Since its reveal at last month’s Paris Auto Show, it has become obvious that Kia is aiming higher with the 2015 Sorento, the third generation of the Korean brand’s popular crossover. With new design language and a new look also comes a new purpose for this SUV. They want to give it a totally new connotation. This isn’t just an upgraded or refreshed crossover. The new Sorento is a luxury SUV.
How have they accomplished that? The 2015 Sorento is the result of a collaborative effort between design teams in South Korea, Europe, and the US. It borrows inspiration from architecture to achieve its final form and really shine in a segment where many of the vehicles are starting to look the same.
Kia Buzz recently interviewed the two design leads for the new Sorento to gain a better understanding of the thought process behind this vehicle’s conception. Asked what their main focus was, designer Kurt Kahl said, “Our main focus was to retain the strengths of the predecessor while giving it a greater sense of premium quality and sophistication.” He points to the angled headlights and upright grille as essential to the Sorento’s forward presence, while the rear end retains more elements from the previous model.
Designer Ralph Kluge adds to the team’s goals, saying, “Our concept keywords were ‘muscle and brains.’ We reached out to create a strong and confident surface language with increased levels of sophistication and richer details, while simultaneously avoiding the ‘rugged SUV’ clichés.”
The two designers answered other questions as well, going into detail on the Sorento’s architectural inspirations, the key differences between the new model and its forebears, and their vision of the third generation Sorento driver. The main takeaway from this interview is that they were set on creating a vehicle that felt luxurious in every way but that wasn’t overly expensive. You can read the full interview on Kia Buzz, here.