2023 Kia Sorento launched in Malaysia – 2.5 petrol, 2.2 diesel AWD; 6 or 7-seater; CKD fr RM211k to RM255k – paultan.org
Previewed in January, the 2023 Kia Sorento is now officially launched in Malaysia. The fourth-generation Sorento is launching as a CKD locally assembled model – instead of an initial CBU batch like the Carnival – priced from RM211,498 to RM255,228, which are lower than the estimates. There are three variants with a mixture of two engines and two seating configurations, which we’ll explain.
The latest Sorento is bigger than its already large predecessor, with a 10 mm expansion in each direction to be 4,810 mm long, 1,900 mm wide and 1,695 mm tall. The wheelbase has grown by 35 mm to 2,815 mm.
It’s a very handsome SUV, with sharp lines contrasting the soft curves of many rivals. Kia’s signature ‘tiger nose’ pinch sits on what’s in effect a full width grille as the headlamps – striking triple projectors – are integrated nicely for a one-piece look. The sides are straight and simple, but there’s a chrome ‘shark fin’ to add interest at the C pillars.
There will be many who think that the new Sorento’s chiseled rear end is its best angle. Two vertical strips on each side and Sorento spelled out below the number plate. Overall, it’s a very macho-looking SUV, probably the brawniest one in the market now. What do you think?
Under the hood, we get a choice of two engines – one petrol, one diesel. As expected, the base model is a petrol with front-wheel drive and the maximum seven seats in three rows (2-3-2). The 2.5 2WD 7-Seater is powered by a 2.5 litre Smartstream naturally-aspirated four-cylinder MPi engine with 177 hp and 232 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The transmission is a six-speed automatic. The entry variant is priced at RM211,498 on-the-road without insurance.
The next variant also uses the same 2.5L engine, but with all-wheel drive and six seats in a 2-2-2 formation, with the middle row bench making way for two captain chairs. The 2.5 AWD 6-Seater is priced at RM235,498.
The range topper is the RM255,228 2.2D AWD 6-Seater. It also comes with six seats and AWD, but the engine here is the 2.2 litre turbodiesel from the Carnival, making 199 hp and 440 Nm of torque from 1,750 to 2,750 rpm. While the CRDi is paired to an eight-speed torque converter automatic in the MPV, the Sorento gets an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission instead.
By the way, our CKD Sorento will come with a traditional gear lever instead of a rotary dial that some markets get. The Drive Mode knob behind the gear lever incorporates Terrain Mode presets (snow, mud, sand) on AWD models.
The base model comes with a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, analogue dials, fabric seats, powered front seats, one-touch entry into the third row, second- and third-row air vents, powered tailgate, the ability to fold the second-row seats from the boot, Qi wireless charger, keyless entry/push start as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.
The higher-spec six-seater variant add on 19-inch alloys, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, Bose sound system, leather upholstery and rear window shades. The front passenger seat also has controls on its side, increasing convenience for the driver or rear passenger.
As for safety, it’s six airbags, DSC, hill start assist, Multi-Collision Brake, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and autonomous emergency braking across the board, from the base model onwards. Dinamikjaya Motors MD Datuk Wong Kin Foo says that there are no plans to introduce the plug-in hybrid version or the 1.6L hybrid variant in Malaysia; the latter is Euro 6-only.
Once again, the new 2023 Kia Sorento is priced at RM211,498 for the 2.5 2WD 7-Seater, RM235,498 for the 2.5 AWD 6-Seater and RM255,228 for the 2.2D AWD 6-Seater. There’s a five-year or 100,000 km warranty and service package; the latter includes labour, parts and lubricants. Three-row SUV rivals in Malaysia include Bermaz stablemate Mazda CX-8, the Hyundai Santa Fe (we’re still waiting for the TM facelift) and the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. What’s your take on the new Kia Sorento?
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