To the end of February Kia lay in 10th place on the Irish new car sales charts with a total of 1,972 units registered and a market share of 4.32%. It was not a bad performance, but not quite up to that of sister company Hyundai, which ratcheted up some 4,199 units and a market share of 9.19%.
I suspect Kia - and its’ dealer network - will be gagging to get their hands on the latest version of a car which has been hugely important for them - the new Sorento which went on sale this week. Kia says that the new SUV will build on the success of the outgoing model with what it maintains is “a unique blend of style, practicality and technology.”
The company reckons a smoother, swept-back profile and deeply sculpted surfaces introduce a more refined design to the third-generation model, delivering a premium look and feel, with more space and numerous innovative features.
The sleeker look of the new Sorento is enhanced by its increased length (+95 mm to 4,780 mm), reduced height (down 15 mm to 1,685 mm) and extra width (+5 mm to 1,890 mm).
Here in Ireland Kia will offer two all wheel drive variants of the new car - the EX at €38,995 and the expected volume model the Platinum at €43,995. The entry level model is a five seater with a generous level of spec that includes 17” alloys, rear privacy glass, super vision instrument cluster and 7” sat nav with reversing camera.
The Platinum version adds to the above with a panoramic sunroof, Xenon lights, leather and heated seats, a heated steering wheel and an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat. The Platinum automatic (costing €49,500) further adds 18” wheels and an electronic parking brake.
Power continues to come from the Kia 2.2, 197 bhp Euro VI diesel unit which sees a drop in C02 from 155 to 149 for the manual version, which keeps it in Band C (€390) for road tax purposes.
— Auto Culture Ireland (@autocultureirl) March 9, 2015
According to James Brooke, Managing Director of Kia Ireland, the Sorento is one of the most recognisable model names associates with the brand since Kia entered this market just over 10 years ago.
“In this time Sorento has evolved from a traditional 4x4 to a more refined urban SUV. The new Sorento reflects everything the Kia brand now stands for in terms of styling, engineering, technology and quality and it clearly shows that we able to compete in one of the most demanding car segments where consumers demand this level exterior styling and a premium refined and quality interior.
“We are confident that Irish customers in the market for a D segment SUV will take to the Sorento in the same way that C segment CUV customers have taken to Sportage ,” Brook commented. As with every Kia sold in Europe, the new Sorento benefits from Kia’s 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty.
We will be testing the new car in the next few weeks, so watch this space for further news.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved