It's been less than two years since the current Kia Sorento went on sale in the U.S., but that hasn't stopped Kia from going pedal-to-the-metal on the product updates. Although the Nürburgring is one of the last places you'd expect to find a mainstream midsize SUV, that's where Motor Trend's spy shooter caught this prototype testing.
Although fairly heavily cladded, it looks as though the new model will have more distinctive styling, with more prominent, tapered taillights similar to those on the smaller Sportage SUV, and will likely utilize more LED lighting both front and rear. The panorama sunroof option offered on the current model looks like it will carry over, as you can see a full glass roof on this prototype.
The refreshed Sorento, expected for the 2014 model year, is also expected to bring more direct-injected engines. Currently, the Sorento comes with just one direct-injected powerplant, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Additionally, the updated Sorento may offer a turbocharged four-cylinder option like its recently-updated cousin, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. Whether that Sorento is offered in two different sizes like the new Santa Fe remains to be seen. The third row in the current Sorento, packed into a relatively short 106.3-inch wheelbase, makes for tight accommodations, and one of the reasons the third-row option was dropped from the last-generation Santa Fe in 2010. The new 2013 extended-length three-row Santa Fe has a 110.2-inch wheelbase.