2021 Kia Sorento

MSRP $28,090 - $42,390

Ranked #11 in Suv

2021 Kia Sorento Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 20, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Kia Sorento is a well-known name in the midsize SUV segment. The Sorento has always tried to offer more for less and that recipe seems to have worked for it well. The 2021 Sorento follows the same recipe and takes it a bit ahead with more capable powertrain options, digitalized interiors, and aggressive styling. It is based on the new platform and takes inspiration from its elder sibling, the Telluride. 

More from 2021 Kia Sorento

2021 Kia Sorento Exclusive Interior and Exterior Pictures | View latest Pictures

See detailed review »

Pros

Good handling 

Multiple drivetrain options 

Premium interior

Bold exterior styling 

Good fuel economy 

Cons

Cramped third row

No V-6 engine 

Reduced tow capacity 

What's New?

All-new for 2021 

Bigger and spacious than its predecessor

More expensive than predecessor


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$42390

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

6

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

displacement

152 cu.in.

horsepower

281 hp @ 5800 rpm

torque

311 lb.-ft. @ 1700 rpm

transmission

6 speed manual w/OD

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

110.8 in.

length

188.9 in.

width

74.8 in.

height

70.3 in.

curb weight

4120 lbs.

capacity

cargo volume

75.5 cu ft.

towing capacity

3500 lbs.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

21/24/28 mpg

highway range

495.6 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

12 yr./ 100000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

LX$28,090 onwards

S$31,890 onwards

EX$34,990 onwards

SX$37,990 onwards

SX-Prestige$40,590 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Kia Sorento in Ebony Black color
Ebony Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

7.8

Engine and Performance

7.7

Fuel Economy

8.5

Interior

8.5

Exterior

7.5

Safety

9.8

Competition

8.0

8.1

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.1

Overall Rating


The 2021 Kia Sorento is available in five trims namely the LX, S, EX, SX, and SX-Prestige. The price for the LX trim starts at $29,390 and goes up to $42,590 for the SX-Prestige trim. In addition to all the trims, there is an additional X-Line AWD optional package for the SX-Prestige trim and will increase its price by $1800. The 2021 Sorento faces stiff competition from the likes of Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Highlander, and Volkswagen Tiguan

2021 Kia Sorento SUV front angle view
2021 Kia Sorento SUV rear angle view

7.7/10
Engine and Performance

8.5/10
Fuel Economy

8.5/10
Interior

7.5/10
Exterior

9.8/10
Safety

8.0/10
Competition


2021 Kia Sorento Features

The 2021 Sorento is available in five trims namely the LX, S, EX, SX, and SX-Prestige. You also get access to the X-Line AWD optional package with the SX-Prestige trim. All the trims come with FWD as standard and you can opt for an AWD configuration by paying about $1800 extra. From the EX trim, you get a more powerful engine that is turbocharged in nature. The SX-Prestige trim is more biased towards creature comforts than any other trim. 

Trims 

LX

S

EX

SX

SX-Prestige

SX-Prestige with X-Line AWD package 

MSRP

$29,390

$31,890

$34,990

$37,990

$40,590

$42,590 

Key features 

2.5L GDI 4-cylinder engine

Adds to or upgrades to the LX trim

Adds to or upgrades to the S trim

Adds to or upgrades to the EX trim

Adds to or upgrades to the SX trim

Adds to or upgrades to the SX-Prestige trim

 

8-speed Automatic Transmission

18-inch alloy wheels

2.5L Turbo GDI 4-cylinder engine

20-inch alloy wheels

Parking Collision Avoidance Assist — Reverse

Adaptive all-wheel drive 

 

17-inch alloy wheels

Roof rails 

8-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission

Trailer package with a 3500-lb capacity 

Paddle shifters 

Drive Mode Select w/Snow Mode

 

Drive Mode Select

Push-button start with a smart key 

Simulated matte wood inlays

LED combination tail lights

Power-folding exterior mirrors

20" Dark Hyper Silver wheels

 

LED reflector headlights

Dual-zone automatic climate control 

Forward CollisionAvoidance Assist

Parking Distance Warning

12.3" reconfigurable, color Supervision meter cluster

Matte black exterior trim

 

4.2" color Supervision meter cluster

Safe exit assist 

 

Highway driving assist 

Bose7 12-speaker Centerpoint premium audio system

Bridge-type roof rack

 

Cloth seat trim 

SynTex seat trim

 

8-way power-adjustable front passenger’s seat

Electrochromatic

Optional rust leather color package

Which trim should you buy?

We would recommend the EX trim as it comes with a more powerful and turbocharged engine. It also offers better amenities like leather simulated upholstery, heated front seats, simulated matt wood inlays, 18-inch alloy wheels, wireless charging, a smart power liftgate, smart cruise control, and many more. It also gets a Trailer Tow Package with 3500-lbs capacity. The price to feature ratio is quite good for the EX trim and we find it worth buying. 

2021 Kia Sorento Engine and Performance

7.7/10

The gas-only version of the new Kia Sorento is equipped with two types of engines and two transmission configurations. The LX and S trims get a naturally aspirated 2.5L inline four-cylinder engine producing 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. The higher trims like EX, SX, and SX-Prestige are equipped with a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder engine producing 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. 

 2021 Kia Sorento SUV engine bay

The base engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission while the turbocharged engine is mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. All the trims come in FWD configuration and are available in an optional AWD configuration for $1800 extra. The turbocharged engine helps the Sorento to do a 0-60 mph sprint in about 7.2 seconds and a quarter-mile drag is completed in about 15.6 seconds. 

Models(2021)

Kia Sorento EX

Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 

Toyota Highlander L

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 2.0L 

MSRP

$34,990

$38,750

$34,910

$33,740

Engine

2.5L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.5L Turbo Inline-4

3.5L NA V6

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

Drivetrain

Front-Wheel Drive

Front-Wheel Drive

Front-Wheel Drive

Front-Wheel Drive

Transmission

8-speed DCT automatic

8-speed DCT with SHIFTRONIC

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power 

281 hp @ 5,800 RPM

281 hp @ 5800 RPM

295 hp @ 6,600 RPM

184 hp @ 4400 RPM

Torque 

311 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM

311 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM

263 lb-ft @ 4,700 RPM

221 lb-ft @ 1600 RPM

0-60 mph

7.2 sec

6.2 sec

7.2 sec

10.0 sec

Quarter mile

15.6 sec

15.5 sec

15.3 sec

17.0 sec

Top Speed

124 MPH

127 MPH

115 MPH

122 MPH

The Korean twins are based on the same platform and offer very similar performance as well. The Santa Fe offers better acceleration times than the competitors. The Highlander is equipped with a bigger naturally aspirated engine and offers more firepower as well but the performance is nothing extraordinary. The Volkswagen Tiguan is equipped with the smallest engine and the acceleration times are underwhelming as well. 

How well does the 2021 Kia Sorento handle?

The new Kia Sorento is redesigned completely and based on a new platform that makes it lighter and easier to manage around the corners. But, it's not a corner-carving machine and we don’t expect it to be one. The steering feels accurate and gives instant feedback whenever necessary. The ride quality is pretty composed as well on various road surfaces. 

The 2021 Sorento sits on a longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs, making it easier even for beginners to comfortably ride this midsize SUV. It also inspires confidence on those nasty corners at higher speeds but we would recommend handling them with respect. The NVH levels as many other Kia cars is just spot on and gives a very premium feel inside the cabin 

2021 Kia Sorento Braking Performance

The 2021 Sorento is equipped with 12.6-inch rotors in the front and 12.0-inch rotors in the rear. Both the brakes work simultaneously to bring the SUV to a complete halt within 125 feet of stopping distance. Its curb weight varies depending upon the trim and configuration you opt for but the brake feel is progressive in all the trims and inspires sufficient confidence in harsh braking conditions. However, the stopping distance could have been less as competition offers better braking performance. 

Models(2021)

Kia Sorento EX

Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 

Toyota Highlander L

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 2.0L 

Brake Rotors Front (in)

12.6

12.6

13.3

13.4

Brake Rotors Rear (in)

12.0

12.0

13.3

11.8

Curb Weight (lbs)

3931

3907

4145

3735

60-0 MPH (ft)

125

130

116

124

The Highlander is equipped with larger rotors at both ends and performs very well for its curb weight of 4145 lbs. It stops within 116 feet when brakes are applied fully at 60 mph. It’s very commendable for an SUV of its size. The Tiguan follows it with 124 feet of stopping distance, followed by Sorento and Santa Fe. 

2021 Kia Sorento Fuel Economy

8.5/10

The 2021 Kia Sorento offers decent fuel economy for its segment. It can offer about 22 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg in combined driving conditions. With a fuel tank capacity of 17.7 gallons, it can travel up to 389 miles in the city, 513 miles on the highway, and 442 miles in mixed driving conditions. Some of its competitors offer a better range owing to a larger fuel tank capacity. 

Models(2021)

Kia Sorento EX

Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 

Toyota Highlander L

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 2.0L 

MPG (City) 

22 

22

21

23

MPG (Highway) 

29

28

29

29

MPG (Combined)

25

25

24

25

Fuel Capacity

17.7 Gallons

18.8 Gallons

17.1 Gallons

15.9 Gallons

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles) 

389/513/442

414/526/470

359/495/410

365/461/398

The Santa Fe is equipped with the largest fuel tank of the lot and offers good fuel efficiency as well. So, naturally, the highest range is offered by it in all driving conditions. The Sorento comes in second, followed by the Highlander and Tiguan. The Tiguan offers good efficiency as well but comes with the smallest fuel tank, losing out in the range battle. The Highlander offers a good economy despite being equipped with a larger engine. 

2021 Kia Sorento Interior

8.5/10

The 2021 Sorento gets modern and elegant-looking interiors as compared to its predecessor. The interiors provide better space and a premium cabin experience. The dashboard laid out is efficient and most of the controls are within the easy reach of the driver. The rhombic vertical air vents add a youthful touch to the interiors. The base LX trim gets cloth upholstery but above that you get SynTex trimmed seats barring the SX-Prestige trim which comes with 3D-embossed leather upholstery. The 2021 Sorento can be had as a 6- seater or 7-seater SUV upon the seat configuration you opt for. 

 2021 Kia Sorento SUV front seats

The second-row bench seat can be replaced with captain seats for a 6-seater setup. The 2021 Sorento is a midsize SUV and with a third row upright, you get just 12.6 cu-ft of cargo space. By folding them, you can get access to about 45 cu-ft of space. As you gradually climb up the trim ladder, features like power-adjustable and heated seats, interior with simulated matt wood or brushed metal inlays, cloth-wrapped A and B pillars, etc, become a common sight. Overall, the interior of the Sorento is a comfy and pleasant place to be in. 

Models(2021)

Kia Sorento EX

Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 

Toyota Highlander L

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 2.0L 

Seating Capacity

7

5

7

7

1st Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

40.3/59.0/41.4

39.5/59.1/44.1

41.2/59.0/42.0

39.6/57/40.2

2nd Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

39.1/58.0/41.7

37.8/58.3/41.7

39.4/58.7/41.0

39.1/55.9/36.6

3rd Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

36.8/53.0/29.6

N/A

36.1/55.0/27.7

33.8/47.8/27.9

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

12.6

36.4

16.0

12.0

The new Sorento offers better headroom and legroom across both the second and third rows. The Highlander comes second followed by Tiguan. The Santa Fe offers the maximum cargo capacity owing to the absence of a third row. The Highlander offers better cargo capacity with all seats up, followed by Sorento and Tiguan. However, the third-row seats can be folded in every SUV to extend the cargo capacity considerably. Some of the standout interior features of the Sorento are:

  • 4.2" color supervision meter cluster
  • 12.3" reconfigurable, color supervision meter cluster (SX-Prestige)
  • Dual-zone climate control system 
  • SynTex seat trim 
  • 3D embossed leather upholstery (SX-Prestige)
  • Heated front seats 
  • Ventilated front seats (SX-Prestige)

What’s in the 2021 Kia Sorento to keep you entertained?

The 2021 Sorento is equipped with a responsive and intuitive infotainment system. It gets an 8-inch touchscreen display with Bluetooth connectivity for the LX, S, and EX trim. The SX and SX-Prestige trim to get a bigger 10.25-inch touchscreen display with navigation support as well. A 6-speaker audio system ensures a pleasant musical experience inside the cabin. 

 2021 Kia Sorento SUV infotainment screen

The SX-Prestige trim gets a 12-speaker Bose Centerpoint premium audio system for enhanced output. From S trim onwards, you get access to SiriusXM satellite radio, UVO link interface, eight USB ports, and much more. For smartphone connectivity, you have access to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay from the base trim itself which is a good thing. Some of the standout infotainment features of the Sorento are:

  • 8" touch screen infotainment display 
  • 10.25” touchscreen infotainment display (SX and SX-Prestige)
  • 6-speaker audio system 
  • 12-speaker Bose premium audio system (SX and SX-Prestige)
  • Apple CarPlay 
  • Android Auto 

2021 Kia Sorento Exterior

7.5/10

The 2021 Kia Sorento comes with modern and distinctive styling and definitely looks better than the competition. The front fascia imbibes the signature tiger-nose grille and triple beam LED headlights to give it an instantly recognizable look. The side profile black cladding on the wheel arches and roof rails gives it a rugged appeal. 

 2021 Kia Sorento SUV 

The rear looks very similar to the Telluride with vertical LED taillights and Sorento badging in chrome. The liftgate is powered and opens vertically. The new Sorento is also larger than its predecessor and offers better interior space as well. All alloy wheel designs are young and complement the overall design language of the car really well. 

Models(2021)

Kia Sorento EX

Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 

Toyota Highlander L

Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 2.0L 

Curb Weight

3931 lbs

3907 lbs

4145 lbs

3735 lbs

Length 

189.4"

188.4"

194.9"

185.1"

Width 

74.8"

74.8"

76.0"

72.4"

Height 

66.7"

67.3"

68.1"

66.3"

Ground Clearance 

6.9"

7.3"

8.0"

7.9"

Wheelbase 

110.8"

108.9"

112.2"

109.8”

The new Sorento sits on a slightly longer wheelbase and that facilitates better legroom across all the rows. The Highlander is longer, wider, taller, and sits on a longer wheelbase. It is also the bulkiest of the lot. The 2021 Sorento comes with a lower ground clearance but that should not bother it as it's not meant to do hardcore off-roading and the clearance is adequate for most road surfaces. The Tiguan is the most compact vehicle in the competition and offers good ground clearance. Some of the standout exterior features of the Sorento are:

  • 17/18/20 inch alloy wheels 
  • Panoramic sunroof (SX and SX-Prestige)
  • LED reflector headlights
  • LED combination taillights (SX and SX-Prestige)
  • Roof rails
  • Power folding exterior mirrors (SX-Prestige)

2021 Kia Sorento Safety

9.8/10

With redesigned exteriors and a new platform, the 2021 Kia Sorento is safe as well. It is equipped with many active and passive safety features to ensure the complete safety of the occupants. The NHTSA has given it an overall 4-star safety rating in various crash tests. The IIHS has given it the “Top Safety Pick” award for passing various safety tests with flying colors. Most of the safety features are available as standard and some are available for higher trims only. Some of the standout safety features of the Sorento are:

  • Forward collision avoidance assist
  • Driver attention warning 
  • Intelligent speed limit assist 
  • Lane departure warning 
  • Lane keep and the following assist 
  • High beam assist 
  • Parking collision avoidance assist (SX-Prestige)
  • Blindspot view monitor (SX-Prestige)

2021 Kia Sorento Competition

8.0/10

2021 Kia Sorento V/S 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 

The 2021 Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe belong to the same parent company. As a result, both of them share a lot in common. Even the build quality, fit and finish, powertrain options, etc, are quite similar. However, the Santa Fe offers a better range than the Sorento owing to a marginally larger fuel tank. The Sorento is based on a new platform and offers better handling than the Santa Fe. It also looks more aggressive and distinctive in its new avatar.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 

2021 Kia Sorento V/S 2021 Toyota Highlander L 

The Toyota Highlander is equipped with a larger engine and offers decent fuel efficiency as well. It also offers better ground clearance and is more off-road capable than the Kia Sorento. However, the Sorento is lighter and handles better than the Highlander. It offers better performance and efficiency from its smaller engine. It would also appeal more to the younger masses owing to its more modern and aggressive styling. 

2021 Toyota Highlander L 

2021 Kia Sorento V/S 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan 

The Volkswagen Tiguan is smaller than the Kia Sorento and offers less interior space than the Kia Sorento. The Kia Sorento is better with respect to features and styling. It also offers better cargo capacity than the Tiguan. However, the fit and finish of the Tiguan are equally good and it offers better ground clearance than the Kia Sorento. It is also very maneuverable in the city owing to its compact dimensions. The Tiguan is due for a design overhaul and will soon come with updated styling and better features. 

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan 

 

2021 Kia Sorento Final Verdict

The Sorento has always been a very good car in the midsize segment and with the 2021 model, things have just got better. The new platform is better in terms of handling and interior space. The new Kia Sorento scores are high in the safety department as well. The new Sorento draws inspiration from its elder sibling, the Telluride and it isn’t a bad thing. The whole package seems more appealing to us and we won’t refrain from recommending it to you. 

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