Tuesday, January 26, 2021
News 2021 Kia Sorento Makes North American Debut

2021 Kia Sorento Makes North American Debut

Fully redesigned and ready to shake up the midsize crossover segment.


  • The 2021 Kia Sorento will go on sale in the four quarter of 2020.

  • Four powertrains in the U.S., two in Canada for now.

  • New X-Line trim adds off-road cred with extra ground clearance and more rugged appearance.


Hot on the heels of the Korean brand’s subcompact and midsize three-row crossovers, the North American version of the 2021 Kia Sorento has just been unveiled.

Fully redesigned, the Sorento will still be built in Georgia, USA, and will hit showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2020. In the United States, it will be available in five trim levels, including LX, S, EX, SX and SX-Prestige. However, the latter will feature the new X-Line package, which is focused on off-road driving with an extra inch of ground clearance, improved approach and departure angles, a more advanced all-wheel drive system and a tougher roof rack for those who enjoy their active lifestyles.

The 2021 Kia Sorento SX and X-Line SX-Prestige are equipped with a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder engine that develops 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque, managed by an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. Base trim levels receive a naturally aspirated, 2.5L four with 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque, allowing for a combined city/highway fuel economy rating estimated at 27 mpg. Both 2.5L engines can be matched to front-wheel and all-wheel drivetrains.

There’s also a new hybrid powertrain consisting of a turbocharged 1.6L inline-four, a 44-kW electric motor and a 5-kWh battery pack, good for a total output of 227 horsepower and a combined rating of 37 mpg. And soon, a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a 66.9-kW motor, an 8-kWh battery and 261 total horsepower will join the lineup, providing an estimated driving range of 30 miles or 50 km. Both hybrids can only be matched to a front-wheel drivetrain.

In Canada, things are a little different. The 2021 Kia Sorento will come in LX+, LX Premium, X-Line, EX, EX+ and SX, and the hybrid powertrains won’t be introduced before next year, and there’s a good reason for that. Every Sorento sold in Canada will include AWD, so the gas-electric systems can’t be matched to that—yet.

The Sorento’s interior has been fully redesigned and gains an available 12.3-inch driver instrument panel as well as a standard 8.0-inch or optional 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. There will be up to 8 USB ports to keep everyone’s devices fully charged and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available as well. The 2021 Kia Sorento also comes standard with three rows of seats for a capacity of seven passengers, but buyers can opt for second-row captain’s chairs to accommodate six occupants.

Pricing hasn’t yet been set in the U.S. or Canada, and will be announced at a later date. The Sorento will compete with two- and three-row midsize crossovers, such as the Ford Edge, the Chevrolet Blazer, the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Nissan Murano and the Honda Passport, but also the GMC Acadia, the Honda Pilot and the Nissan Pathfinder, among others.

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