is exclusive to markets like North America and the Middle East – we can also expect to see new Hyundai Motor Group technology and/or more luxury features like ventilated second-row seats and zone climate control three or four.
Depending on the market, we could also see things like Matrix LED headlight technology – the new Sportage now offers this in Europe.
The current fourth-generation Kia Sorento launches globally in 2020, and offers a range of powertrains depending on the market.
Australia is one of the few markets to offer a naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6, with other markets offering both a naturally aspirated and turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.
The Australian-market Sorento is also available with a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, as well as a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder hybrid powertrain and plug-in hybrid.
Since the diesel is sold in Europe, it may be in line to get a 48V mild hybrid system like we’ve seen in other Kia models in the region. It is unclear whether this technology will make it to Australia.
The Sorento facelift may give it a bolder, more imposing look that also helps bring it in line with Kia’s other SUVs, while keeping it fresh against the Hyundai Santa Fe rival.
The new generation Santa Fe will be revealed this year with radically different styling, ditching the current car’s curves for a boxy body.
MORE: Everything Kia Sorento