Undoubtedly one of the most-awaited cars of 2021, the Kia Sorento did not fail to impress the masses. Starting with the basics, the car is a seven-seater SUV (crossover) that holds the position just below the massive Kia Telluriode in the automobile giant’s line-up. The 2021 Sorento is an arch rival to other cars in the crossover SUV section, namely the Explorer by Ford, the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Santa Fe by Hyundai. The car is recommended for families who require additional seats occasionally, as well as for those who are on the lookout for better fuel efficiency.

The new 2021 Kia Sorento is filled with state-of-the-art new features. Almost every aspect of this year’s variant is new, right from the shape to the razor-shaped grille. The car also features newly-designed metal flags & fillips, and a cabin space lined with beautifully-shaped vents.

Talking about the driver’s experience, the car features more lively steering as well as braking. There are several powertrain choices available for the customers, starting with an impressive 191 horsepower inline 4 option. However, there is a noticeable increase in suspension and powertrain noise. The new Sorento features a comparatively bigger interior space. It can conveniently accommodate four adults, and occasionally a fifth person in the middle bench position for short rides. All variants of the Kia Sorento come pre-equipped with ABS, high-beam LED lights, adaptive cruise control, monitors for blind spots and lastly, a 360-view camera monitoring system that can be additionally fitted.

The base model of the new 2021 Kia Sorento, namely the Sorento LX, sports a hefty price tag of $30,560*. It comes with LED lights, an 8-inch infotainment system featuring wireless CarPlay (Apple) and Android Auto. The next variant (Sorento EX) comes with a turbo engine, captain’s chair in the second row, adaptive cruise control and the wireless charging feature for smartphones. EX variant is priced at $36,160*. Lastly, the top-end variant X-Line is priced at $43,765*. It comes with additional features such as digital speed gauges, upholstery made of premium-quality leather, a 12-speaker music system by Bose, and lastly, a surround-view camera feature.

To put it plainly, the car looks and feels better from the outside as compared to the interiors. The 2021 Sorento features a creased-out hood, thin-shaped LEDs, and a sharp-cut nose. It has turned a new corner in terms of design by opting for a design pattern of right angles & creases. Additionally, the jutting chin and the razor-shaped grille portray a handsomely-designed face. On one hand, the exterior manages to impress, but on the other hand, however, Sorento’s interiors fail to express.

The matte-feel trim bits made of plastic planted on the fenders do not seem like vents. They appear more like a bunch of band-aids. The roofline of the vehicle seems finely conventional, but the rear window’s tan which is fin-shaped does not. The tail-light’s position feels gimmicky, mainly because of the peeling twin strands of LEDs that cover a broad badge as well as the massive rear window. The cabin space seems to be moving in a new path. The design has been overdone with batwing-shaped vents, which for the record, have limited mobility. The infotainment’s interface appears like that of an outdated mp3 player’s. The interior’s synthetic/genuine leather upholstery also fails to grab eyeballs, mainly because Kia has delivered cars like Stinger, Telluride and especially the new sedan, which feature the best-in-class interiors. 

The top-end variant of the Sorento can reach highway speeds quickly and conveniently, whereas the base variants & hybrids face a tough time doing the same. The base and mid variants feature average acceleration. The various car modes present results in different reviews. For instance, the 2.5-litre turbo-four provides an alerting feel, owing to its massive 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft torque. The normal mode does not do justice to the capability. It is only when you switch to the sport mode that you can truly feel the power. When tuned in to normal mode, the transmission takes more time to identify the need for merging speed. The Sports mode instantly recognizes the shifting of paddles and pressure put on the pedals. The hybrid variant of the car offers mild acceleration and amazing fuel economy. The 2021 Sorento steals the praise when it comes to its ride. No matter which variant of the crossover SUV it is, the suspension has been fine-tuned for excellent compliance, along with a fair share of noise. The steering’s weight and the accurate response time covers Sorento’s lack of better steering.

The 2021 Sorento has a stretched-out cabin to maximize the seating area. On paper, the car is stated to be seven-seater, but in reality, it is good for only four adults and a few children or small-sized passengers, or lots of cargo. The base variant offers synthetic or genuine leather seats equipped with heating functionality and a power adjuster only for the driver. The seats are comfortable and they strike the right chord between soft and hard, with plenty of lumbar support and especially a great driving position. The storage space below the USB-port dock and a small bin present behind the cupholders make add to the comfort. The car also offers spacious legroom as well as net pouches behind seats for additional storage. Talking about the quality, even the most expensive versions of the Sorento feature hard plastic trims, which is quite disappointing. However, Kia has managed to tone down the number of glossy finishes, which deserves a thumbs-up from the masses.

The Kia Sorento cuts some fast corners in terms of design and performance but manages to make up for the disappointments by offering top-class features such as heated seats, climate control, monitors for blind spots, etc. The hybrid variant offers the best fuel economy, and this is the most preferred option. The Kia Sorento also offers impressive safety features such as ABS, surround-viewing cameras, parking assistance sensors, etc. Overall, the Kia Sorento is a decent vehicle and a nice upgrade from last year’s model.

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