The Kia Sorento has been accepted with consumers as it combines affordable appraisement with three rows of practicality.
That’s a acceptable formula, but the Sorento hasn’t been after it faults. Besides accepting a below than arch interior, it was overshadowed by the beyond and added luxurious Telluride.
That put the Sorento in a ambiguous position, but it has been assiduously redesigned for 2021. The changes abode the model’s shortcomings, while additionally convalescent on what consumers already loved.
An Edgier And Added Rugged Appearance
The previous-generation Sorento was one of the best handsome three-row crossovers, but Kia’s designers accept acicular things up for 2021. The changes are anon credible up avant-garde as the archetypal adopts an edgier tiger adenoids grille with a adventurous mesh-like arrangement that’s belted by LED headlights and alternative “eyeline” daytime active lights.
Moving bottomward the sides, the crossover has a across-the-board accept band and added able-bodied bodywork. The greenhouse is appealing evolutionary, but it’s burst up by a new wave-like emphasis at the abject of the C-pillar.
Designers additionally accord the rear end a sportier makeover as there’s a heavily august liftgate and characteristic taillights that use LEDs on SX and aloft grades.
Speaking of trims, there are six, which ambit from adequately basal to absolute luxurious. However, alike the entry-level Sorento LX comes with LED headlights, an acoustic windshield and 17-inch admixture wheels. The abject archetypal additionally sports glassy chrome accents, aloofness bottle and body-color mirrors with chip about-face signals.
We activated the range-topping Sorento SX Prestige X-Line which appearance upgrades such as LED fog lights and 20-inch admixture wheels. This alternative is additionally notable for accepting the X-Line amalgamation that adds a beefier roof rack, aphotic aggressive argent accents and matte atramentous anatomy cladding. The amalgamation additionally increases the ride acme by 1 inch (25 mm), while additionally abacus a added avant-garde all-wheel drive arrangement with a snow mode.
While new cartage about abound in size, the 2021 Sorento bucks the trend as it still measures 189 inches (4,800 mm) long. However, it is hardly added and taller as both ambit accept developed by 0.4 inches (10 mm). That brings us to the bigger change, which is a wheelbase that, at 110.8 inches (2,814 mm), is 1.4 inches (36 mm) longer.
An All-New And Added Luxurious Interior
While the previous-generation Sorento had a handsome exterior, its berth was appealing blah and had an air of cheapness to it. That’s not best the case as the redesigned archetypal has fabricated cogent strides in agreement of actual quality, architecture and technology.
The changes are unmistakable, abnormally in the range-topping trim which boasts a 12.3-inch agenda apparatus array and a 10.25-inch infotainment system. The new tech is a acceptable accession and the agenda apparatus array allows for a Blind View Monitor function, which projects a alive video augment of adjoining lanes into the gauges aback a about-face arresting is activated. It’s a air-conditioned assurance affection and it makes alteration lanes on a active artery below stressful.
Besides the high-tech gear, the Sorento SX Prestige X-Line boasts beautiful and admiring perforated covering seats with arresting bolsters. Both avant-garde seats appear accepted with 10-way ability adjustment, two-way ability lumbar abutment as able-bodied as heating and ventilation, a leather-wrapped acrimonious council wheel, a dual-zone automated altitude ascendancy arrangement and a 12-speaker Bose audio system.
The archetypal additionally has a wireless smartphone charger and USB charging ports, which are hidden below a appearance atramentous awning that is a fingerprint magnet. Buyers will additionally acquisition faux copse trim, bendable blow abstracts and mostly aerial affection plastics.
The additional row seats are adequate and added ample than afore as there’s now 41.7 inches (1,059 mm) of legroom. That’s an access of 2.3 inches (58 mm) and it agency backseat cartage absolutely accept added legroom than those up front.
A split-folding bank comes standard, but additional row captain’s chairs are accessible on college end variants. The closing advance and affection an adjustable backrest as able-bodied as adjustable armrests. The captain’s chairs additionally accept a button which automatically slides and tilts them avant-garde to affluence access and departure from the third-row.
Despite this, accepting into the third row can be difficult for adults. However, alike this 6’ 2” analyst managed to clasp aback there.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a affable acquaintance as allowance is bound and there’s abandoned 29.6 inches (752 mm) of legroom. Additional row cartage can advance their seats avant-garde to accord third row occupants added room, but it’s still a bound fit for adults. That actuality said, the seats should be altogether accomplished for accouchement and baby teens.
Speaking of space, there’s a bashful 12.6 cubic anxiety (357 liters) of allowance abaft the third row. That isn’t much, but the seats are accessible to bend and this increases the burden accommodation to amid 38.5 – 45.0 cubic anxiety (1,090 – 1,274 liters). With both rows folded, that amount all-overs to 75.5 cubic anxiety (2,138 liters), which is below than the 84.3 cubic anxiety (2,387 liters) offered by the Toyota Highlander.
A Powertrain For Everyone
While the antecedent Sorento was offered with two altered engines, the 2021 archetypal has four. Starting things off is a artlessly aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 191 hp (142 kW / 194 PS) and 182 lb-ft (246 Nm) torque. It’s affiliated to an eight-speed automated chiral which can be commutual to an alternative all-wheel drive system.
This enables the SUV to advance from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 9.5 abnormal with front-wheel drive and 10 abnormal collapsed with all-wheel drive. While that’s not fast, the archetypal is analytic able as the front-wheel drive alternative has an EPA-estimated ammunition abridgement appraisement of 24 mpg city, 29 mpg artery and 26 mpg combined. With all-wheel drive, those numbers bead to 23 mpg city, 25 mpg artery and 24 mpg combined.
Speaking of ammunition economy, there are two all-new amalgam variants for 2021. The acceptable amalgam has a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, a 59 hp (44 kW / 60 PS) electric motor, a 1.5 kWh array backpack and a six-speed automated transmission. This bureaucracy enables the front-wheel drive archetypal to accept a accumulated achievement of 227 hp (169 kW / 230 PS).
Thanks to the eco-friendly powertrain, the Sorento Amalgam has an EPA-estimated ammunition abridgement appraisement of 39 mpg city, 35 mpg artery and 37 mpg combined. That’s absorbing for a car, let abandoned a seven-seat crossover. Kia was additionally quick to point out the Sorento Amalgam bests the Toyota Highlander Amalgam which allotment up to 36 mpg city, 35 mpg artery and 36 mpg combined.
A constituent amalgam alternative will access aboriginal abutting year with a beyond 13.8 kWh battery, a 90 hp (67 kW / 91 PS) electric motor and all-wheel drive. The powertrain has a accumulated achievement of 261 hp (195 kW / 265 PS) and should accredit the Sorento to biking 30 afar (48 km) on electricity alone.
While the constituent amalgam sounds promising, our tester was able with the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder agent that develops 281 hp (210 kW / 285 PS) and 311 lb-ft (422 Nm) torque. It’s a absolute fit for the Sorento and enables it to run from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 7.6 abnormal aback able with all-wheel drive.
Thanks to the turbocharged engine, the Sorento is quick and sporty. Throttle tip-in isn’t the best beeline affair in the world, but a quick jab of the accelerator will absolutely get you moving.
Despite the absorbing performance, there’s not abundant of a amends at the pump as front-wheel drive alternative allotment 22 mpg city, 29 mpg artery and 25 mpg combined. Abacus all-wheel drive reduces those numbers to 21 mpg city, 28 mpg artery and 24 mpg combined.
We fell a bit abbreviate of those estimates as we averaged 20.6 mpg in mostly burghal driving. However, owners should apprehend college numbers as our tester was idled while cutting photos and video.
So How Does It Drive?
In two words, appreciably well. Engineers accept done a abundant job on the Sorento as it balances abundance and sportiness about perfectly. The Korean SUV is almost nimble, corners able-bodied and almost exhibits anatomy roll. And all of this has been done after absolute ride affection as the abeyance soaks up baby alley imperfections with ease. Beyond and connected impacts will accomplish themselves known, but they don’t intrude abundant to mar the experience.
A lot of acclaim goes to the Sorento’s third-generation N3 belvedere which is new for 2021. It’s lighter and stronger than before, and engineers fabricated updates to improve driving dynamics as able-bodied as ride and administration characteristics. All of this assignment seems to accept paid off as the Sorento is one of the bigger crossovers to drive.
The council is a bit on the abundant side, but it’s anticipated and adds to the adventurous feeling.
When it comes time to stop, aerial discs barometer 12.8 inches (325 mm) up avant-garde and 12.0 inches (305 mm) at the rear are alleged into action. We didn’t analysis them to extremes, but they assume adequately able although there is a bit of biking afore absolutely bang in.
Sticking with the achievement theme, the eight-speed bifold clamp chiral is fast and smooth. Sport approach quickens things up a bit, but the gearbox seems to assignment best in abundance mode. If you’re the do it yourself type, there are paddle shifters and chiral about-face controls.
Despite actuality December, the acclimate didn’t abet and we didn’t get a adventitious to analysis out the all-wheel drive arrangement in the snow. However, it provides affluence of anchor in dry altitude and appearance torque vectoring to advance dynamics.
The all-wheel drive arrangement is avant-garde biased, but appearance a center-locking cogwheel to board added ability to rear auto in glace conditions. The breach varies on altitude and the called drive mode, but Sport approach sends ability rearward more readily.
Pricing Starts At $29,390
The 2021 Kia Sorento is now on auction and appraisement starts at $29,390 which is $1,300 added than its predecessor. However, it comes bigger able than the approachable archetypal and appearance abundant improvements.
In abject LX form, buyers will acquisition bolt upholstery, a additional row breach folding bank and a accepted third row. The archetypal additionally has air conditioning, a six-speaker audio system, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment arrangement with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The entry-level Sorento comes with an array of disciplinarian abetment systems including Aerial Beam Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Following Assist. Added assurance appearance board a rearview camera, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, Rear Occupant Alert, and Avant-garde Collision Avoidance Assist with banal and vehicle detection.
Moving up the trim ladder is the Sorento S which starts at $31,890. Upgrading is a breeze as it adds leatherette upholstery, acrimonious avant-garde seats and a 10-way ability driver’s bench with lumbar support. It additionally comes able with a leather-wrapped council wheel, a dual-zone automated altitude ascendancy system, a added avant-garde infotainment arrangement and a acute key with a push-button ignition.
If that wasn’t abundant to argue you to upgrade, the Sorento S additionally adds assurance appearance such as Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Reverse Parking Distance Warning and Safe Exit Assist.
The $34,990 Sorento EX comes accepted with the turbocharged 2.5-liter agent and appearance a scattering of added upgrades including a wireless smartphone charger and additional row captain’s chairs. The archetypal additionally has Acute Cruise Ascendancy with Stop and Go and a Avant-garde Collision Avoidance Assist arrangement which can ascertain cyclists.
One footfall up is the Sorento SX which begins at $37,990. It appearance a host of exoteric upgrades including LED daytime active lights, LED taillights and 20-inch admixture wheels. Inside, buyers will acquisition an 8-way ability commuter bench and a beyond 10.25-inch infotainment arrangement with GPS navigation. The archetypal additionally comes with a across-the-board sunroof, LED autogenous lights and Artery Active Assist.
The closing is appealing noteworthy as it controls the vehicle’s steering, dispatch and braking on the highway. During our testing, it did a acceptable job of befitting the Sorento centered in its lane and didn’t accept any problems council on continued across-the-board curves.
Next up is the Sorento SX Prestige which starts at $40,590 and is accessible alone with front-wheel drive. To get all-wheel drive, you accept to advancement to the Sorento SX Prestige X-Line – like our tester – which starts at $42,590. Both models are abundantly identical, except for the off-road aggressive administration tweaks, and appear with the accessories we’ve mentioned beforehand in the review.
Customers attractive for article added eco-friendly can opt for the Sorento Hybrid. It starts at $33,590 for the S trim and $36,590 for the EX variant.
Pricing for the Sorento Plug-In Amalgam will be appear afterpiece to launch, but Kia admiral appropriate it will be positioned as a exceptional entry. That isn’t abundant to go on, but it will be absorbing to see how it compares to the smaller Toyota RAV4 Prime which begins at $38,100.
Pretty Abundant Everything You Could Want In A Crossover
Kia’s been on a cycle afresh with models such as the Telluride and Stinger. That trend continues with the Sorento as it checks all the boxes and manages to be added than the sum of its parts.
It’s adequate and adventurous with the turbocharged 2.5-liter agent and, on top of that, there are two eco-friendly amalgam options. Cost-conscious buyers haven’t been abandoned either and the abject engine is added able and fuel-efficient than before.
Kia didn’t stop there as the Sorento appearance a awfully bigger autogenous with college affection abstracts and avant-garde technology. It is additionally almost ample and appearance a third row that can board adults in a pinch.
All in all, the Sorento looks like addition champ for Kia and it should address to barter who don’t charge the added allowance offered by the Telluride.