2021 Kia Sorento Debuts in North America, Hybrid to Arrive Later

The updated, fourth-generation 2021 Kia Sorento made its North American debut today during a virtual event.

Built on the N3 platform, this model is longer (+35 mm in wheelbase) and stiffer than its predecessor. The Sorento, of course, will still slot between the Sportage and Telluride.

In Canada, all-wheel drive will once again come standard, and for the first time second-row captain’s chairs will be available.

Kia designers gave the 2021 Sorento a more muscular appearance with a wider grille up front and larger taillights in the rear. Inside, an available 12.3-inch digital instrument panel highlights the changes. The centre touchscreen is eight or 10.25 inches in size depending on the trim level.

Naturally, there’s a heavy dose of technology and driver assistance features, including connected services via the Korean automaker’s UVO app.  

No Sorento Hybrid… For Now

When the 2021 Kia Sorento was unveiled in a world premiere last winter, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrain options were on the table. We learned during the North American presentation today that the former will combine a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine with a 44-kilowatt electric motor to generate a total of 227 horsepower, while the latter gets a 66.9-kilowatt motor and provides a zero-emission range of about 48 kilometres. 

The Sorento Hybrid and Sorento PHEV are scheduled to arrive in Canada toward the end of next year, both with all-wheel drive.

Photo: Kia

What about gas-powered Sorentos? Look for a standard 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Kia estimates fuel consumption at 9.7 L/100 km in combined city-highway driving.

As an option, a turbocharged 2.5-litre engine boosts output to 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. This one is mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission instead of a conventional automatic. Impressively, it barely needs more gas than the base mill, with a rating of 9.9 L/100 km, and it can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Photo: Kia

New X-Line Trim

In Canada, the 2021 Kia Sorento will be available in six different trim levels when it officially goes on sale in December: LX+, LX Premium, X-Line, EX, EX+ and SX. Targeting customers with a more adventurous personality, the X-Line is a new addition that stands out with increased ride height, 20-inch wheels in a dark grey finish, unique design cues and raised roof rails.

Pricing for the new 2021 Kia Sorento ranges from $33,995-$47,495, slightly up from the previous model.

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