As usual, Korean brand Kia put on one of the best shows at the New York Auto Show. Although their charismatic President is gone, the PR flaks still livened the event up by bringing out that wacky “power to the people” spokesperson from the Kia commercials. This is a guy who’s seemingly able to get excited about almost anything, and his introduction of the all-new 2007 Sorento SUV was no exception.
As befits a bargain-priced midsize SUV, the Sorento is cleanly if blandly styled. Fortunately, there’s nothing ugly about it. The real news, however, is under the hood, where a new V6 resides. Kia has upped the motor’s power output by 36 percent over the last model, for a total of 262 horsepower-more than a V8 4Runner. The Sorento can now tow 5,000 pounds, and is sad to return better fuel economy than before, too. Safety equipment is loaded onto this truck as well; for 2007 Kia has added stability control, traction control, knee airbags, active headrests ad a tire-pressure monitoring system. Projector-beam headlamps and available 17-inch rims round out the additions. Kia now has the youngest model lineup in the industry, and this new, more powerful Sorento should help the brand continue its growth.