Kia Unveils EV Concepts, Facelifted Sorento at LA Auto Show
Updated 2024 Sorento begins arriving early next year.
Kia took the wraps off a popular updated SUV along with a pair of new EV concepts at the Los Angeles Auto Show today. Both the Concept EV3 and Concept EV4 all-electric concepts made their North American debut in LA.
Concept EV3 is a compact crossover that draws heavily from the EV9’s design and technology. The EV3’s styling is a part of Kia’s Opposites United design language but is from a new pillar called “Joy of Reason”
The EV3 features a windshield that has been pushed forward, along with a sloping roofline and C-pillar that links the greenhouse to the roof to give it (the roof) a floating effect. Other notable exterior features include squared wheel arches that are cut with asymmetrical angles.
On the inside, the EV3 has soft mood lighting, a clean dashboard design and slimmer seating made from natural fibers. The fiber weave is quite strong, according to Kia, and has a natural color palette. The seat covers use 3D Knit technology and combine with tables that have four modes: Focus, Social, Refreshing, and Storage. The console table is partially made from bio-plastic materials.
The EV3’s sibling, Concept EV4, is a sedan that’s designed around the “Power to Progress” element of Opposites United, with geometric character lines, a low nose, long-tail silhouette, and roof spoiler. Vertical headlights located at the outside edges of the hood and front bumper complete an appearance that Kia says was influenced by sports cars and race cars.
Inside, the EV4 has a horizontal and spacious layout with a climate user interface that can be stored in the center console when not being used. Pin-style air vents can change their patterns, while handwoven fabric stripes in the storage and dashboard create a 3D effect. Materials used in the EV4 cabin also make use of natural dyes and recycled cotton.
Also on stage was the 2024 mid-size Sorento SUV, which receives a host of changes as part of a mid-cycle refresh. On the styling front, the ’24 Sorento carries forward Kia’s “Opposites United” design language that debuted on the three-row EV9 SUV. The new Sorento features a squarish look with a new front hood, stacked vertical LED headlights, slim amber daytime running headlights that wrap around the headlight, and vertical LED taillights.
Other design elements lifted from the EV9 include a new rectangular grille, along with Star Map lighting elements at the front and rear. New front and lower bumpers feature a wider skid plate garnish.
Inside, key features include an available dual 12.3-inch screens (a 4.3-inch digital instrument cluster panel and 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen are standard). New air vents complete an updated instrument panel design, while new color options include Midnight Lake Blue, and Dawning Red. A Dusk Blue interior will be available for HEV and PHEV models, which show up later in the year.
Mechanical changes include an upgraded center-locking differential for the X-Line grade, while X-Pro trims receive standard 17-inch wheels and larger sidewall BF Goodrich all-terrain tires. Towing capacity has been uprated to 4,000 pounds (1,814 kilograms).
Styling changes for the X-Line include a bridge-style roof rack, new front and rear bumpers, gloss black front grille and 20-inch gloss black wheels, X-Line badging and leather-trimmed seatbacks with the X-Line logo. New interior color options, Olive Brown and Sage, are also on deck for X-Line and X-Pro, along with matte and open pore wood trim garnishes. Jungle Green and Roadrider Brown are new X trim exterior colors.
On the tech front, the Sorento is the second Kia (following the EV9), to feature Kia’s Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC) operating system. The system features faster processing, higher resolution graphics, shortcuts (Quick Controls), and over-the-air updates. Wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto are standard, and Digital Key 2.0, enabling owners to lock and unlock using their Apple or Samsung smart devices, is optional.
Other new features of note include Smart Cruise Control-Machine Learning (SCC-ML), which adapts to the driver’s driving style regarding accelerating and braking. Optional Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA-2) delivers automatic lane changes and maintains a predetermined distance from the vehicle in front.
The powertrain lineup for the 2024 Sorento is as follows: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder (191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet) engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard for LX and S. Upper trims, including X-Line and X-Pro, are powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (281 hp / 311 lb-ft) mated to an eight-speed automatic wet dual-clutch transmission. Lower trims come with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available on some grades and is standard on X-Line and X-Pro.
The gas grades of the 2024 Sorento (LX, S, EX, SX, and SX-P) go on sale in the first quarter of next year. Of note, X-Line is available on EX grades and above, and X-Pro is on SX-P. Hybrid and plug-in trims will arrive later in 2024 as 2025 models.
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