Trucks & SUVs

Is the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid As Adventurous as it Looks?

The 2021 Kia Sorento SUV reveal advertised as having “three trims, infinite adventures.” But is this redesigned Kia SUV really as adventurous as it looks? The ad below, featured in a Kia Twitter post, almost makes you wonder if Kia borrowed Subaru’s marketing team for the commercial. The 2021 Kia Sorento hybrid is highlighted a few times in the ad.

So is the newly redesigned 2021 Kia Sorento hybrid actually as adventurous as it seems in the ad? We think it’s actually going to be a big-time contender for consumers who want a crossover that goes off the beaten path. However, the hybrid option could prove to be a great road trip SUV––and that’s it. There are some things that hinder the 2021 Kia Sorento hybrid in therms of adventurous capability.

The X-Line

This three-row SUV will come with an array of standard and optional features. We should see the 2021 Kia Sorento SUV hit dealer floors by the end of this year. Among the Sorento trims for sale will be the 2021 Kia Sorento X-Line. This model is equipped with some specialty off-road features. However, we don’t get an off-road hybrid version.

2021 Sorento X-Line driving on road
2021 Sorento X-Line | Kia

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So the allure of having the great mpg ratings for long overland trips dims. The fact the rugged off-road ability of the X-Line can’t be had with the standard hybrid powertrain. In fact, only the plug-in hybrid will have AWD and it won’t release till later next year.

“New X-Line trim features 1.0-in. higher ground clearance, improved approach/departure angles, more advanced AWD with snow-mode and a more robust roof rack than [the] outgoing Sorento”

Kia Media

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Kia Sorento hybrid options

If you want a hybrid option, there are two. First we’ll see a 1.6-liter GDI 4-cylinder turbo hybrid. The 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid has a 44 kW electric motor. This system is mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission and it’s good for up to 227 horsepower. The battery for this FWD hybrid Sorento is a 15 kWh battery. In addition, Kia reports an estimated 39 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

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

Later on, in 2021, we’ll see the plug-in hybrid version. This 2021 Kia Sorento hybrid also uses the 1.6-liter turbo 4 and the 6-speed transmission. However, its equipped with a 66.9 kW electric motor. This version of the Sorento hybrid will offer drivers up to 261 horsepower. A 13.8 kWh battery will contribute to the estimated 30 miles of all-electric range. In opposition to the standard hybrid, the Sorento plug-in version implements an AWD powertrain.

The 2021 Kia Sorento off-road

Due to the fact that the Kia Sorento in previous models has surpassed expectations in off-road challenges, we are curious about the new one. For instance, will the 2021 Kia Sorento SUV offer capability like the 2019 Sorento in the video below? It’s likely a safe assumption that the new Sorento will be as capable as its predecessor.

However, it probably won’t be beasting off-road courses in its hybrid form. That said, we are still hoping for some off-road tests in the plug-in 2021 Kia Sorento hybrid. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until next year for that.