January 01, 2016 By Kevin C. Limjoco

2016 Kia Grand Sorento EX

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Words: Kevin C. Limjoco – Pictures: Nicolas Calanoc

Now on its third generation, the new, heavily redesigned Kia Sorento continues to get better and more desirable. Unlike in the last generation where the Sorento shared the same chassis and basic drivetrain with its sister the Hyundai Santa Fe, the new model uses a shorter version of the new platform used in the all-new Carnival mini-van. To create a more defined division between the two brands, the current Santa Fe remains with a short wheelbase for the standard model at 2700 mm, and the long wheelbase Grand Santa Fe at 2800 mm, while the Sorento soldiers on with a single model that uses a 2780 mm version of the more robust 3,060 mm Iso-Structure™ platform used in the Carnival. The new Sorento chassis is composed of 54% ultra-high-strength steel that is said to be 115% more rigid than the last generation platform, which also allows it to tow 43% more at 5,000 pounds. The stronger chassis also creates a better foundation for enhanced ride quality, a quieter cabin, better crash protection, and overall better dynamic performance.

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The basic high-performance transverse 2.2-liter inline-4 turbodiesel engine, 12.6” vented front/12.1” solid rear disc brakes, and 6-speed automatic transmission are employed on all four said models; however, they’re fine-tuned, albeit minutely, to each independently to suit their designed roles. The chassis improvements are further complemented by the new suspension setup that uses Dual-Flow Damper shocks on all corners. The new body design is also the most aerodynamic of its type from both brands at a .33 drag coefficient.

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The new cabin is profoundly better than before in all regards. The choice of materials, the design, and most of the standard local equipment help justify the huge sticker price despite missing some key elements like a rear camera, automatic rain-sensing wipers, electronic brake lock, HID or LED headlights, LED tail lights, and premium 10-speaker audio. What it does have is a panoramic roof, an automatic smart power liftgate, a neat high-contrast TFT Supervision instrument cluster with multiple functions and data, a Drive Mode that selects steering and powertrain settings, cruise control, multiple power outlets, a good-looking steering wheel, an excellent Dynamax AWD with a center differential that you can lock for low-speed use, a host of Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and a bit more.

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We loved our old C! Fastfleet 2nd generation top-spec Sorento until it was eclipsed by the refinement and better equipment levels found in the current Hyundai Santa Fe 4×4. The new Sorento, however, looks, feels, rides, and drives even better than the old car AND both Hyundai models! It truly feels upscale and larger; it is just a pity that too many options were not included in the domestic model.

Specification – 2016 Kia Grand Sorento EX
Engine: Inline-4, 2199cc, dohc 16V, CRDi E-VGT Turbodiesel, Sportmatic 6-speed AT
Max power: 197 bhp @ 3800 rpm
Max torque: 325 lb ft @ 1750-2750 rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 9.3 sec.
Top Speed: 198 km/h (124 mph) Governed
Fuel Mileage: 7.2 L/100km Overall
Price on delivery: PhP 2,300,000.00
C! RATING 9.8/10
+Elegant, still the most powerful engine in its class, quite spacious, heavily updated in all fronts
-Missing some key equipment found in other territories

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