The third-generation Kia Sorento hit showrooms in the 2015 model year, and it’s remained mostly unchanged since. That ends with the 2021 Sorento, which will boast an all-new look, an updated powertrain, and more.
The Kia Sorento has long been a mixture of minivan and SUV styling. The 2021 Sorento will push the design needle toward SUV with a bolder tiger-nose grille, a longer and flatter hood, stronger body lines, and a more upright stance. The 2021 Kia Sorento will also have wider wraparound LED headlights, rugged body cladding, a more aggressive lower front bumper, and vertically oriented taillights.
Inside, the 2021 Kia Sorento will feature a flexible cabin with 4+2 or 5+2 seating and best-in-class passenger room. The interior will also boast an all-new look with an upright dash, chunky three-spoke steering wheel, large dash-top infotainment screen, a stubby gear shifter, available quilted leather seats and open-pore wood trim, and more. As for tech, the 2021 Sorento will offer an available 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, up to eight USB ports, an 8- or 10.25-inch touchscreen, available SiriusXM, available 12-speaker Bose sound system, optional wireless phone charger, and more.
Under its hood, the all-new 2021 Sorento will get four powertrain options: two standard powertrains and two hybrids. The base powertrain will be a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and front- or all-wheel drive. Next will be a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque paired with an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission, and mated to front or all-wheel drive.
The Sorento Hybrid will feature a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired to a 44-kW electric motor with a 1.5-kWh battery for a combined 227 hp. The 2021 Sorento Plug-In Hybrid will bump the electric motor to 66.9 kW and the battery to 13.8 kWh for a combined 261 hp and an estimated 30-mile EV range. Both hybrids will use a six-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid will come standard with front-wheel drive, and the plug-in model will have standard all-wheel drive.
We won’t know about its official safety ratings until the IIHS and NHTSA start tossing 2021 Sorentos against walls, but we do know it’ll have a long list of standard and available safety gear. The standard safety gear will include speed-limit sign recognition, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, driver attention warning, lane-keeping assist, and more. Optionally, buyers can add cyclist detection, blind-spot collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, and more.