Written by Marco Carvajal
2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid EX
I am test driving the new fourth-generation 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid SUV, a very practical and modernized 3-row midsize off-road-ready vehicle that gives you more features and more of everything for the money. Kia truly knows how to produce cars with high value and the Sorento is not an exception.
The new 2021 Sorento Hybrid gives you better fuel economy and a higher combined driving range of 655 miles, without sacrificing power, with 227 combined Horse Power, and amazing 37 Miles per Gallon in combined fuel consumption.
Sorento New Sportier Exterior Design
The exterior of the 2021 Sorento is more stylish than its previous generation, It offers a sportier and sophisticated look, Kia has reinvented the Sorento.
The new line includes sharp, modern lines and high-tech accents. A dynamic wave shape at the base of the C pillar creates a more aggressive look, then the new design includes Kia’s typical modern tiger nose. The new eyeline of the Sorento includes DRL light details and a wide grille producing a sportier and modern image. Headlamp and DRL light modules are separated for a high-tech look.
New for 2021, there are six different alloy wheel designs from 17 to a larger than ever 20-inches size, producing better exterior looks for the new Sorento.
The interior cabin is very spacious and includes new technologies for convenience and safety.
Even with the great interior distribution, this is not a large SUV, it is a mid-size SUV and for large passengers or those in need of larger interior space, the Sorento might feel small.
The new Sorento gives you more of everything
Kia’s strategy with the 2021 Sorento seems to give more features standard and offer more value. The new hybrid Sorento gives you more of everything, better off-road capability, more horsepower, a higher range, and better fuel economy. The list doesn’t end there as the new Sorento provides better passenger and cargo room than the previous one and optional second-row captain’s chairs allow buyers to configure their Sorento to select either four plus two or five plus two seats. The new 2021 Sorento hybrid includes a more advanced driving assistance system (ADAS) included standard, free of additional charges, that is what I called value.
Impressive Range of 655 Miles per Tank
As the new trend in car engineering is pushing towards electrification, the Sorento Hybrid gets better and becomes more efficient thanks to its turbocharged hybrid drivetrain. The impressive range of 655 miles per tank can take you further than other hybrid, electric, or regular gas SUVs. Fill the hybrid thank once and let modern hybrid technology keep your Sorento riding for approximately 9 hours non-stop, without having to fill the tank again.
Turbocharged Engine 1.6 L 4-cylinder and Full Parallel Hybrid System
Thanks to the 4-cylinder turbocharged engine the Sorento is fast and powerful, ready for any off-road. This SUV is available as Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) with a 6-Speed Automatic Transmission producing 227 Horsepower.
The new Turbo-Hybrid engine features 42 more horsepower, for a total of 227 HP, and higher fuel economy than the previous Sorento hybrid.
Hybrid Power 227 combined Horse Power and 258 lb.-ft. of torque
Who said that in order to have an efficient hybrid SUV you need to sacrifice power? Kia’s new 2021 Sorento is a live example of how electrification and hybrid gas/electric technology can produce a powerful SUV ready for all-terrain with great 227 Horse Power.
The new hybrid Sorento is available with the Plug-in Hybrid option with 261 horsepower and an estimated 30 miles of pure electric driving range
The impressive Hybrid engine produces a responsive 258 lb.-ft. of torque that is delivered seamlessly via the hybrid combination of the electric and gas engine.
Impressive Fuel Economy 37 combined MPG
According to Kia, the Sorento has the best fuel economy in its class while producing an EPA-estimated 35 Miles per Gallon on the highway, 39 MPG city, and 37 combined MPG. There is still room for future improvement and we have seen much higher MPG efficiency in other segments, but when we talk about mid-size SUV, the Sorento’s 37 MPG is impressive and hard to match.
Sorento Made in the US
The Kia Sorento has been produced since 2002. The Sorento is one of Kia’s best-selling vehicles with nearly 1.5 million units sold since its introduction,
The newly renovated 2021 Sorento is manufactured in the US at the KIA West Point plant in Georgia. The same factory also assembles the Kia Telluride and the new Kia K5.
International brand carmakers from Europe or from Asia, like Kia, are becoming more Americanized, producing cars made in the US, and having many Kia models designed especially for US consumers. The US market is one of the largest markets in the world and by having SUVs like the Sorento made locally in the US, the brand can save on several costs and taxes, and therefore being able to offer lower prices and more value to US car buyers.
The Sorento was awarded the “SUV of the Year 2021” award by Latin Flavor Cars of the Year
The 2021 Hybrid Sorento is available in two trim models: Hybrid S and Hybrid EX with great features and a low-value price for all that you get. The first trim model, the S, is available for $33K and the top of the line EX is available for $36K. Both prices are very reasonable considering all the amount of features standard included in these hybrid SUVs.
Besides the Sorento Hybrid, there is also a Plug-in Hybrid available as part of the Sorento 2021 lineup.
- Sorento Hybrid S, starting MSRP at $33,590
- Sorento Hybrid EX, starting MSRP at $36,590
The EX trim model I am driving is the top of the line Hybrid Sorento and these are some of the several standard features and highlights:
- Sport Body Styling
- Satin Chrome Roof Rails
- Power-Adjustable and Heated Mirror-Mounted LED Turn Signal Indicators
- Rear Spoiler
- Matte Black Solar Control Glass
- Privacy Glass
- Multi-Reflector LED Headlights
- Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
- Shark Fin Antenna
- 8.0-inch Touch-Screen
- UVO link Remote Connectivity
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio
- Wireless Android Auto
- Wireless Apple CarPlay
- Bluetooth Wireless Technology
- Hands-Free Phone and Audio Streaming
- Voice Recognition
- 6 Speaker AM/FM/HD Radio Audio System
- USB Data Port, Front Console, USB Charging Outlet, Front Console (2), USB Charging Outlet, 2nd Row (3), USB Charging Outlet, 3rd Row (2), 12-Volt Power Outlet, Front Console, 12-Volt Power Outlet
- 4.2-inch Trip Computer Display
- Smart Key with Remote Start, Push-Button Start, and Immobilizer
- Interior and Map Lighting
- SynTex Seat Trim
- 10-Way Power-Adjustable Driver’s Seat
- 4-Way Adjustable Passenger Seat
- 6-Passenger Seating with 2nd-Row Captain’s Chairs
- 50/50 Split-Folding 2nd-Row Seats
- One-Touch Sliding & Folding 2nd-Row Seats
- Reclining 3rd-Row Seats with 50/50 Split-Folding
- 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
- Front-Wheel Drive (FWD)
- Drive Mode Select
The Sorento Hybrid has Drive Mode Select (DMS) with driving modes: Comfort, Sport, Eco and adjustable Smart Custom.
Safety Features Standard Included
- Forward Collision Avoidance-Assist w/ Pedestrian Detection (FCA-Ped)
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW) with Leading Vehicle Departure Alert
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
- Lane Following Assist (LFA)High Beam Assist (HBA)
- Rear View Monitor w/ Dynamic Parking Guidance
- Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) w/ Parallel Exit Assist
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
- Parking Distance Warning (PDW), Reverse
- Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)
- Safe Exit Assist (SEA) with Power Rear Child-Safety Door Locks
- Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
- 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Traction Control System (TCS)
- Kia 10-year/100,000-mile warranty program
- Front Grille, Dark Hyper Silver
- Panoramic Sunroof w/ Power Sunshade
The Sorento is full of advanced safety features like autonomous emergency braking, when this system feels that a collision is inevitable, and no actions are taken on the part of the driver to avoid it, then the car uses the brakes.
The 2021 Sorento Hybrid offers great value with more features for the money:
The new Sorento offers a more elegant and sophisticated look. Its cabin is very spacious and there are new technologies for convenience and safety. Good quality interior materials produce a great atmosphere inside the cabin. Second and third-row passengers will enjoy increased comfort and a spacious flatness on the center floor of the second row.
The Sorento is a very quiet SUV, on bumpy and mountain roads the suspension absorbs potholes with ease. In the city, it feels smaller than it actually is, and overall it’s a bit more maneuverable than big seven-passenger SUVs. The vertically mounted rear shocks contribute to a more comfortable ride.
Access to the third row of seats is comfortable with additional boarding space, while the headroom is increased throughout the cabin.
The new hybrid Sorento gives you more of everything, more efficiency, more power, more technology standard, more safety features, better exterior, and interior design, a best-seller fully loaded SUV priced under 40K.