Kia was mulling over a diesel powertrain for the new Sorento in its American market where it is only sold with petrol motors. The oil burner Sorento was spotted undisguised testing near Ann Arbor in Detroit, Michigan.
Kia promises a diesel-powered Sorento in the US market from as early as 2019. The test mule wears no cladding whatsoever. But the fuel filler cap is missing, revealing the urea filler cap. The diesel powertrain would be the same 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged motor which does duty in the newly launched Hyundai Santa Fe. The turbodiesel produces 200bhp and 435Nm of twisting force. Transmission could also be carried forward which means the new eight-speed unit from Hyundai might make its debut in the Kia range.
The diesel-powered SUVs are important in the US market. Mazda has promised a new CX-5 diesel. Meanwhile, American brands such as Ford, GMC and Chevrolet are currently offering diesel-powered SUVs and pick-ups. The all-new Jeep Wrangler will also arrive with a diesel powertrain. Jaguar Land Rover also sells turbodiesel models in America. However, all these vehicles are much more expensive than the Sorento.
The new diesel-powered Sorento will be officially confirmed later this year with pricing and sales commencing right after. It will go up against other diesel-powered SUVs in the markets like the Ford Edge, Chevrolet Equinox, Jaguar F-Pace and the Acura RDX.