2021 Kia Sorento: How Much Will ‘Refined Boldness’ Cost?

Kia’s on something of a hot streak right now. The Korean automaker’s 3-row SUV, the Telluride, has been selling extremely well and even won Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year. The redesigned Sportage has also been well-received, as has the Soul. And following the release of the new Seltos, Kia is gearing up to unveil the 2021 Kia Sorento. Here’s what we know so far.

2021 Kia Sorento details

2021 Kia Sorento
2021 Kia Sorento | Kia

The current Kia Sorento slots between 2-row-only crossovers, like the Mazda CX-5, and 3-row ones like the Chevrolet Traverse. The 2021 model won’t be significantly larger, although Kia claims it will have more passenger room.

2021 Kia Sorento platform
2021 Kia Sorento platform | Kia

However, the crossover will now ride on a new platform, with overall length increasing by 0.4” and wheelbase by 1.4”. It’s not known if that means the Sorento will continue to offer a 3rd-row, Car and Driver reports, or if Kia will discontinue the option, in light of the 3-row Telluride. That being said, Kelley Blue Book reports the 2021 Sorento will continue to offer a 3rd-row option.

2021 Kia Sorento front
2021 Kia Sorento front | Kia

In terms of design, the 2021 Kia Sorento will draw inspiration from the Telluride. Which is by no means a problem, considering that’s one of the Telluride’s selling points. The exterior revisions include a new take on Kia’s corporate ‘tiger-nose’ grille, as well as LED running lights.

Both Car and Driver and Motor Trend have praised the Sorento’s cabin before, and it appears the 2021 model will have an even-more upscale interior. Car and Driver reports the new SUV will offer two-tone leather and quilted stitching. MT reports the Sorento will get a rotary shifter, as well as ambient lighting. It will also feature dual digital displays, a 10.3” infotainment screen and a 12.3” instrument cluster. However, it’s likely at least some of these features will only be available on upper-level trims.

Interestingly, although the 2021 Sorento’s door panels and mimic the Telluride’s, the larger SUV has analog instruments, not digital ones. It’s possible, though, that the Telluride will get this feature soon after the Sorento debuts.

2021 Kia Sorento powertrains and safety features

At the moment, the Kia Sorento comes with either a 2.4-liter 185-hp four-cylinder or a 3.3-liter 290-hp V6.

2021 Kia Sorento 2.5T engine
2021 Kia Sorento 2.5T engine | Kia

Although Kia may continue to offer the 2.4-liter, Car and Driver reports the V6 is being replaced by the same 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder found in the Genesis GV80. There, it makes 277 hp and 311 lb-ft. Car and Driver found the V6 to be somewhat thirsty; hopefully, the 2.5-liter will be more fuel-efficient.

2021 Kia Sorento hybrid engine
2021 Kia Sorento hybrid engine | Kia

In addition, the 2021 Sorento will get a hybrid powertrain for the first time, something that some of its competitors, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, already offer. It consists of a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, linked to a 59-hp electric motor and 1.49-kWh lithium-ion battery. Linked to Kia’s new 8-speed dual-clutch automatic, the hybrid will put out 227 hp and 258 lb-ft. Kia is planning a plug-in hybrid version as well, which is an option the CR-V and RAV4 don’t have.

The new Sorento will also get some new safety features. The current crossover is an IIHS Top Safety Pick, however, many advanced driver-assistance features, like collision warning and emergency braking, are only available on higher trims. Kia hasn’t revealed, as of this writing, if this will be the case for the upcoming model.

However, the 2021 model will receive something called “Multi-Collision Braking.” In the event of a crash that causes airbags to deploy, a Sorento with this feature will automatically deploy its brakes, to protect the occupants from further impacts.

Pricing and availability

2021 Kia Sorento rear
2021 Kia Sorento rear | Kia

As of this writing, Kia hasn’t released official pricing for the 2021 Sorento. The current Sorento L starts at just under $27k, with the highest-trim SX starting at just over $40k.

More information will likely be provided at the official reveal on March 3rd, 2020, at the Geneva Motor Show. MT, though, expects the 2021 Kia Sorento to cost a bit more than the current model.

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