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Crossover inspired Kia Picanto and improved Sorento launched


Already a sales success since debuting locally two months ago, Kia has now unveiled a new crossover inspired version of the Picanto due to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, as well as the refreshed Sorento.

Picanto X-Line


Confirmed to reach European showroom floors by the final quarter of this year, the new Picanto X-Line mainly differs from the standard model in that its receives SUV-style black cladding around the wheel arches, at the base of the doors and bumpers, metal effect front and rear skidplates with a lime green finish at the top of the latter, lime green grille inserts and similar finish around the foglights.

Standing 15 mm higher off the ground than a normal Picanto, interior changes to the X-Line are less prominent than on the outside, and mainly includes green stitching on the steering wheel, seats and gear lever boot, alloy pedals and white-and-green door padding on the doors flanked by green stitching.

As the X-Line is based on the top spec Picanto GT-Line, power comes from a 1.0-litre T-GDI petrol engine making 74 kW and 172 Nm of torque, driving the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox. The claimed 0-100 km/h sprint is dealt with in 10.5 seconds.

Due to the 1.0-litre T-GDI not being considered for local introduction yet, the X-Line is unlikely to reach local shores anytime soon.


Originally launched back in 2015, the revised Sorento not only sees the inclusion of a GT-Line model for the first time, but also a brand new gearbox and range of novel driver assistance systems.

Aesthetically, the Sorento now takes after the Rio in that it receives new front and rear bumpers, a darker metallic finish on the grille, new LED head and taillights, choice of 17, 18 and 19-inch alloy wheels, and two new exterior colours; New Rich Espresso and Gravity Blue.

Changes to the interior are more subtle though, with a new steering wheel and climate control display, upgraded materials, four-way adjustable driver's chair with two-way lumbar support, new infotainment visuals, single or two-tone interior finish with either cloth or leather, and optional brown or light grey upholstery.


In addition to the updates, the aforementioned GT-Line ups the ante with red brake calipers, four lamp LED foglights, silver side-steps, dual chrome tipped exhausts and GT-Line badging, while black leather quilted seats with contrasting grey stitching, gear shift paddles, satin chrome inserts and GT-Line embroided seats round off the interior changes.

Depending on the model, standard or optional equipment includes Kia's new eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with TomTom satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth, wireless smartphone charger and a 10-speaker 640-watt Harman Kardon sound system with QuantumLogic surround sound technology.

As for new driver assistance tech, the Sorento comes fitted with Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist and Dynamic Cornering LED headlights.

Underneath the bonnet, the Sorento, in Europe, retains the familiar 2.2-litre CRDI turbodiesel engine with 147 kW and 440 Nm of torque, now matched to a new in-house developed eight-speed automatic which Kia claims boasts 143 newly patented technologies.

Claimed to reduce emissions from 172 g/km to 159 g/km, the new 'box also features a Drive Mode Selector with four modes; Eco, Comfort, Sport and Smart that alters the powertrain for maximum efficiency or response. A six-speed manual will continue to be offered on some models.

In other markets, the Sorento will likely also offer a 2.0-litre turbo petrol, a 2.4-litre normally aspirated four and a 3.3-litre V6. Both front and all-wheel drive will be available.

Kia South Africa has so far yet to confirm whether the upgraded Sorento will be offered, but expect it to arrive sometime next year.

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