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In 2003, the South Korean automaker Kia introduced a new series of mid-size SUVs, called "Sorento". Through its 13-year history, Kia Sorento was manufactured in three generations.
The first generation (2003–2010) came with a standard truck-based body-on-frame design and a front engine, rear-wheel drive layout. An optional four-wheel drive system with low range was also released for drivers who enjoy the off-road experience. This generation featured 106.7 inches wheelbase as well. The first Sorento vehicles were equipped with 3.5 L Sigma V6 engine and 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission. In 2005, a new engine option became available – 3.3 L Lambda V6 engine. The 4-speed automatic transmission was replaced by a 5-speed automatic one. In 2007, Kia Sorento was upgraded with a new 3.8 L Lambda V6 engine, but the 5-speed manual transmission was cancelled.
The second generation (2010–2015) came with a completely new design with unibody construction. As a result, the Sorento was classified as a crossover SUV. This generation also featured all-independent suspension and four types of transmission: 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic and 6-speed automatic transmission. Several engine options were provided as well – 2.4L Theta II I4 petrol, 2.7L Mu V6 LPG, 3.3L Lambda II GDI V6 petrol, 3.5L Lambda II V6 petrol, and 2.2L CRDI R-Line I4 diesel engine.
The third generation was launched in 2015. It uses the 2015 Kia Carnival platform and provides seating for either 5 or 7 persons. Superior handling is guaranteed, because this model is lower than the previous generation. The wheelbase is increased to 109 inches. Plus, the new Sorento features stronger construction, thanks to the utilized high tensile steel. Five trim levels are available in the USA – L, LX, EX, SX, and Limited.
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