Kia has dribbled out more details of its redesigned 2021 Sorento, and there are some big mechanical changes beyond the new looks. The new Sorento — which will make its global debut March 3 at the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show — will be the brand’s first SUV on Kia’s new platform, and it will offer a new turbocharged engine, a new automatic transmission and the first Sorento hybrid powertrain.
Kia also released more images of the new styling and interior, showing that it takes on some current Kia design cues — including a busy front end, clamshell hood and more sculpted rear end — even as the sides and roofline also evoke the current Sorento.
The new Sorento is only slightly bigger — staying below Kia’s new, large Telluride — with a length up just 0.4 inch on a wheelbase stretched by 1.4 inches to 110.8. Kia says the new wheelbase and more efficient packaging on the new platform will increase interior room, and that the new platform also will improve driving dynamics.
Kia said the U.S. Sorento will offer a 277-horsepower, turbocharged 2.5-liter four that likely is a version of the 2.5-liter corporate engine also coming in the new Genesis GV80 SUV. It will be mated to a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The other new powertrain coming here is the Sorento’s first gas-electric hybrid. It uses a version of Kia’s turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor for a total system output of 227 hp. Kia says the battery is mounted under the floor to preserve people and cargo space. More powertrain details for North America will be coming, including a likely base engine, and global markets also will offer a diesel.
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Meanwhile, Kia also teased a couple of tech details. A new post-collision braking system will apply the brakes when the airbags go off to mitigate secondary collisions. In some markets, the Sorento will offer a remote surround-view monitor to let you check your vehicle’s surroundings on your phone. Interior images indicate availability of the 10.25-inch touchscreen currently seen in the Telluride and new 2021 Kia Seltos subcompact SUV, plus a rotary gear selector.
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