|New Kia Sorento|
Ten years ago when the brand set up its own subsidiary here, the Sorento was the car that was most important to their growth.
Large SUV sales were hard hit when the recession came, but are now on a strong upward curve - as evidenced by the success of the sibling brand Hyundai's Santa Fe with 400 units already sold this year.
The new model keeps the Sorento's hallmark long bonnet and wide D-pillar, but a lower roofline, higher beltline and swept-back shape give the car a more dramatic, muscular stance. This is aided by the more prominent 'shoulders' at the rear of the car.
Available in 5- or 7-seats versions, the new Sorento features 40/20/40 second row split folding for improved versatility. The second row seats of the 7-seater are equipped with 'remote folding' controlled by two levers in the side cargo bay, and also slide to allow easier entry and exit to the third row of seats.
Over 1.1 million kilometres of durability testing was carried out on the new Sorento on a global scale, equivalent to around 27 circulations of the Earth around the Equator.
Pictured is James Brooks, Managing Director, Kia Motors Ireland, at the Sorento launch last Monday at Barberstown Castle, Straffan, Co Kildare.