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The Kia Sorento debuted in 2002 and quickly gained an impressive fan base. It became the mainstay of Kia’s SUV lineup. As the years passed, and competition increased, the Sorento enjoyed steady sales. That changed in 2020.

Kia won’t have fond memories of the 2020 Sorento sales

In terms of sale numbers, the 2020 Kia Sorento underperformed. According to Good Car Bad Car, Sorento sales in the United States totaled 74,677. That’s a lot lower than 2018 when the company sold 107,846 Sorentos. It has been a decade since the Sorento’s sales were so low.

When you take a closer look at the numbers, you’ll notice that the decline in Sorento sales closely mirrors the Kia Telluride sales, which Cars Sales Base said was about 75,129. This suggests that while drivers have opted to remain loyal to the Kia name, they’ve decided they prefer the other SUV.

It’s also possible that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the 2020 Sorento sales. 2020 marked the start of a new generation of Kia Sorentos, since the pandemic made it difficult for some people to get out and experience the changes for themselves, it’s possible that some drivers who would have taken an interest in the 2020 Sorento opted to stick to something they were familiar with.

Is the 2020 Kia Sorento a good SUV?

On paper, the 2020 Kia Sorento looked like a great vehicle. The newly, redesigned SUV was equipped with new engines, some of the most recent technology, and was loaded with safety features.

The fact that the vehicle had three rows of seating was wonderful. Some people were extremely excited to find out that they would have an opportunity to purchase a hybrid Kia Sorento.

Looking at Consumer Reports, it’s obvious that something isn’t quite right with the 2020 Sorento. It currently has a modest three out of five marks for customer satisfaction. The vehicle scored a shockingly low one out of five for reliability.

Edmunds liked some of the things the 2020 Sorento brought to the table. The pros listed in the review include the cabin’s quietness, the number of standard features it’s equipped with, the fact that it can seat seven passengers, and that the company has attached a long warranty to the vehicle.

Despite all of this, the reviewer was underwhelmed by the Sorento.

What’s next for this SUV?

A Kia Sorento on display at an auto show
A Kia Sorento displayed at an auto show | Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Given the sharp decline in sales, lackluster reviews, and success of the Telluride, no one could blame Kia if the company decided to throw in the towel and stop making the Sorento so it could focus its efforts on the Telluride, but that’s not what Kia did.

Instead, it launched a massive promotional campaign that featured the 2021 Kia Sorento.

“Sorento has always been one of Kia’s premier products,” said Sean Yoon, president & CEO, Kia Motors North America & Kia Motors America stated in a Kia Media press piece.

“Its combination of style, utility, safety, and comfort have made it a perennial customer favorite. This stunning new Sorento sets the bar in the compact SUV class even higher and represents the pinnacle of Kia design and engineering. We’re extremely proud to add it to our line-up of incredible automobiles.”

The 2021 Kia Sorento is currently available at your favorite Kia dealership. You have six different trim options to choose from, including the Sorento SX Prestige X-Line which was designed for off-roading. If you prefer a hybrid, be sure to check out the Sorento HEV.


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