Two very different models were actually hidden under this type designation. The first appeared in 2002 and had still a frame under the body and was called 'Truck Design'. This second generation was a transverse engine variant, from which is said to have saved with the same size more than 200 kg weight.
Thus the optional 2WD had rear wheel drive in the first generation and front-wheel drive afterwards. A disadvantage of the fundamental change, however, was the lost towing capacity, which dropped from 3.5 to 2.5 tons. The space saved in the engine compartment can not have been very large despite transverse mounting, because the car was still equipped with V6 engines.
Kia's first factory in the USA, in the extreme west of Georgia, manufactured the car. Kia has invested there supposedly a billion dollars, a sign of successful marketing, 2 million Sorentos were sold since 2002. And this despite the presence of the sister model Hyundai Santa Fe. However, the regular inspection had complained about a third of the vehicles in Germany. 02/15