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Kia opts for bold new design for its flagship seven-seater Sorento SUV

Kia has unveiled its all-new Sorento flagship SUV ahead of its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

The photos show the fourth-generation car sporting a bolder and more stylish new design as it attempts to move further upmarket to compete with the likes of Audi.

There are sharper lines and a more sculpted feel, and the car looks better poised and more planted on the road.

The external design features are just the start of a slew of new features for the new Sorento.

This includes a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, with a plug-in hybrid due within 12 months.

An all-new cabin with additional connectivity and safety assist technology will also accompany the new generation car.

The Sorento is a key model for the Korean manufacturer as it approaches its 20th birthday. It began life in February 2002, with the second generation landing in 2009.

Six years later, the third-generation model arrived in 2015, boosted by a 2018 facelift that improved looks, engines and connectivity.

The Sorento sits at the heart of Kia’s revamped global SUV line-up, which also includes the XCeed crossover, Stonic, Sportage, and the mainly US-only Telluride.

The new Sorento is visually based on the bigger Telluride, but with some features toned down for European tastes.

The new model’s Sorento’s design incorporates sharper lines and uninterrupted surfaces, appearing more sculpted than its more round-edged predecessor.

The assertive ‘face’ of the Sorento evolves, too, with a new interpretation of Kia’s hallmark ‘tiger nose’ grille.

Wider and more expansive, it wraps organically around the integrated headlamps on each side.

The headlamps themselves feature a new ‘tiger eye’ LED daytime running light, depicting the intense impression of the lines around a tiger’s eyes.

There are shorter front and rear overhangs and a longer wheelbase. Its new proportions also extend the length of the bonnet, drawing the A-pillar 30mm further back from the front axle for a more ‘cab-rearward’ design.

Kia will reveal further details around the Geneva show launch date, but it has let it be known that the new model will feature a host of additional features including a new cabin.

Autonomous emergency braking, cyclist detection, a 10-inch touchscreen and wireless charging are just some of the goodies that will feature.

Under the bonnet, expect new diesel and petrol engines, plus a petrol-electric hybrid with a 230bhp output and a plug-in hybrid with an official electric-only range of up to 40 miles.

A seven-seat option will be available on all models, including the plug-in hybrid when it arrives.

Kia will officially launch the new Sorento on 3 March, and we’ll learn more than. UK specification, pricing and on-sale date will be announced in due course.

We expect a small cost premium over the current price range, which starts from £30,250 on the road for a Sorento KX-1 model.

Belfast Telegraph