Kia faces a appalling claiming with the barrage of its redesigned fourth-generation 2021 Sorento SUV, which comes to bazaar on the heels of the Korean brand’s badly acknowledged and 10Best-winning Telluride crossover. Yet, while both SUVs attempt in the aforementioned mid-size, three-row segment, the hardly abate Sorento makes a acute case with its adorable design, added affordable pricing, and a assorted ambit of powertrains that includes two gas engines, a hybrid, and an accessible constituent amalgam model.
The new Sorento may not accept the aforementioned adventurous actualization as the beefy Telluride. But its adamant curve attending amply avant-garde and they set off its added arresting administration details, such as the hexagonal arrangement in its grille and its clear LED taillights. A $2800 X-Line actualization amalgamation is accessible on all-wheel-drive SX models, which adds a model-specific roof arbor and advanced and rear bumpers. The X-Line is additionally accessible in a adorable Aruba Green blush that pairs accurately with Sorento’s alternative amber covering interior.
While we’ve alone apprenticed well-equipped SX models appropriately far, we’re afflicted with the architecture and actual affection of the Sorento’s cabin. Its affected copse trim is convincing, its checky covering upholstery is soft, and its balanced aperture panels affection adorable bond and costly armrests. The dashboard’s affluence of air vents can attending busy, but the SX’s crisply rendered 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment arrangement sits aural accessible ability of the driver, and the altitude controls are aboveboard to operate. Lesser LX, S, and EX models accept a abate 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, but abnormally the SX’s beyond awning requires you to bung your buzz in with an ancient USB cable in adjustment to admission those features.
With a wheelbase that’s 3.4 inches beneath than the Telluride’s, the Sorento is afterpiece in admeasurement to two-row mid-size crossovers such as the Honda Passport, yet the Kia comes accepted with a questionably advantageous third row of seats. Accommodations in the way aback artlessly aren’t adequate for adults, with bound stretch-out amplitude and a low basal bank beanbag that armament your knees up against your chest. Plus, we alone fit two attache accoutrements in its burden breadth with the third row aloft against the four we fit in the Telluride’s aft hold. If we endemic a new Sorento, we’d apparently leave the third row bankrupt until we actually bare to bear added riders for abbreviate distances. Lower trim levels accept a second-row bank bench and seven-passenger capacity, but college trims are bound to six riders with their second-row captain’s chairs.
The Sorento will eventually action four powertrain options, including a abject 191-hp 2.5-liter inline-four, a turbocharged 2.5-liter four, a amalgam that pairs with a 1.6-liter turbo-four, and an accessible constituent amalgam with a beyond array backpack that enables a claimed 30 afar of electric range. We’ve alone apprenticed the alternative 281-hp turbo 2.5-liter so far, and we enjoyed its admiration and bland ability delivery.
Although the Sorento’s alternative turbo-four (EX and SX models only) is somewhat abnormal in a articulation area artlessly aspirated V-6s abide the norm, that the agent mates to an eight-speed dual-clutch automated manual is alike added unconventional. Kia claims that this bureaucracy enables quicker accouterment and bigger ammunition economy. Indeed, the 2.5-liter turbo’s 24-mpg EPA accumulated appraisal for an all-wheel-drive archetypal is identical to the amount for an agnate Sorento with the decidedly beneath able artlessly aspirated agent and accepted eight-speed torque-converter automatic. We did apprehension a slight lag in burke acknowledgment back starting from a stop with the bifold clutch, but the manual contrarily performed calmly and unobtrusively. We apprehend a abrupt zero-to-60-mph time in the mid-six-second ambit for the quickest turbocharged models, with the artlessly aspirated variants almost 2.5 abnormal off that pace.
Compared to the chiffon ride and administration of the previous-gen Sorento, the new archetypal feels appreciably added solid and buried on the road. It rides confidently, with alike ample bumps bearing little babble from the abeyance and basal accordance through the council wheel. The affability of the primary controls additionally is abundant improved, with accurately abounding council and a close anchor pedal.
Starting at $30,560 for a front-wheel-drive LX archetypal and alignment up to almost $45K for a loaded all-wheel-drive SX, the Sorento costs beneath than the beyond Telluride, which starts at $33,160 and can top $50K with options. Given the Telluride’s attendance and accomplished packaging, it charcoal a awful appetizing advantage amid three-row utes. But the new Sorento is adorable in its own right. For alive shoppers that don’t charge its beyond sibling’s added admeasurement (and cost), Kia’s latest mid-size SUV has a lot to offer.