Kia has been putting its last-minute touches on vehicles it plans on revealing to the world at the 2021 Geneva Motor Show. One of these vehicles is the 2021 Kia Sorento. For months we all have been waiting on some updates about the SUV, but outside of some generalized information, we really didn’t know what to fully expect. We made some guesses based on what Kia had released earlier in South Korea, and on a few of the other SUVs it makes, but we can now confirm vehicle specifics and what you should expect when the 2021 Kia Sorento goes on sale later this year.
A New Powertrain For All
First of all, Kia may be moving away from its V6 engine in favor of two different inline-four engines. At first, this might seem a bit strange. After all, who takes out a bigger engine for something smaller? Well, this trend has actually been going on for the last few years now. Ford is probably the king of doing this. Nobody would have ever guessed a Mustang would end up with an I4, but thanks to new updates and tweaks found on inline-four engines, it is possible to squeeze out more horsepower and performance numbers than the older, outdated V6s. That is exactly what you’re going to find with the new 2021 Kia Sorento.
The base engine in the Sorento is going to be a 2.5L turbo I4. This engine, which is also used by several other foreign manufacturers including Hyundai, Genesis, and Hyundai, will churn out 277 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. This does take a small step back in terms of horsepower numbers from what the current V6 engine offers (which isn’t the base engine but the upgraded option). However, it takes a giant jump forward with its torque. This will result in a significant increase in towing potential, which is one area Kia has lagged behind the competition in the SUV world.
The second engine expected option available for the Sorento is a 1.6L I4 hybrid with an electric motor. The electric motor produces 59 horsepower on its own, which gives the hybrid model a total of 227 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It also uses a 1.49 kWh battery. This setup is for the regular hybrid model. The plug-in hybrid will receive a larger battery, although those specifics are not yet available (usually plug-in hybrids come out a bit later during the model release, so stay tuned for the battery size information).
There is a third engine option, although the 2.2L turbodiesel will not make its way to the United States this year (it will be available in South Korea and throughout Europe). However, it could still end up coming over in future models.
This 2021 Kia Sorento will be slightly larger than the previous model. The length grows about 0.4 inches, although the wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer. So not a major difference, but something worth noting. It does weigh less than the previous year, though. This is mostly due to the reduction of the engine size, although Kia has managed to shave off some pounds here and there (in total, it is 176 pounds lighter). All of this should result in some improvements with the fuel economy, although an official rating will not come out until testing in the United States kicks off over the next few weeks.
Upgrades To the Safety System
Kia has been looking to pump up the safety features it provides in its vehicles. It has lagged a bit in this regard, but it is now getting serious about the safety driving technology it includes.
The number of airbags found in the Sorento has increased to eight, which now includes a knee airbag for the driver. The Sorento will also include a number of improved automatic braking technologies. While Kia hasn’t officially announced what these will be or the company’s branded name for it, the systems will be able to automatically assist with braking to help a driver that has lost control of the vehicle and to prevent any oncoming accidents. It will also apply brakes to prevent secondary crashes after an initial impact.
Other safety features will be officially announced during the Geneva Motor Show. Once the 2021 Kia Sorento receives its official release, we will have all the specifics on the vehicle, including the expected release date in the United States.
New Designs On The Interior
The first thing you’ll notice with the interior design of the 2021 Kia Sorento is the two-tone color combination. While we’re sure there will be other color options when the Sorento does make its way to the United States, the images and information we have been given feature a two-tone, tan on black design. The seating and central striping of the interior will have a light tan color, while the flooring and upper portion of the vehicle interior will be in black. The two colors work well together, and it doesn’t find the need to heavily rely on chrome accents is a nice feature. Sometimes a vehicle can just have too much chrome (we’re looking at you, Cadillac). Instead, the accent features are subtle and are matte gray, which really helps with the transition between tan and black (even the steering wheel on the 2021 Kia Sorento has a two-tone design, with the outside of the wheel being in black and the inside of the wheel in tan).
The air vents are nicely done here as well. Sure, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about the air vents in your vehicle, but it’s obvious these were not afterthought touches. Everything inside the vehicle looks like it was specifically thought out and not just tacked on after the fact.
We don’t have specifics yet on the touchscreen. We’ve seen images of it, although we don’t know if there are going to be multiple touchscreen options or if it is going to use a singular design. It does look to replicate what some of the more recent Kia releases provide in terms of look and functionality, though. Probably the most direct comparison is the Telluride. The Telluride comes with several drive modes, not to mention you can control most of the vehicle from the touchscreen, so we expect something like this to be found in the Sorento.
The vehicle will also come with some new instrument lighting and interior design lighting. This feature is generally more common in South Korea, although the internal lighting fixtures have started to make the move over to the States in recent years.
Not Much Longer To Wait
The wait is almost over for the 2021 Kia Sorento. Yes, Kia has been teasing updates to the vehicle for some time, but now the official release is almost here. And, following the official release, we will have all the details on goodies to be found within the Sorento, including when it will arrive in the United States. So what are your thoughts? Are you getting excited about the vehicle updates? Are you holding off on buying a 2020 in favor of upgrading to the 2021 model year? If you are currently a Kia Sorento driver, what kind of updates and new features would you like to see in the 2021 edition? Let us know!