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Whoa, there is the new Kia Seltos and the totally redesigned Kia Sorento. How do you keep these S-named Kia SUVs straight? At least the Kia Telluride stands out with a different title. But the 2021 Kia Seltos and 2021 Kia Sorento are both geared for off-roading, making it potentially challenging to choose between them. 

How are the 2021 Kia Sorento and Kia Seltos different? 

2021 Kia Sorento parked in gravel
2021 Kia Sorento | Kia

The most significant difference between the 2021 Kia Seltos and Sorento is size. The Seltos is a compact SUV that seats up to five passengers, while the Sorento is a larger option that can fit seven passengers. 

In the Kia Seltos, you can access up to 26.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats and up to 62.8 cubic feet total. In the 2021 Kia Sorento, there are 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seats and up to 75.5 cubic feet with the seats folded flat.

But because the Kia Seltos is a smaller option, it’s cheaper. It starts around $21,990, providing an economical option. Pricing for the 2021 Kia Sorento starts at $29,390.

2021 Seltos and Sorento performance 

2021 Kia Seltos driving down urban street
2021 Kia Seltos | Kia

The 2021 Kia Seltos has a 2.0-liter base engine with 146-hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. We recommend upgrading to the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. You can tow up to 2,000 lb with the Kia Seltos, and you can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds with the beefier engine. 

In the Kia Sorento, you’ll find a standard 2.5-line inline-4 engine with 191 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque. A beefier 2.5-liter turbo-4 engine with 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque is available too. But the Kia Sorento also has a 1.6-liter turbo-4 hybrid engine with 227 hp. 

We’re still waiting for the Kia Sorrento to be track-tested but hope it’s fast and sporty. Also, it can tow up to 3,500 lb. The Seltis maxes out at 2,000 lbs. Rivals for the Sorento can tow up to 5,000 lbs.

2021 Kia Sorento and Kia Seltos features 

2021 Kia Seltos parked in the woods
2021 Kia Seltos

For off-roading, the 2021 Kia Seltos has all-wheel-drive and can lock in low. It has a MacPherson strut suspension in the front with gas shock absorbers and a multi-link suspension in the rear for tackling off-roading challenges. 

The Kia Sorento also has off-roading abilities, but it does have AWD. It also has a rugged-looking off-roading trim called the Kia Sorento X-Line with a roof rack, different bumpers, and wheels. 

Both options feature a new interior design made with comfortable, quality materials. They also include advanced tech. An 8-inch touchscreen comes standard in both SUVs that can connect to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

You can pay a little more to make your Kia SUV as comfortable and convenient as you want with features such as wireless phone charging, remote start, heated seats, a power tailgate, and more.