Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Kia Sorento Defeats Rivals as Best SUV

Sorry, Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, and more. The 2021 Kia Sorento stole the crown. It’s ranked as the best SUV for 2021. Rivals have some work to do if they want to catch up to the Kia Sorento for the best SUV title to buy. 

The 2021 Kia Sorento ranks as the best midsize SUV 

According to CNET, the midsize SUV isn’t too small. It’s not too big, and can be just right. They ranked a few different SUVs in different categories to help shoppers pick the best option. For example, the 2021 Genesis GV80 is the best midsize luxury SUV, and the 2021 Dodge Durango is the best performance SUV. 

A blue 2021 Kia Sorento SX on display in a parking lot with a building in the background
The 2021 Kia Sorento SX on display | Kia

However, today we’re focusing on the 2021 Kia Sorento, which ranks as the best new SUV to buy. They mentioned that the Sorento is an exceptional SUV in a sea of great ones. It stands out for aggressive aesthetics from the Telluride and smaller Seltos. 

Why is the Kia Sorento the best? 

The 2021 Kia Sorento serves as a slightly more affordable option to the Telluride and still includes the extra utility of a third-row. It has an MSRP of $29,390 and offers five different trim levels to fit your individual needs. If you want to live a life of luxury, upgrade to the Kia Sorento SX Prestige trim for quilted leather. 

Under the hood, you’ll find a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 2..5-liter four-cylinder turbo engine for 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque.

Also, the Kia Sorento Hybrid has a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and 44-kWh battery for 227 hp, and the plug-in hybrid has a 66.9-kWh electric motor for 261 hp. 

RELATED: Is the 2021 Kia Sorento Large Enough For Families?

According to Edmunds, the turbo engine provides a fast and responsive drive. It’s nimble and athletic with a smooth ride over bumps and limited wind noise. The 20-inch wheels may be a little bumpier than the 17-inch ones. 

The Sorento gets an EPA estimated 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Equipping all-wheel drive reduces these figures a little. But on the other hand, you gain the capability to tackle slippery conditions. The hybrid is expected to travel up to 30 miles before gasoline kicks in. 

How is the Kia Sorento interior? 

The 2021 Kia Sorento is spacious and comfortable. Each row has enough space for adults to sit comfortably and stretch out. You can equip captain chairs in the second row, but a bench seat that slides and reclines comes standard. 

An 8-inch touchscreen comes standard, but you can upgrade to the 10.25-inch touchscreen. Also, there is an optional 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster display, giving the Sorento an edge in terms of tech. 

A close-up look at the red and black interior of the 2021 Kia Sorento X-Line
The 2021 Kia Sorento X-Line interior | Kia

There is plenty of cargo space. You can access 38.5 cubic feet behind the third row and 75.5 cubic feet with the seats folded flat. This is more space than the Honda passport has to offer. Plus, there are useful storage cubbies, seat pockets, and more. But the most exciting takeaway is the fact that the Sorento has plenty of cupholders. 

Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Optional features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keeping assistance.