2021 Kia Sorento updated with new look and tech
With the recently launched Kia Seltos and the large Telluride making waves in different parts of the world, Kia is continuing its strong expansion in the crossover arena. The fourth-generation 2021 Kia Sorento was already revealed for Asian markets, but more details have been released with the debut of the U.S. version.
The 2021 Kia Sorento appears to be completely new, as we noted earlier, it seems to share a lot with the outgoing model, specifically in the doors-and-windows section of the body. Kia claims it is an all-new chassis.
The 2021 Sorento’s interior can be termed one of the nicest in its class. Based on the trim you choose; the seats can come covered in quilted leather. There are silver finishes on the AC vents and there is a matte wood finish, inspired by the Telluride, on the dashboard to add a bit more flair. There are seven seats as standard, but you can opt for captain chairs in the second row.
The 2021 Kia Sorento, just like every other Kia, can be loaded up with available technology. There is a large 10.3-inch touchscreen sitting on the center console, integrated neatly with the instrument console. The instrument console in itself is an even larger 12.3-inch setup, plucked straight from the K5. The infotainment is paired to a 12-speaker BOSE audio system. Kia’s UVO telematics suite gets advancements including a cloud-based navigation system that takes predicted traffic info and driver preferences into account to generate the fastest route. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are integrated for controlling the new Sorento via voice. Through a smartphone app, Sorento will also send various alerts to the owner.
Safety systems like forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane tracing, and a driver attention warning system are offered with the Sorento. A new Intelligent Speed Limit Assist is also added to the mix, which utilizes adaptive cruise control, forward-facing camera, and info from the navigation system to control the speed.
Base models of the Sorento are propelled by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with 191 hp and 247 Nm. It is hooked up to an eight-speed transmission. The step above it is the 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that gets mated to an eight-speed DCT automatic gearbox and pushing out 281 hp and 422 Nm of torque. With both the engines, Kia offers FWD as standard and AWD as an option. The new engines also register improvements in fuel economy. The non-turbo engine now sips 8.7 litres/100 km, an 8% improvement over the outgoing Sorento base model. The higher models with the turbocharged 2.5-litre will drink only 9.4 litres/100 km. This betters the fuel efficiency of the outgoing V6 Sorento by almost 14%.
And if fuel efficiency is your top priority, it offers two additional models, the 2021 Kia Sorento Turbo Plug-in hybrid and the Kia Sorento Hybrid. The regular hybrid Sorento pairs a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine with a 44 kW electric motor and a 1.5-kWh Li-ion battery, churning out a combined output of 227 hp. This is coupled with a six-speed automatic gearbox that sends the power only to the front wheels. The fuel economy is rated at 6.35 litres/100 km. On top of this, the 2021 Kia Sorento Turbo Plug-in-hybrid sits with the same turbocharged 1.6-litre engine but with a larger 66.9 kW electric motor and 13.8 kWh Li-ion battery. It produces a total of 261 hp and can also drive for 48 km in pure EV mode.
Almost all the Kia Sorentos sold are destined to be tarmac crawlers with hardly a few ever going off-road. Kia decided to give these statistics no regard as they have brought out an X-Line variant of the Sorento that gets better off-road tech. These include an increased ride height, a “torque-on-demand” all-wheel-drive system, a locking centre differential and standard hill descent control to ensure that the Kia Sorento X-Line does somewhat better than the regular road-going version off the beaten path.
Kia promises to bring the entire 2021 Kia Sorento lineup sans the plug-in hybrid to the U.S. showroom floors by the end of this year. The GCC version will vary.