LARGE sedans, wagons and people-movers are on the outer, the high-riding faux off-roaders are all the rage.
Given this genre is hot property, it was interesting that Kia chose the cool surrounds of Tasmania to launch its updated large seven-seat SUV this week.
Bigger, stronger and safer, Kia has also thrown in more standard features as part of a mid-life facelift.
Despite being called a refresh Kia has made some extensive changes, but has carried over tweaked transmissions along with the V6 petrol and 2.2 turbo-diesel powerplants.
What's it cost?
Prices now start from $37,490 (up $500 on the previous entry-level model) for the two-wheel drive petrol and peak at $50,390 for the top-spec oil-burner.
The official word
Kia has aimed to follow the footsteps of its popular compact Sportage SUV by injecting more sporting driving characteristics and styling into the Sorento.
Kia Motors Australia chief operating officer Tony Barlow said the latest iteration of the Sorento was a clear indication of the direction Kia was taking as a vibrant player in the Australian new car market.
"Without departing from the core values of our product and our history, Kia, like the new Sorento, continues to refine and define itself in one of the world's most competitive new car markets," Mr Barlow said. "This latest Sorento is bigger, better, stronger, safer and better value - all the things Kia Motors values and strives to provide for our customers."
Available in three trim levels, Si, SLi and Platinum (diesel only), Kia says the Sorento is testament to its arrival as a key player in an ultra competitive market.
What do you get?
Base models come with 17-inch alloys, six airbags, stability control and a range of associated technologies, dual zone climate control air-con, steering wheel-mounted cruise control/audio/phone controls, CD stereo with USB/iPod cable input, LED daylight running lamps, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, along with front and rear parking sensors.
The SLi adds bigger 18-inch alloys, leather seats, rear view camera, 4.3 inch touch-screen audio unit, power adjustable driver's seat - while sat-nav and premium audio is a $1500 option.
Step up again into the Platinum and you gain slick 19-inch alloys, keyless entry with push button start, sat nav and panoramic sunroof among other trinkets.
Model: Kia Sorento.
Details: Five-door seven-seat large sports utility vehicle.
Engine: 3.5-litre petrol V6 generating maximum power of 204kW @ 6300rpm and peak torque of 335Nm @ 5000rpm.
Transmission: Six-speed automatic, two-wheel drive.
Consumption: 9.8 litres/100km (combined average).
C02: 235g/km (combined).
Bottom line: Si $37,90, SLi $40,490, SLi nav $41,990,.
Engine: 2.2-litre inline four-cylinder turbo-diesel generating maximum power of 145kw @3800rpm and peak torque of 421Nm @ 1800-2500 (436Nm for auto).
Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, all-wheel drive.
Consumption: 6.6 litres/100km (manual combined average); 7.3L/100km (auto).
CO2: 174g/km; 192g/km.
Bottom line: Si $38,990 (manual, auto adds $2000), SLi $43,990, SLi sat nav $45,490, Platinum $50,390.
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