The 2021 Kia Sorento has made its official debut, offering a number of notable improvements over the outgoing iteration of the popular crossover.
Forming the basis of the new Sorento is Kia's new lightweight platform, which is said to be stiffer and stronger than the architecture in the outgoing model. The new platform enabled Kia to lengthen the wheelbase by 35.5 mm, whilst also stripping nearly 55 kg away from the body of the crossover.
Four different engines will be available in the 2021 Kia Sorento from launch. Base models will feature a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing 181 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque, which will be paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel-drive. A more powerful 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo with 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque will also be offered, which links up to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Customers seeking more efficiency will likely opt for the hybrid model, which features a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, six-speed automatic transmission, 44 kW electric motor and 5 kWh lithium-ion battery. This powertrain will produce a maximum of 226 horsepower and will also be offered with all-wheel-drive only in Canada. Rounding out the list of available engines is the PHEV model, which won't arrive until later in 2021. These models will feature the same 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and six-speed automatic, along with a more powerful 66.9 kW electric motor and larger 8 kWh battery. All Sorento PHEV models will feature all-wheel-drive and will be able to travel up to 48 km on electric power only.
An eight-inch colour touchscreen will come standard on the 2021 Kia Sorento, while a larger 10.25-inch high-resolution display with wireless Bluetooth will be available on certain trims as well. A12.3-inch full digital driver's display will be offered, too, which is a first for any Kia crossover or SUV model. The Sorento also arrives well-equipped for today's tech-obsessed world, featuring up to eight USB ports (base models have six ports) and an available wireless charging pad.
Also new to the Sorento is the available 4+2 seating arrangement, which allows customers to select second-row captain's chairs instead of a middle bench. Customers who still want to retain seven seats can still opt for the standard second-row bench seat, however, the five-seat Sorento model is no longer offered.
Of particular interest to Canadian buyers will be the rugged Sorento X-Line trim, which has 25mm higher ground clearance, improved approach/departure angles, a more advanced AWD system with a dedicated snow mode and a stronger roof rack. In addition to off-road-focused X-Line, the new Sorento will also be offered in LX, S, EX, SX, and SX-Prestige trim levels.
Details on pricing and availability for the 2021 Kia Sorento will be announced closer to the crossover's arrival at dealerships early next year.