Sun, 25 May 2003

KIA Sorento heats up SUV competiton

Jakarta urbanites now have more options for appeasing their adventurous spirit, with South Korean automaker KIA Motors unveiling its latest sports utility vehicle (SUV), the Sorento, which blends all-terrain travel and comfort.

Sorento was introduced by PT KIA Mobil Indonesia on May 12, a week after the Nissan X-Trail and Ford Escape were launched, making the SUV competition here a bit hotter than usual.

However, the Sorento -- which was launched in Europe last September -- and the two other SUVs are in different classes in terms of engine capacity.

The latest X-Trail model has a 2,500 cc engine while the Escape is powered by a 2,000 cc engine.

The Sorento is in a more powerful class, as it is powered by a Sigma V-6, quad-cam engine with a capacity of 3,497 cc. It is able to unleash a maximum power of 197 horsepower at 5,500 rotation per minute (rpm) and a maximum torque of 295 Newton meter at 3,000 rpm.

The engine is powerful enough to allow the Sorento to reach maximum speeds of 192 kilometers per hour (kph). It only needs 9.7 seconds to accelerate to 100 kph from a full stop.

Another important difference between the Sorento and the latest X-Trail and Escape models is that the Sorento is a 4x4, while the other two SUVs are 4x2s.

As an additional option for the Sorento, interested customers can have a full-time 4x4 arrangement using the torque-on-demand system with the ability to detect road conditions.

With a wheel base of 2.710 meters, the Sorento has an overall length of 4.567 meters, a width of 1.863 meters and height of 1.730 meters, with a cargo volume of 0.89 cubic meters.

Passenger seats can be folded down to provide extra room.

Another interesting feature is the flip-up glass, which allows quick access to the cargo area without opening the back door.

To ensure passenger safety the Sorento is equipped with dual airbags for the driver and front-seat passenger, as well as seat belt pretensioner.

The Sorento is also equipped with anti-lock braking system (ABS), while the braking system uses ventilated disc brakes on both the front and rear wheels.

Priced at Rp 399 million (US$47,000), the Sorento comes in five choices of color: Diamond Silver, Grayish Purple, Indigo Blue, Aqua Blue and Ebony Black.

-- Novan Iman Santosa