The Kia Sorento SUV has been a solid performer at CR’s test track and in our reliability ratings. The next version of the people-hauler doesn’t mess with success, refining its interior, exterior and technology without radical changes.

Kia hopes the 2019 Sorento, unveiled Thursday at the LA Auto Show, with a more sophisticated appearance and lots of new integrated luxury and safety features, will push it toward the premium end of its segment.

“The Sorento is a clear example of how world-class design and craftsmanship are executed,” said Orth Hedrick, Kia Motors America’s vice-president of product planning. “Our popular utility now ups its game even further with enhancements in styling, packaging, and content.”

See the complete coverage of the 2017 LA Auto Show.

The 2019 version will have key safety features, like forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist standard on the EX and above trims. Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning are standard on all except the base model.

Kia announced that it is dropping its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo engine for the 2019 model year. The two available engines will now be a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, or a 3.3-liter V6 mated to a new eight-speed automatic that was first used in the Cadenza sedan. The Sorento will still be available with all-wheel drive, and an AWD V6 will be capable of towing 5,000 pounds. 

The company announced at the show that a diesel engine will join the Sorento ranks, following word that the Hyundai Santa Fe will gain a diesel option, as well. 

The interior gets some upgrades, too. All trim levels now have three rows of seats standard. There’s a more tactile steering wheel, a new shifter design, and a revised instrument cluster with improved graphics. The front seats are both heated and ventilated. Kia has integrated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay into all trim levels. Consumers looking for the best sound can opt for a 630-watt, 10-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system.

Kia hasn’t released sale dates or pricing information yet, but the 2019 Sorento should be on dealer lots sometime next year.  

Read our current Kia Sorento road test.

2019 Kia Sorento rear