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2021 Kia Sorento review - could this be your next SUV?

2021 Kia Sorento




The 2021 Kia Sorento three-row crossover SUV now comes with new turbocharged engines, an available hybrid, more interior space, and a new off-road leaning X-Line trim. It competes with the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and, perhaps most problematically for Kia shoppers, the larger, lovelier, Kia Telluride, which was our Best Car To Buy 2020

What's new for the 2021 Kia Sorento

This year, the Sorento slims down while also getting stronger, roomier, and more efficient with the choice of four available powertrains


The 2021 Sorento gets a makeover that breaks free of the bulbous minivan mold of its predecessor. It gets the creased hood from the Telluride, but broadens the grille with thin LED headlights that wrap around to the fender. The Sorento channels some of its look from the 2021 Seltos small crossover, at least in the front. The lower front bumper is full of right angles that challenge the Toyota Highlander for the biggest chin among family crossovers


Along the sides, the 2021 Kia Sorento is pretty much the same as the previous version except for a fin-like tab near the rear window. The Sorento wheelbase spans 1.4 inches, and six different wheel designs ranging in size from 17 inches to 20 inches to improve the side profile


The firmer stance is more clearly seen on the new X-Line SX-Prestige, which has been raised 1.0 inches from the standard Sorento for better approach and departure angles off-road. It also comes with 20 '' alloy wheels and a roof rack


At the rear, the Sorento flips the taillights by 90 degrees and borrows freely from Telluride's playbook. The straight taillights, the wide badge, and the large rear window all read like the Telluride Lite - that's not a bad thing

The interior of the 2021 Kia Sorento

Inside, we see more similarities with the Telluride including an available 10.3-inch touchscreen display for entertainment, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a terrain select handle. 8.0-inch touchscreen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Interior lights around doors and speakers, available cushioned seats, mimic open-pore metal or wood, and lava lamps-shaped air vents add some flair

2021 Kia Sorento performance



Fits seven standard seats, or six seats with captain seats available in the second row. Five models are offered in the LX, S, EX, SX and SX-Prestige, as well as the Prestige-built X-Line. Front-wheel drive is standard on gas-powered engines only, but four-wheel drive is an option


The Kia Sorento comes with four transmissions, but the plug-in hybrid won't be available until sometime in 2021


The base engine is larger than last year’s 185-horsepower 2.4-liter inline-4.The standard Sorento is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 that makes 191 hp and 182 pound-feet of torque with an 8-speed automatic. Kia estimates the base engine gets a 2 mpg combined bump to an estimated 27 mpg combined


Kia ditches the V-6 for a more potent 2.5-liter turbo 4 borrowed from the Genesis GV80 crossover and paired to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It makes 281 hp and 311 lb-ft, and has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. Kia projects it to get 25 mpg combined, which would be an improvement of 3 mpg over the V-6


A 1.6-liter turbo-4 paired to 1.5-kwh battery pack and 44-kw electric motor that makes 227 hp will be offered as well, paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels only. Kia targets 37 mpg combined for the hybrid


The plug-in hybrid available in 2021 will have a similar set up as the hybrid but with a 66.9-kwh electric motor that helps make 261 hp. It’ll have an estimated 30-mile electric range but will only be offered with all-wheel drive

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