The upcoming diesel Kia Sorento has been spotted in the wild.
Kia has been on a tear in recent years. Their Stinger GT is suddenly one of the most sought-after sedans in a market that seems to abhor four-door cars, while their Sorento SUV just continues to make milestones in the North American market. The 2019 mid-year facelift has already proven to be another big hit, which is causing Sorento sales to surge here in the States.
But now there’s a new Sorento set to arrive. The Kia Sorento Diesel which forsakes regular octane for a torque-y brew of highly thermal efficient fuel.
The only real difference between the gas-powered model and the diesel one is in the exhaust. We see the diesel has a pair of exhaust tips as opposed to the regular version’s single wide oval. That’s it.
We can also tell that this diesel model is one of the more basic trims. There’s no LED headlights or taillights, while the fog lights are also absent. We don’t expect to see any big changes in the cabin either compared to the regular model, so expect the same 8.5-inch infotainment screen in the center console astride a spacious interior.
The exact powertrain is still a bit of a mystery as we haven’t had any direct confirmation from Ikea. We suspect that it’ll be the same engine as in the Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a 2.2-L turbodiesel that produces 190 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic comes in either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive configurations depending on how much you want to spend.
This puts the Sorento Diesel in between the rest of its gas-powered brethren, with the base-level 2.4-L inline 4-cylinder putting out 185 hp and 178 lb-ft, while the available 3.3-L V6 on higher trims puts down 290 hp and 252 lb-ft.
According to Motor1, the Sorento Diesel is currently undergoing EPA certification for fuel efficiency, so we could see a debut any day now. Expect the diesel Sorento to hit roads early 2019.