The Kia Sorento is receiving a mid-life update, and the brand has confirmed it’s due in Australia in the second half of 2023.
Spy photos have depicted Sorento prototypes with unchanged side styling but camouflaged front and rear ends. We can make out, however, new vertically oriented headlights in the vein of the Telluride and the upcoming flagship EV9 SUV.
The tail lights appear largely unchanged, though may feature revised graphics and could be connected with a du jour light bar. There will also be the likely mid-cycle cosmetic updates like a refreshed grille and bumpers and new wheel designs.
Expect changes in the updated Sorento’s cabin, largely centred around display technology and a less cluttered dashboard.
A quasi-wraparound assembly encompassing the digital instrument cluster and infotainment displays has already appeared in the smaller Seltos and Sportage, the latter offered with a larger 12.3-inch central touchscreen. The updated Telluride features a similar setup, and we’re expecting the same here.
The Sorento currently tops out with a 10.25-inch touchscreen, though in GT-Line trim it also boasts a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Kia has already confirmed all updated and new-generation models will gain Kia Connect.
A combination of both live services and a smartphone app, Kia Connect uses an onboard modem and Optus SIM.
We’re also expecting Kia to de-clutter the dashboard fascia, as we’ve seen with the likes of the EV6 and Sportage. The media and HVAC controls could be combined into a capacitive touch bar, with physical switchgear pared back.
Given the Sorento’s flagship status for Kia on a global level – the Telluride is exclusive to markets like North America and the Middle East – we could also expect to see new Hyundai Motor Group technology and/or more luxury features like ventilated second-row seating and tri- or quad-zone climate control.
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 launched globally in 2020, and offers a range of powertrains depending on market.
Australia is one of the few markets where a naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre V6 is offered, with other markets offering both naturally aspirated and turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engines.
The Australian-market Sorento is also available with a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, as well as turbocharged 1.6-litre hybrid and plug-in hybrid four-cylinder powertrains.
Given the diesel is sold in Europe, it could be in line to get a 48V mild-hybrid system as we’ve seen in other Kia models in the region. It’s unclear whether this tech would make it to Australia.
The Sorento’s facelift may give it a bolder, more imposing look that also helps align it with Kia’s other SUVs, while also keeping it fresh against the rival Hyundai Santa Fe.
A new generation of Santa Fe is set to be revealed this year with radically different styling, throwing out the curves of the current car for a bluff, boxy body.
MORE: Everything Kia Sorento