The 2021 Kia Sorento is all new inside and out it has a longer wheelbase new styling very much like the telluride we’ll call it the baby telluride it has four engine choices including hybrid and a plug-in hybrid and we’re going to take it for a drive
So you don’t miss anything this is the 2021 Kia Sorento it is different from the previous vehicle in a lot of ways and we’re going to go through all those different changes starting with performance handling safety visibility seating comfort in all three rows.
It’s going to be tight in that third row we’re going to talk about technology features design quality and pricing and value will give you cargo space information at the end.
We will give you a car coach reports ratings the reason we break it down this way is that when you go into the dealership and you’re looking at this beautiful vehicle it’s got the x trim and you’re all excited
They’re trying to sell you on that vehicle we want to give you information so that when you go into the dealership you’re much more knowledgeable and you know what you’re getting remember we’re trying to inform you.
Best Technology Features of Kia Sorento
Two Different Drive Lines
They’re trying to sell you let’s take it for a drive the new Kia Sorento has two different drive lines both of them come front wheel driver all-wheel drive the 2.5 liters and the 1.6 liter
Kia Sorento Since we’re driving the 2.5 liters that’s what we’re going to cover this is the all-wheel-drive from a standing start it sounds like a screaming a little bit that’s in comfort mode let’s stop and try that again we’re going to move it to sport mode to see what kind of get up and go it has if needed the center screen also changes.
Which is nice the gauges change you put your foot in it and Kia Sorento it’s got much better pickup really good actually this is the 2.5 liter the 1.6 liters is going to be part of the hybrid so you know it’s going to not be as loud this is kind of loud in my opinion
I’m actually kind of surprised it finally kicks Kia Sorento down that’s part of the transmission it’s an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission it’s a wet clutch which for those of you that are into like German cars you know that’s a Porsche Audi kind of thing
But what’s important to note for those of you that are looking at an SUV you’re not looking at the performance you’re looking at the ability to get out of your own way and I think that’s also a very important factor.
Now there are different horsepower ratings depending upon which application you get when you’re talking about just the 2.5 liters you’re looking at 281 horsepower 311 pound-feet of torque that’s 96 more horsepower than the previous generation 133 pound-feet of more torque what that really means is you buy horsepower.
Kia Sorento You drive torque and the bottom line for that is use more power obviously in the newer one but there’s also a bigger vehicle that needs to be propelled fuel economy is 21 miles to the gallon the city 28 in the highway
That’s a combination of 24 miles to a gallon and just for your reference the 1.6-liter hybrid that’s coming out’s going to have even better fuel economy at 37 miles to the gallon and for reference, if you are hauling a trailer this new Kia Sorento will haul 3 500 pounds.
When it comes to Kia Sorento performance for this new vehicle it is an improvement and in this class, the Kia Sorento earns a nine for performance the all-wheel-drive system uses torque vectoring and which provides extra power to the rear wheels and this is especially important when the conditions are wet you want good traction especially with snow and you’ll get that with this all-wheel-drive system there’s one inch additional of ground clearance and that’s important for entering and exiting those steep hills.
If you decide to take this Kia Sorento vehicle off-road for our test vehicle we had 20-inch wheels they go between 17 inches and 20 inches depending upon which of the six alloy wheel choices that you choose I have to say that handling dynamics are improved.
It’s definitely a better handling vehicle than the previous generation which was not bad so if you find a 20 20 on a lot it’s like you’re gonna be disappointed it’s just that this is that much more than the previous generation.
I think the ride is a bit harsher than the previous generation as well but then again this is an all-wheel-drive vehicle and when you’re driving a vehicle like this you have high expectations of something that’s going to be a luxurious ride
This is a very capable Kia Sorento vehicle and if you want to take it off-road to a campsite or you know do some sort of hiking you won’t be disappointed we don’t have an NVH rating which is the noise and vibration level of inside
The cabin is a bit loud although the handling is much improved over the previous generation and the brakes you can feel boom stopped pretty well overall in this category based on the huge selection of other vehicles.
This is true on all of the Kia Sorento and the Hyundai lineup and they’ve done a nice job of helping people understand those different safety features also the driver assistance features are right there which is nice
- So you can go into your drive assistance Kia Sorento features here and you can get the full list of safety features in addition so this is your safety features here and you can make your adjustments as you want the standard for the adaptive safety features are automatic emergency braking and that technology also comes with pedestrian detection.
- So if someone’s in the crosswalk it’ll definitely help you stop so that you don’t hurt somebody, of course, that’s a big issue lane keep assist lane to follow is important as well so these are your driver features there is so much adjustment in this Kia Sorento car.
- That you really have to read through the Kia Sorento owner’s manual which a lot of people don’t but it’s worthwhile at least getting the walk around from the dealer let the guys show you how everything works.
- So that you get the most for your Kia Sorento vehicle and what you’re paying for it there’s also driver attention warning lane keep assist lane follow a rear occupant alert when you get out of the vehicle.
- You’ll get a detection emotion detection it’ll be right here on the dash saying hey there might be someone in the car it’s really important that you look before you get out of the car and god to forbid.
- You leave somebody in the Kia Sorento car or an animal for that matter blind spot collision avoidance again that’s part of my favorite thing with these turn signals to the left or to the right we’re in a parking lot
- So I can show you and be not be driving on the roadway automatic emergency braking also if there’s a cyclist in the way and you’re at an intersection it’ll detect that and will stop the vehicle.
- So that you can keep that person safe as well as yourself and also one of the newest things they’re adding is this passenger safe exit assist so if you try to open the door maybe your kids are in a rush to get out to school and they open the door.
- The vehicle will warn you that there’s someone coming a bicyclist a person a car so you don’t hurt them or yourself that could be really serious a blind spot monitor available as a cross-traffic alert.
- I cannot believe that this is not standard because that’s pretty standard on literally everything fiat Chrysler products have had that standard for a very long time collision avoidance is also important and it will apply the brakes to avoid a collision.
- So when you put on your turn signal at the stop sign it’ll tell you hey if there’s anything on the left now one of the things that offer is collision avoidance that applies the brakes to avoid a collision and that’s really wonderful.
- There’s a lot of safety features on these vehicles and I’m surprised you have to buy up on some of them you would think that everything should be packaged I constantly am telling the manufacturers.
- If you’re looking at what the Japanese are doing they’re packaging everything so you get everything you need in safety and if you’re not doing that a lot of manufacturers aren’t you’re seeing that the Germans are a lot of the domestics aren’t you have to buy up.
- When you have to buy up, in other words, pay more like a line item for safety or you have to buy a higher trim level it makes the vehicle more pricey and that’s fine for them but for you, I think safety should be a standard and then you buy up all the extra goodies.
- You won’t like the heated seats or a package that’s cold weather or a package that’s got an audio system or technology those are the kind of things.
I think Kia Sorento is overlooked on a regular basis as we drive into the beautiful sunset with this vehicle and I’ll continue driving this vehicle to get you all as much as I can because this is a really nice vehicle and it is going to be taking a big chunk of the marketplace and the competition is very strong.
But when you’re looking at safety as a whole it earns a nine visibility is a really important part of safety you don’t think about that but 80 percent of your driving decisions are based on visibility one of the things.
I notice is this windshield is kind of almost straight up in comparison to some of these long sloping windshields there’s no good or bad to that but you have to decide that you can see comfortably.
It’s a nice wide windshield it has pretty good height to it and I noticed the window sills are a bit high that’s something that a lot of you may not realize when you sit in a car people tend to put their arm here and if it seems like a little bit high.
That’s because they’re now making the window the sill area higher because they want to make sure that it’s safer it’s part of that impact door beam but it also limits visibility and for those kids
That sit in the second row in booster seats and in safety seats, if they can’t see out then it’s not really comfortable for you or for them in the third row we’ll talk about this in the design there’s a unique window.
That’s in the third row and that’s all part of again visibility when you’re looking out the back you can see right there are two headrests. yes, you can fold those down but a lot of people leave them up.
If there are kids that sit back there so keep in mind that you’ll have to use the backup camera in that case and when you do put it into reverse.
You’ll get an around-view camera now this is the top of the line so we get the around view camera we get the backup camera and these are things that you want to think about and I do like their round view camera.
It has really good clarity because of some of the minor visibility issues with the headrest this is true with literally every car in this category.
It earns a visibility rating of seven when it comes to seating this is a very important piece for you the reason it’s important is that this is where you sit in your vehicle you drive this vehicle you need to live in this vehicle and typically you’ll keep your vehicle a minimum of three years and on average up to five to seven years.
If you buy it some vehicles on the road are as old as 14 years old so some people keep them for the full life what’s important is the adjustments on the seat to make you comfortable starting with the seat belts.
The adjustable-height seat belts on both sides that’s really good because you don’t want that seat belt to cut your neck you want to adjust it to meet your needs to squeeze.
The button and adjust accordingly that’s great when you’re looking at the seat itself it has a two-way lumbar on both sides thank you very much Kia you’re listening to all of us who have complained that the seats themselves have some pretty basic adjustments.
This is not a sports car by any means and that’s totally fine one of the things I’ve noticed not just with Kia but I’ve also noticed with a lot of brands is the seat cushion on the bottom is short now I tend to be a lot of thighs.
so I’m long between the hip and the knee and if the seat doesn’t come to a comfortable area when you’re driving for a long distance you may not be comfortable.
This is why it’s so important to sit in a vehicle seat and get comfortable with it, if it doesn’t feel good today it’s not going to get better the longer you own it.
Inner Side features
So that’s also a really important feature to keep in mind now they do come three-stage heated three-stage air-cooled second-row heated as well and that one-touch button.
That I’ll show you in a minute for the getting into the third row is really really nice also good to get your hands full of something and you’re going somewhere.
You need to have that storage area so when you’re looking at the seats themselves they’re both equally comfortable and that’s good when you’re switching drivers on a long road trip.
let’s take a look at the second row in the second row before I sit down there is a lever here and a button you press the button and it moves forward.
So you can get back in the third row really good because kids can press it you don’t have to put much effort into it there’s also a button here on the back which does the same thing pretty nice.
Okay, getting in the second row there’s an adjustment so you’re not too far forward and you can adjust it forth and back you can have fun don’t let kids do this because they will I guess I’m a little child I like the fact that there is plenty of adjustment for your knees for your head.
I think I’m five-eight I would say if you’re six feet tall you might come pretty close to this roofline remember because it’s not a full-sized telluride you’re gonna have that limitation shoulder space is great captain’s chairs are an option
That’s one of the things a lot of people like the armrests are adjustable like they would be anything else you put them up you put them all the way down and you click click move them to where you need them other things that are really nice about this vehicle is the cup holders instead of them being in the center or here where some child might trip over them they’re here in the door along with this really nice material.
USB Charge Option
It’s kind of plasticky but you know we’re in this price point but I like the fact that they’ve really done a nice idea with the design I do see there’s a little ledge here.
I see kids putting phones and food and all kinds of stuff on this ledge but it’s nice there’s a pocket here behind the seats behind both seats as well as a net which is really good as well there are two outlets one on the side of each seat which is great.
So everyone can charge beside below the vents here there are two more outlets one’s a 12 volt one’s another USB there’s no USB-C charging back here in the second row but this is great because it’s like always be charging ABC let’s take a look at the third row and we’ll give it a rating heading back into the third row I’m going to press one of these buttons and you can watch the seat move forward super easy whether.
It’s on the top or on the side you can get back here in the third row a little bit low actually I find it a little low good for little kids but back here there are more USBs there are more cup holders more places to put food snacks whatever.
It is that kids want it is kind of tight back here because it is almost a coop style design and that’s one of the things I think you have to keep in mind if you’re looking at a vehicle in this price point in this size category there’s a lot of competition.
If you’re bringing your kids with you which I highly suggest and you’re going to use the back seat in the third row have them sit back here make sure they’re comfortable
They’re a big part of this decision and you’re looking at the lumbar on both front seats which are a major thumbs up the seats are comfortable in the front row.
The second row is a little flat although I do like the creativity of ways to move the seat that is really important the third-row seats are kind of uncomfortable. So overall we gave it a rating score for seating of a seven when you’re looking at the technology
You’ve got this huge 12.3-inch screen standard is a 10-inch screen you’ve got your navigation setup and of course
Your radios so they’ve got the active touch I really like this kind of like Edison bulb looking design it’s pretty cool we are driving the x line which is the sx prestige all-wheel drive.
So it includes the around-view monitor and I’ll show you what that looks like that’s part of technology you can see that is the around view camera really nice good clarity too which I think some people put on their vehicles and they just have horrible clarity.
This has got really nice clarity to it it also includes the bose premium audio which is a 12 speaker audio system with high performance and again this is the 12.3-inch screen so you’ve got your radio set up here and an actual volume button.
Which we all appreciate you’ve got your four am your Sirius XM in addition that you can set up all the different things that you want whatever screen that you’re looking for besides Bluetooth and android auto apple car play. Kia Sorento
These are pretty much becoming a standard these days you can set up your usual profile your voice recognition your device connections the vehicle information everything is here. Kia Sorento
You set up the way you want it and of course the uvo which has got the wireless connectivity and that’s really nice to have especially when you’re you know trying to set up things for kids and they want to keep themselves busy.
They’ve done a really nice job with the audio system and I do like the fact that it has actual buttons for a dial you laugh but some manufacturers still have some weird things other than an actual button and then in addition you’ve got your adjustment here for tuning again not every manufacturer has that uh going to the middle some of the things
Digital Gauge Package
That you might note is this gauge package looks very similar to that you see in genesis there’s and also in the Kia lineup and the Hyundai lineup and that’s part of that shared technology.
So there’s a lot of interesting stuff that you can play with your safety systems you can have your navigation set up here as well as your driver information.
So they’ve done a nice job thinking about how do I use this vehicle it doesn’t have a gazillion adjustments and so forth but they’ve really done a nice job making.
It easy to use the only worry I have is 20 years down the road with all these digital gauges in literally every car I’m wondering how expensive.
It’s going to be to replace these interfaces but overall the technology is good it’s easy to use it’s extremely intuitive and I think they’ve done a nice job uh even on the maps which a lot of times you’ll find people uh using these and they’re and they’re really really terrible.
This one’s not bad at all but when it comes to technology on this vehicle as it pertains to the center screens it earns an eight there are a lot of features in this Kia Sorento pretty much when you’re looking at the steering wheel you’re looking at your different modes for all your audio system volume and adjustment for tuning and of course your phone and your sound you can allow.
If you want it’s right there on the screen in front of you and that’s good this is the button that you use to change the screens between the gauges.
This is your active lane keep assist when you press this it’ll keep you within the lanes just like it shows this is the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you have paddle shifters.
You’ve got your wipers front and rear here and I’ll talk about where that rear wiper is in design so you want to stay for that because it’s kind of neat and very well designed.
When you’re looking at this stock you’ve got your lights and of course, just turn that it’s a pretty simple boom and you’ve got your fog lights as well well designed and all of that is right in front of you when you make a change such as lighting.
It’ll show you so you know where you are and I think that’s really nice too because a lot of people don’t know that over on the left side you’ve got your lane departure warning the ability to adjust your trunk and traction control and lighting adjustments on the doors your normal window lifts mirror adjustments and locks to the center stack.
Heating And Cooling Option
We’ve got what we just talked about in technology real easy to use extremely intuitive further down you’ve got two vents with all of your controls and adjustments for heating and cooling well I do like the fact they’ve kind of gone to these knurled like levers really kind of nice easy to use especially.
If you’ve got gloves on one of the things I like here is these little teeny vents these vents are nice because it can blow some warm air on your feet as needed and that’s something that some people like going down to the center console.
You’ve got three-stage heated three-stage ventilated seats in the front row heated in the back row and then of course.
You’ve got your USB two of the three of them and this is for wireless charging right here really nice in a place to put your things your wireless charging pad is right here and remember there’s a lot of different size phones so make sure your phone fits in that before you purchase this and assume.
That you’re going to use going back to your Prindle as I call it park reverse neutral to drive and low this is their Prindle as I call it the shifter park reverse neutral to drive and low is here also you’ve got two cupholders.
I’m not sure why they’re square on this side I mean I don’t know too many square water bottles maybe Fiji or something like that but for the most part, they’re not, and then of course you got a spot for your snacks or whatever it is you’re using further back you’ve got your different drive modes to comfort sport smart which means it’s a combination of that your eco.
If you’re looking for a good fuel economy and then your snow mode this is new and I really like this of course you’ve got your four-wheel lock too.
So if you get into really heavy snow and I live here in buffalo we get heavy snow anywhere in the upper half of the country it’s a nice thing to have this is your auto off everyone
That knows me the first thing I do when I get in these cars is I test it once and then I shut it off this is your cameras that’s your park assist your hill descent your auto-hold which a lot of people like that’s when you take your foot off the brake out of light and the vehicle doesn’t roll forward naturally and your heated steering wheel.
Because it’s like 30 degrees outside further back you’ve got a nice little tray here good for pens or I don’t know whatever it is you’re looking for and then into this really deep center console except there’s nothing in there’s no charging in there and is that necessary no not necessarily.
But it’s something that people like to have in case they want to put something in there and charge it but overall when you’re looking at the features including this pretty massive sunroof you can see that opens up every that’s pretty big that is a huge piece of glass and it’s movable which is not the case in every single vehicle and there goes the cover for features.
It earns an eight the design of the new 2021 Kia Sorento really gives you that flavor of the tell you to ride all the family starts to look similar which is a good thing you gotta create that family likeness and in this case, it has that tiger front nose.
You’ll notice a modern look with some pretty edgy cuts in this grill which I like and that’s really something that makes it look more aggressive now there is an off-road version of this car this is the x line.
So it’s all-wheel drive and it’s an xs so there’s a lot of three-letter acronyms and a lot of letters and numbers throughout this whole thing so with the xsp which has the 2.5-liter engine this particular one they all look the same on the outside but the design in the front of this is really nice the KIA logo is not too big not too much in your face
The vents are actually functional which I do appreciate and they have a flat silver panel here to sort of accent this look to make it look more aggressive also led lights are standard and daytime running lights are pretty cool.
They look like that’s your turn signals these are the headlights they’re three projector beams which are nice and a drl right here which is optional an led the hood also is a little bit different it has an arched nose on the front it doesn’t lift up that whole front end like we’re used to and it has a more muscular design.
The designers have decided to change this look to make it look a lot like the telluride there are six different alloy wheel choices running from 17 inches all the way up to 20 inches and because of the test vehicles.
We get are fully loaded so you can see all the options this is 20-inch wheels riding on continental all-season tires the sxp that we’re driving is an x line it says x line here a little bit of detail nicely done very classy very muscular long lines remember this is a longer wheelbase vehicle.
So you’re getting more space and more storage and that’s good for the third row as well as you move your way back you’ll notice there’s a roof rack that comes with this which is good if you’re using it off-road or you’re going on a family road trip you may need to put a cargo container up there further back there is a unique window for the third row.
I like that they made it very distinctive and modern when you come around to the back you’ll see the taillights are very much like a telluride nice piece of glass they did something super smart I talk about this in every crossover and SUV review where’s the wiper blade
There is one it’s tucked up way up here underneath the wing underneath that third stoplight protects the wiper blade life and it looks cleaner.
So well done on that Kia logo Kia Sorento is a bit long spaced out the head a good thing the word isn’t long to stretch across the whole back all-wheel drive and then this is the sx t and then the gd which is gas direct-injected uh down here.
You’ve got a rear diffuser it is a flat silver and the exhaust pipe is hidden underneath because it’s not about performance it’s about a family vehicle one thing they also just nice is they made this sort of pebbled the rear bumper because then you start lifting things over and kids do that you know they tend to scratch up the bumper this will protect the bumper which is good for resale value.
When you’re looking at the design overall for the 2021 Kia Sorento it earns a nine when you’re looking at the quality of the new Sorento. I think they did a nice job with the vehicle both inside.
Now lots of improvements starting with the fact this is built in the u.s at west point Georgia
I’ve been to the plant and it’s very impressive in addition you can see that they own a lot of their own stamping plants so they can control the metal and its quality and that’s important to you for the longevity of that vehicle looking at the print quality it’s nice the panel gaps are equal all the way around they did a nice job in balancing that out and of course all of the quality components.
They put on the outside are good moving to the inside it’s much more modern much more detailed a lot of improved products.
I think that based on this price point you’re not going to see top quality leather you’re going to see nice quality leather but you’re not going to see top quality
But when you add in the quality the fact there’s a 10-year 100 000 mile warranty roadside service is included those are big factors to you when you buy this vehicle how long is it going to last am I going to get some support from the manufacturer.
You do get that with the Kia Sorento and for that, for the quality, they earn a 10. coming around to the back you’ve got about 11.3 cubic feet of storage back here it’s not a lot but if you need to haul people that’s important maybe get a set of clubs in here or some baby gear depending upon what your lifestyle is putting down the third row is just pull that cord push it down very simple.
When you put the third row down your storage increases but there’s a button here and you can put the second row down pretty simply and now you have 73 cubic feet of storage really easy to do back here especially if you’ve got your hands full of something or you went to best buy and bought a tv or you went to Costco and bought all the toilet paper you could shove in the back of your vehicle.
This gives you a lot of storage underneath this little cover is the jack and all the hardware and the spare tire is underneath in addition there are power outlets here and you can see they’ve done a nice job putting this all together our test vehicles are typically loaded with all the features.
So we can showcase them to you to show what’s possible when you’re staring at an entry-level point of around 29 thousand dollars this vehicle is loaded it’s an xs prestige all-wheel drive and it’s an x line.
So you can take it off-road it literally has all the options and everything you could possibly buy and it came in about forty-three thousand nine hundred dollars.