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Kia to sell diesels in Australia beyond 2025, including Sorento SUV


The diesel engine is set to enjoy a long life in the seven-seat Sorento SUV, according to Kia’s local division

Kia Australia has renewed its commitment to diesel engines in the Sorento despite an apparent phasing out of the frugal drivetrain across the wider car industry.

Australian buyers have shown a strong interest in diesel powertrains in several of Kia’s family SUVs, most notably the Sorento large SUV which sees the majority of buyers gravitate towards the option.

A diesel option will remain in the Sorento for years to come, Kia says

Chasing Cars understands that Hyundai will gradually replace its combustion engines with hybrid powertrains over the course of the decade.

However, Kia Australia general manager of product planning Roland Rivero suggested in a recent interview with Chasing Cars that it would take a different route to its sibling brand declaring there were “many, many years of Sorento,” with the 2.2-litre diesel, yet to come.

When asked if buyers could expect to see a diesel Sorento in showrooms around 2025, Rivero said “absolutely, I don’t think there is any question about that”.

Chief operating officer Damien Meredith added that Kia had a different focus to its sister brand under the wider Hyundai Motor Group (HMC).

“It’s fair to say the strategy Hyundai is taking and the strategy we’re taking are quite different.”

Globally, Kia is also focusing on bringing 11 electric vehicles to market by 2025 under its Plan S strategy, with the EV6 midsize SUV and Niro small SUV being the most recent additions to the Australian line-up.

Industry moving away from diesel engines

Diesel engines are becoming increasingly less popular in key markets such as Europe due to their high emissions levels, with most manufacturers pushing customers towards either fully-electric or hybrid options to keep vehicles compliant with regulations.

It’s important to note that Australia currently does not have any such emissions regulations, with diesel engines remaining a popular choice not only for large family 4WDs but also dual-cab ute and heavy commercial vehicles.

Kia Niro HEV GT-Line 2022 front 3/4 2
Kia is also bolstering its line-up with EVs

Back in January 2021, HMC reportedly halted the development of future diesel engines to divert resources towards electric vehicles, though it’s understood that current units would be refined over time.

At the time, Guido Schenken, the public relations senior manager at Hyundai Australia declined to comment on the reports but confirmed to Chasing Cars that diesel engines were being phased out. 

“We are talking about a gradual phase out of diesel, over an extended period of time, so the impact will be minimal given the alternative powertrain options currently being developed by our R&D centre.”