The diesel-fueled Kia Sorento is on the way, and these photos catch the SUV while officials from the Environmental Protection Agency give it a look.
Aesthetically, there's nothing that sets the diesel model apart, except that this one has a pair of exhaust outlets coming out the back, instead of the single, large oval tip on the gas-fueled V6 model. The example in these photos appears to be in a basic trim that lacks the LED headlights, foglights, and taillights from higher level models. Plus, this one has an actual fuel door in place, unlike a previous test mule. While not visible here, there's no reason to expect any major alterations to the cabin.
Kia isn't yet officially confirming details about the diesel powertrain, but all signs point to the Sorento sharing its 2.2-liter turbodiesel powertrain with the Hyundai Santa Fe where the powerplant produces 190 horsepower (142 kilowatts) and 322 pound-feet (437 Newton-meters) of torque. In the Hyundai, it only comes with an eight-speed automatic and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
This output would put the diesel in the middle of the Sorento lineup. The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 185 hp (138 kW) and 178 lb-ft (241 Nm). Buyers can upgrade to a 3.3-liter V6 with 290 hp (216 kW) and 252 lb-ft (342 Nm).
Rumors suggest the diesel Sorento would go on sale in late 2018 or early 2019. EPA testing suggests that development is done, and Kia might now just be waiting for the right time to debut the vehicle.
In Motor1.com's recent First Drive, we found the Sorento to be a capable entry in the crossover segment, and the diesel powerplant gives buyers a torquier option. "The Sorento is comfortable and refined, and perfectly responsive on the some of the curviest roads Colorado has to offer."