Danielle Villeneuve

Solid: 2021 Kia Sorento

It has been quite some time since I last imparted my wisdom on a vehicle for the website. But it made perfect sense to me to take a deep dive on the all-new 2021 Kia Sorento since I had been the only one on the team to review it in the past (2014 and 2016). Several years have passed and an all new Sorento is now available. Given the competitiveness of today’s market, what makes the Sorento stand out?

First and foremost, the 2021 Sorento has more of a presence on the road. Many crossovers today look very similar and, for someone that loves this segment, it can be very frustrating. But the Sorento has chiseled and defined lines, which is quite the contrast to the previous bodystyle. The paint color of our tester, Aruba Green, is striking and green is not a color you see much of these days. That itself is a welcome change. Unfortunately, it’s only available on the top trim level, SX Prestige. Beneath the fantastic color, the Sorento’s platform that now in its third generation and has been specifically developed to be lighter, stronger and feature improved driving dynamics.

It’s hard to believe the Sorento is in its fourth generation. With time, the interior of the Sorento has improved by leaps and bounds. The designers went out of their way to come up with different style ideas. It has satin finishes throughout, metal texture or open-pore wood inlays, and interestingly styled air vents. The quilted leather pattern adds an even more premium feel to the interior and the rust leather is a unique color that pairs well with the Aruba Green exterior. For the price point, I did not find a lot of hard plastics either. Most surfaces had a quality feel, especially when navigating the infotainment and climate controls. The infotainment system and interface offered by Kia is one of the best on the market today. The 10.25-inch touchscreen is very functional and you’re not left having to navigate through 5 menus to find a simple setting or feature. For those that enjoy everything tech, UVO helps you remain connected to your vehicle through an app. You can add user profiles to your Sorento, assist with navigation, stay in tune with the weather, and integrates with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control features like remote start. There are also two brand new features with UVO. The app can now assist you find your Sorento with Surround View Monitor; it uses the vehicle’s cameras to snap pictures of its surroundings and shares it on the app. The other is called Last Mile Navigation which provides the driver with directions to the final destination if you end up parking between .1 and 1.2 miles away. 

There is no shortage of choices when it comes to powering the Kia Sorento. There are 4 engines to choose from: 2.5-liter GDI four cylinder, 2.5-liter GDI four cylinder turbo, 1.6-liter GDI four cylinder turbo hybrid with 44 kW electric motor, or 1.6-liter GDI four cylinder turbo plug-in hybrid with 66.9 kW electric motor. Our tester came with the 2.5-liter GDI four cylinder turbo which produces 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque and paired with an eight-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. It’s plenty powerful and easy to drive. Most crossovers aren’t known for their handling prowess and the Sorento fairs pretty well for its size. It rides very well with minimal disruption on bumpy roads.

Granted not everyone is going to select SX Prestige trim level, the Sorento offers a bang for your buck unlike a lot of other brands out there. Even the base LX trim level gets you driver assistance, an 8-inch touchscreen, LED headlights and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. You cannot go wrong when you’re on a budget and looking for a vehicle that will deliver on versatility, comfort and plenty of today’s latest technology.

-Danielle Villeneuve

2021 Kia Sorento X-Line AWD$42,590
X-Line Rust Interior Package$200
Carpeted Floor Mats$210
Carpeted Cargo Mat w/ Seat Back Protection$115
Destination Charges$1,170
As-Tested MSRP$44,285

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