The 2021 Kia Sorento is based on the third-generation N3 platform that will also underpin the next version of the Carnival minivan
Kia Motors had a lot planned for the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show, but as you may have heard, the event was cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. At the venue, the South Korean brand intended to showcase the all-new Sorento SUV for the 2021 model year. The fourth-generation Kia Sorento was unveiled to the world in mid-February.
The exterior design has become more in line with the latest products from Kia Motors such as the Seltos. This includes the signature ‘Tiger Nose’ grille, full-LED headlamps, sporty-looking bumpers, silver ornaments all across and the general sharp design approach. The SUV rides on the brand’s all-new third-generation N3 platform that will also serve as the base for the next Kia Carnival avatar. The India-spec Kia Carnival minivan is seeing a lot of traction on the market.
On the inside, the 2021 Kia Sorento boasts of a 10.25-inch touchscreen and an advanced 12.3-inch digital instrument console in its highest trim. A few highlights on the long list of equipment are 12-speaker Bose surround audio, blind-spot warning (via camera), ‘multi-collision brake system’, ambient lighting, Nappa leather, heated seats and more. In fact, the company claims that the new Sorento is the “most high-tech vehicle Kia has ever created”.
In certain markets where the large ‘mid-size’ Kia Telluride is not available, the Sorento is often the biggest SUV in the Kia portfolio. The 2021 Kia Sorento has grown by 10mm in length over its 4.8m long predecessor. The wheelbase has also seen an increase by 35mm. It still remains a mid-size 7-seater SUV on a global perspective. The Sorento is a potential product for Kia Motors India and if priced right, it will be a serious rival to the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Mahindra Alturas G4 and even the upcoming Tata Gravitas.
Being a global product, the 2021 Kia Sorento is offered with a range of engines depending on the market. However, the primary choice is a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel mill that makes 198bhp and 440Nm of torque. This is the same engine (with similar output) which powers the Kia Carnival in India. However, the new Sorento replaces the 8-speed torque-converter for an improved 8-speed wet-plate DCT that sends power to all four wheels (depending on the market).
The SUV is also available in a hybrid format with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine coupled to a 59bhp electric motor and a 1.5kWh battery. The combined output stands at 227bhp and 350Nm. The transmission is a 6-speed automatic. A 261bhp plug-in hybrid variant will be joining the range as well.