In a world dominated by the Japanese and European automakers with their cars becoming significantly interchangeable by the day, the customers had been clamoring for a new player in the industry that can show its capability to think differently. After being a butt of multiple jokes during the early 2000s, Kia burst on to the scene out of nowhere late in the last decade with cars that were actually both desirable and attainable.
Especially since the start of the crossover SUV invasion across the globe in the mid-to-late 2010s, Kia – by having an observant eye on the market – attained huge amounts of success with the launch of comfortable, reliable, and cheap SUVs’ such as the 4th Generation Sportage and the 3rd Generation Sorento across the globe.
Since then, Kia seems to be on a roll, launching one SUV after another in various markets that have become the best-sellers in various parts of the globe. In North America, Kia’s first full-size SUV, the Telluride has recently come out to a warm reception from the public, based on its looks, the advanced tech, and the reasonable price tag as compared to other options in the segment. Other SUVs, such as Niro, Stonic, Seltos, Sonet, even the new Soul have been well received in the market.
With that said, the automaker – after observing the success of the Kia Sportage in the Pakistani Market – reportedly hinted at its plans to launch the 3rd-gen Kia Sorento in Pakistan in the coming weeks. Sorento is Kia’s mid-sized crossover SUV that sits between the compact Sportage and the full-sized Telluride SUVs as a competitor to the likes of Toyota Fortuner and Hyundai Santa Fe.
The 3rd-gen Sorento made its global debut 5 years ago and went through some major upgrades for the 2019 model year. It bears mentioning that despite the launch of the 4th-gen Kia Sorento in a few markets across the globe, the 2019 model is still reportedly being sold in most of the markets where Kia operates.
Reports suggest that Kia has already brought in a few CBU units to Pakistan, with the 2.4-liter engine and the 3.5-liter V6 engine options. Both types of vehicles have been brought in for the company to dissect and analyze the SUVs, in hopes of selling them here as complete knockdown (CKD) units in the near future.
However, the community has been wondering as to whether the Sorento shall be offered in a Four-Wheel-Drive (4WD) variant here in Pakistan or not. Well, the news is good because Kia has officially told ProPakistani that they shall be offering the SUV with a proper 4WD drivetrain.
Not only that, but the vehicle will also be offered with an option of a rather muscular 3.5 liter naturally aspirated V6 petrol engine that makes 276 horsepower and 336 newton-meters of torque, and is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The AWD drivetrain in Kia – with the aid of the in-board tech – can send equal power to all four wheels, which enables the car to deal with the rough and sloppy surfaces with ease, while keeping hold of the traction, which makes it quite a capable and confident SUV for daily city driving, as well as some light off-roading.
Given the aforementioned attributes, the Sorento has more than what it would take to give tough competition to its sole rival in the market, i.e. the Toyota Fortuner, which has enjoyed near-monopoly in the local mid-sized SUV segment for long. The said SUV is also fairly competent, with a ladder-frame chassis and a capable 4WD powertrain, and a fantastic track record in terms of reliability and resale.
However, it sits on an older platform which – albeit tough – is not as smooth as it should be given the car’s price point. Kia on the other hand, might not be as capable off-road, but has a reputation for being fantastic on-road, just as reliable, and perhaps a better value than the Fortuner.
The value, however, is just a matter of speculation at this point, since Kia Motors Pakistan is waiting for an opportune time to disclose the vehicle’s price to the public. But, given the recent history and success of the Sportage, there can be little-to-no doubt that Kia will give the people what they want.