Is the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid Enough to Compete With the Toyota RAV4?

We’ve just seen the unveiling of the all-new 2021 Kia Sorento. The fully redesigned crossover SUV boasts a rugged appeal and a lineup of powertrains. In fact, its array of choices and nod toward the adventurous side of life should compete well with the 2021 Toyota RAV4 crossover SUV. One of the key similarities with these models is that they each offer a hybrid option.

So how do these 2021 hybrid crossover offerings to the market compare? Which versions of the Toyota RAV4 and Sorento is the hybrid option available for? They each boast some similar traits. Let’s bring them together for a side-by-side comparison. How does the redesigned 2021 Kia Sorento hybrid crossover SUV face-off with the 2021 RAV4 hybrid?

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid crossover SUV

The RAV4 experienced a full redesign in 2019. It got a tougher exterior style and some new packages, including a hybrid powertrain. Additionally, the adventure model became available in the lineup for the 2019 model year. According to Car and Driver, a TRD package made an appearance in the RAV4 lineup for 2020.

Toyota Motor North America Vice President and General Manager shows the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid at AutoMobility LA
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 | David McNew/Getty Images

Now, the 2021 model year offers two hybrid options. There is the RAV4 hybrid and the RAV4 prime––a plug-in hybrid. The step makes sense after so much success with the Prius. Plus, if you take into account the popularity of the compact crossover SUV segment, the RAV4 is the perfect choice to spread Toyota’s hybrid technology throughout its collection. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid crossover SUV is said to get a combined 40 MPG. The RAV4 Prime gets a combined 94 MPGe.

The Adventure model and the TRD model, however, are not available with a hybrid powertrain. Toyota’s website won’t allow users to build a RAV4 Adventure or TRD Off-Road with anything other than the 2.5 liter 4-Cylinder powertrain with all-wheel drive. This pairs with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The LE trim starts at $29,675, according to Car and Driver. The range-topping 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE trim starts for $42,545.

The 2021 Kia Sorento hybrid crossover SUV

For 2021 the Kia Sorento got a full redesign, adopting a chunkier more rugged exterior. In fact, it looks little like it took notes from the Telluride’s success. Car and Driver writes that the interior is “snazzier” too. It’s a three-row SUV that fits right in between its larger sibling and the smaller Kia Sportage. A number of powertrains are offered. Of those, is the hybrid powertrain for the new 2021 Kia Sorento. Car and Driver reports that this hybrid crossover gets a combined 37 MPG.

2021 Kia Sorento parked in gravel
2021 Kia Sorento | Kia

There isn’t a plug-in version––yet. However, it is said to arrive in 2021. Due to it’s not being released, we don’t have MGPe estimates at this time. Though it looks like estimates don’t quite measure up to the RAV4’s impressive MPG, it is still competitive.

Pricing hasn’t released yet for the 2021 Kia Sorento crossover SUV hybrid. However, we do know that it will come in five trim levels. It’s safe to assume it will come priced just a bit higher that the current model.

Can the Kia compete?


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One of the defining differences between these two crossover SUVs is that the 2021 Toyota RAV4 is not a three-row SUV. Toyota offers that in the Highlander, which also comes with a hybrid powertrain option. However, there are still consumers that may find themselves choosing before the RAV4 and the Sorento for their rugged appeal. We think that the Kia will definitely prove competitive, but there is still a lot to learn about this new crossover as more is revealed between now and when all of its new versions hit production.