2021 Kia Sorento
Following the success of the Kia Telluride and recent launch of the Seltos, it’s no surprise that the revamped Kia Sorento also receives a more aggressive design. One of Kia’s best known and best-selling models, the Sorento has found success with a conservative design, but the new model — designed at Kia’s Irvine, California, studio — breaks that mold.
New Front End
The new design boasts a bold front end with a modern take on Kia’s tiger nose design, featuring a wider grille that extends into the headlights and hood. New daytime running lights underline the headlights and drop down to frame the grille shape.
At the rear, formerly horizontal taillights yield to a new vertical design. The shoulder line flows from the rear fenders into the tailgate to create a lip spoiler and a biplane effect with the upper spoiler above the rear glass. A new wave shape gets added at the base of the C-pillar. Six alloy wheel designs are now offered.
Trim Levels, X-Line
The 2021 Kia Sorento will be offered in five trim levels: LX, S, EX, SX and SX-Prestige, with either front- or all-wheel drive. Also added for 2021 is the X-Line SX-Prestige AWD, which features standard torque-on-demand AWD, a center-locking differential, downhill descent control and increased ride height to 8.3 inches — a 1.0-inch increase over standard ride height. The X-Line SX-Prestige AWD also adds a unique bumper, 20-inch alloy wheels and a bridge-type roof rack. The extra inch of ground clearance with the X-Line enables improved approach / departure angles.
Engine Choices for 2021
The 2021 Kia Sorento offers a course of four engines. The standard unit is a 2.5-liter four cylinder producing 191 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque, combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission and either FWD or AWD. The new optional engine is the 2.5-liter four with turbocharging to generate 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque, combined with a new 8-speed wet dual-clutch transmission and FWD or AWD.
Kia Sorento Hybrid
For the first time, Sorento will be offered with a hybrid powertrain that combines a turbocharged 1.6-liter gas engine with a 44-kW electric motor for a combined system output of 227 horsepower. Offered only as a FWD model with a 1.5 kWh battery, the Sorento Hybrid earns U.S. EPA fuel-economy ratings of 39 mpg city / 35 mpg highway / 37 mpg combined. The automaker will also add a Sorento Plug-In Hybrid during calendar 2021, combining a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine with a 66.9-kW electric motor for a combined system output of 261 horsepower; it also has AWD as well as a 13.8 kWh battery for an estimated electric-only range of 30 miles.
Kia Sorento Interior
Inside, the 2021 Kia Sorento offers new interior flexibility with available second-row captain’s chairs. Sorento buyers may select from either 4+2 or 5+2 seating configurations. The new Sorento will be built on Kia’s third-generation N3 platform which is lighter and stronger. The platform also adds 1.4 inches of wheelbase for additional interior space and reduces overall weight by nearly 120 pounds.
The 2021 Kia Sorento has an available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster — the first ever offered on a Kia SUV. A surround view monitor employs four cameras to provide a 360-degree view. The available 10.25-inch touchscreen adds haptic feedback buttons and multi-connection Bluetooth connectivity.
Kia Drive Wise
There are 16 Kia Drive Wise Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems that are either standard or available on the 2021 Sorento, including available new blind-spot collision avoidance, standard intelligent speed limit assist, standard forward collision warning, standard forward collision-avoidance assist as well as other driver assistance systems.
The 2021 Kia Sorento is expected to go on sale later this year; pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.