2021 Kia Sorento: Design, Powertrains & Everything Else We Know About The Midsize SUV

Kia’s Telluride might be the talk of the town right now as the South Korean carmaker’s biggest SUV, but the bigger news might just be its smaller, mid-sized crossover offering, the all-new 2021 Sorento.

About to enter its fourth-generation, the Sorento (codenamed MQ4) aims to add a lot more spice to an increasingly competitive segment. We take an illustrated preview at what to expect from Kia’s redesigned Explorer rival.

Athletic Aesthetics

While the current car has a conservative design compared to the chiseled appearance of the 2nd-generation Sorento, Kia’s styling game is arguably back on-point. This means the all-new Sorento exudes the same expressive design ethos as seen in its Soul, Seltos, and Telluride siblings.

Take frontal styling for instance; it adopts a chrome-framed adaptation of Kia’s Tiger Nose grille, with brightwork wrapping around slim LED headlights, leading deep into the front fenders to emphasize its stance. The sculptured front fascia is also joined by taut side pressings, and a unique rear quarter window fin also used on ProCeed sport wagon.

Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes

The view from the rear is muscular in a Range Rover Sport type of way, with rakish rear pillars (a hallmark from previous Sorento iterations), a chiseled tailgate spoiler and large diffuser panel.

A Nicer Place To Be Inside

The Sorento is no means a bad place to spend time, however it’s showing its age on the design and technology front. Luckily, the interior is set for a major overhaul – and following in the footsteps of Telluride. It’s going to be a tech-laden, high-quality affair.

Third-row occupants will benefit from an increase in legroom and a pair of USB ports, whilst the front and second-row chairs gain heating and ventilation functionality. A large infotainment screen dominates the dash and incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

2020 Kia Telluride-36

2020 Kia Telluride interior pictured above

Other goodies consist of a heads-up display, wireless smartphone charging, and multi-Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Expect a plethora of driving aids like smart cruise control with Stop & Go, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and safe-exit assist (SEA) which prevents occupants from exiting the vehicle into rear-approaching traffic.

Power to the people

We anticipate a variety of powertrains will be offered, ranging from a 2.4-litre GDI inline-four, 2.0-litre turbocharged four, a 2.2-litre CRDI diesel, and a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder hybrid borrowed from the latest Hyundai Sonata.

There’s conjecture surrounding a range-topping variant with a potent 3.8-litre GDI V6, with 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque – whether this comes to fruition remains to be seen (fingers crossed).

Power will be fed to the front wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission or to all four, through an active on-demand all-wheel-drive system with multiple drive modes.

Alternatives & Launch Timing

The redesigned Sorento will battle against some seriously worthy competition trying to part you from your money.

The alternatives (depending on the market, of course) include the likes of Mazda’s beautifully-appointed CX-9, Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Skoda Kodiaq, GMC Acadia, Dodge Durango, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Murano and close cousin – the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Expect the all-new Sorento to officially bow in the coming months, with sales starting early next year.

Lastly, would you consider the Sorento over the competition? Tell us in the comments below.

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