The 2021 Kia Sorento Has 1 Incredibly Disappointing Drawback

The 2021 Kia Sorento got an incredible refresh. It has a brand new look and a bad to the bone attitude to erase its old minivan feel. No offense to minivans, they’re great. However, the Kia Sorento has one disappointing feature that’s impossible to ignore. 

The 2021 Kia Sorento lacks power 

According to Kelly Blue Book, the 2021 Kia Sorento has a long list of incredible upgrades. However, it also has one major issue. The Sorento currently lacks power, which is a shame because its new confident look should come with enough muscle to back it up. 

KKB did mention that the Kia Sorento has four powertrains. This is a positive feature, but there is no V6 option, and the 2021 model has a reduced towing capacity. So, let’s begin with the available powertrains. 

  • The base engine is a 2.5-liter inline-four option with 191 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque. 
  • You can upgrade to the turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four engine for 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. 
  • To save on fuel, check out the hybrid engine. It’s a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four-cylinder option that’s paired with a 44-kilowatt electric motor to produce 227 hp. 
  • Also, the plug-in hybrid is on the way. The PHEV will have a larger 13.8 kWh battery pack and 261 hp. 

So, the beefiest option is currently the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine, and 281 doesn’t sound weak. But let’s take a look at the Ford Explorer for a quick comparison. The 3.0-liter V6 engine has 365 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. 

The 2021 Kia Sorento is the brand's newest SUV.
2021 Sorento SX | Kia

We aren’t saying the Ford Explorer is a better option, we are just using it to show that the Sorento is missing out without a V6 engine. The Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and more have V6 engines. 

Also, as KBB points out, the 2021 Sorento has a lower towing capacity than the 2020 model. The 2020 Kia Sorento has a V6 engine and the ability to tow up to 5,000 lb when properly equipped. The 2021 model can tow up to 3,500 lb when properly equipped. So, this is a disappointing difference for those who need extra towing capacity. 

What’s new for the 2021 Sorento? 

The lack of power shouldn’t stop you from buying the Kia Sorento. It’s a great SUV. For 2021, the wheelbase was extended by 1.4-inches. This provides more interior space and reduced the levels of interior noise. 

Plus, the Kia Sorento is a little more capable of off-roading. The X-Line SX-Prestige trim has all-wheel-drive, an extra inch of ground clearance for clearing obstacles, a locking center differential, downhill descent control, and 20-inch alloy wheels. 

The interior of the Sorento has also been improved to include more quality materials for an upscale feel. Standard features include an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and more. 

How does the Kia Sorento drive? 

According to Edmunds, the Kia Sorento drives a lot better than it used to. The lighter frame and 2.5-liter turbocharged engine give it a faster and sportier feel. They didn’t test the base engine, though. 

Car Indigo presented a chart that lists the 2021 Kia Sorento with the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 9.9 seconds, which is a bit slow compared to rivals. Their chart shows that the Honda Pilot can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 5.9 seconds. 

2021 Kia Sorento driving through a stream
2021 Kia Sorento | Kia

5 Facts You Should Know Before Buying a 2021 Kia Sorento

But the Sorento is comfortable with a pretty quiet cabin and a smooth ride. Bumps can be felt and heard at lower speeds. It’s a nimble and fun option that should still be considered if you’re looking for a three-row SUV.