This week I bring you an all-new SUV from Kia, the 2021 Sorento. These days, it is hard to find a roomy 3-row SUV for under $40,000 and almost impossible to find one that gets 37 miles per gallon overall, but this one does.
This is the 2021 Kia Sorento EX hybrid version, one of four engine choices in this SUV that many call a smaller version of the Telluride, which has been a runaway hit with buyers.
What makes this SUV hybrid version unusual is that it is a turbo-hybrid, so you not only get the fuel economy of a hybrid, you get a power boost from the turbo.
This hybrid turbo is a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that is putting out 227-horses and is mated to a 6-speed shiftable automatic. I fully expected a CVT, but am pleased it has a six-speed.
The exterior looks are appealing with attractive wheels, a beautiful grill in front, really nice lines down the side with a swooping roofline, and a rear spoiler that hides the back window wiper.
I was surprised when I opened the door to see such a great interior in the EX model, which falls in the middle of the trim levels. The white SynTex seats are very comfortable, slightly bolstered and nicely stitched.
I was impressed with the trim across the dash, the door panels, and as odd as it sounds, the air conditioning vents are unusual and very attractive.
The gauges are easy to see and read and offer a configurable info center operated from the steering wheel that offers up a lot of information. The gauges change depending on the drive mode you choose.
The center of activity is from an 8-inch color touchscreen in the center of the dash. You operate the sound system, Bluetooth, the rear camera system, and something I really love, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The center console is neat and clean with a rotary gear shifter, and this is where you control the drive modes. Choose from smart, sport, or eco modes and each affects performance and fuel economy.
There are three USB ports forward of the gear knob along with some storage, and behind the knob are several controls including one of my favorites, the AutoHold button.
The standard second row captain’s chairs have armrests and they slide and recline. Second row passengers have air vents, USB ports, and a power outlet.
The third-row seating was surprisingly roomy, and those passengers also get USB ports.
Cargo area is limited with the third-row seats up, but although manual, they lower and raise with little effort.
Everything you see on this vehicle is standard equipment except an extra charge for the Runaway Red paint.
This Sorento comes with a huge list of safety features including forward collision assistance, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, rear occupant alert, and much more.
Notable other standard features include a panoramic moon roof, LED headlights, power tailgate, push button start, power heated front seats, and adaptive cruise control.
Ride and Drive
This SUV drives great, is incredibly quiet inside, and the new longer and stronger frame for 2021 gives it a ton of stability. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the acceleration from the turbo, you don’t expect a hybrid to be peppy.
Fuel economy is amazing at 39 city, 35 highway, and again 37 overall.
What You’ll Pay
MSRP as you see everything here is $38,205 making this an incredible value on today’s SUV market, plus you get a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
Congrats to Kia for bringing America a terrific hybrid SUV.
2021 Kia Sorento EX Hybrid
- What I liked most: Fuel economy and overall value.
- What I would change: Love to see it in 4-wheel drive.
- MSRP: Base price $36,590, as equipped $38,205.
- Fuel Economy: Rated at 39 in town/35 highway/37 overall.
- Odometer reading when tested: 300 miles.
- Weight: 3,935 pounds
- Spare Tire: Inflator kit.
- Length-Width-Height: 187” long/74.8” wide/66.7” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.8 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side.
- Towing Capacity: N/A
- 2021 Kia Sorento hybrid in a few words: OUTSTANDING fuel economy and a really good value.
- Final Assembly Location: Hwasung, Korea.
- Manufacturers website: www.KIA.com
- Warranty: 5-year/60,000 bumper-to-bumper and 10-year/100,000 mile power train warranty.
- UP NEXT: 2021 Cadillac Escalade