The Kia Sorento is getting an EV9-inspired facelift, and it’s due here in the second half of 2023.

    Kia is expected to soon reveal more specific launch timing.

    Spy photos shared on Korean site Autospy depict Sorento prototypes with unchanged side styling but camouflaged front and rear ends.

    The most significant changes are up front, with new vertically oriented headlights similar to those of Kia’s upcoming electric flagship, as well as the Telluride we miss out on locally.

    While prototypes are wearing extensive camouflage at the rear, we can see the tail lights appear largely unchanged with two separate vertical segments on each side. Whether Kia will add a trendy light bar is unclear.

    These photos also reveal bold new wheel designs for the Sorento, with one resembling a pinwheel and the other featuring squared-off elements.

    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.

    The media and HVAC controls are also expected to be combined into a capacitive touch bar, as seen in the Sportage.

    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

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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