Korean automakers, Kia, have just updated their Sportage SUV and the company are now aiming to replace their larger Sorento model, and the all new version of the Sorento has recently been spotted in testing. This update follows a subtle refresh in 2012, with Kia confirming that an official reveal has been scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.
Although virtually every panel has been hidden from prying eyes in the spy shots, several new features and tweaks can be picked out. The front gains a reshaped grille similar to that on the new Optima, flanked by a pair of raked back lights. Heavy bonnet and rear cladding have given the model a more shapely design, breaking up the vehicle's body SUV proportions.
It is also clear that the Sorento has grown in size, with Kia confirming the new model will ride on an all new platform shared by the next generation Hyundai Santa Fe. A slight increase in wheelbase and overall length will also significantly improve second and third row passenger space.
Although unconfirmed, a batch of hybrid powertrains could also find their way into the new Sorento, after Kia unveiled the hybrid technology for it's next generation models at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
Currently the company offers the Sorento with only one engine, a 194 brake horse power 2.2 litre CRDi diesel, with either a six speed manual or an automatic. There are no specific technical details on future engines but Kia has confirmed both diesel and petrol emissions could be cut by up to 15%. As well as reducing running costs, the mild hybrid system will also boost power output by up to 20% with an electric supercharger. A new seven speed dual clutch gear box is also expected to join the Sorento options.
Official pricing for the new model has yet to be announced but it is likely the model will cost around £27,000. Before it enters production, the new Kia Sorento is set to be unveiled at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October.