This week we are taking another look at the all-new 2021 Kia Sorento SUV, but this time a brand new edition. Many call this the baby Telluride, because there are some styling cues from the fastest-selling SUV in America.
The exterior look of the Sorento is beautiful all the way around. I love the tiger grill that has become a mainstay on newer Kias, the 20” wheels are fantastic, it has bold lines, a sculpted hood, and a spoiler that covers the rear wiper, a feature usually found on way more expensive SUVs.
Looking under the hood, you find a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that is turbocharged. It puts out a strong 281-horses and an even stronger 311-pound feet of torque. It will get you moving fast from a dead start. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic with shift paddles. The X-line comes as All-Wheel drive, but lower trims are front-wheel if you choose.
My review vehicle is the new for 2021 X-line, which is the pinnacle of the Sorento lineup. People wanting a luxury SUV without paying a luxury price will not be disappointed.
The big surprise came when I opened the door to enter the cabin. I was impressed with the first impressions of the interior. The seats are slightly bolstered with diamond patterns on the outside, stitching is everywhere, and very nice wood adorns the door panels and continues through the dash.
Hit the pushbutton start and the amazing 12.3” driver gauge cluster comes to life, welcoming you with a colorful and configurable info center in the middle.
The center console is terrific with 3 USB ports and a wireless phone charger. There are two cupholders there and an extra cubby for your toll tag or phone if needed. This is also where you activate the Auto Hold, you can thankfully deactivate the start/stop and turn on the heated steering wheel. There are switches to turn on the heated and air-conditioned seats as well.
You can also activate the drive modes, and of course, sport mode is my favorite, but you will notice distinct differences between each mode.
High on the dash is a 10.2” screen to operate the Bose sound system, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, the terrific front and rear cameras, and Bluetooth.
Also from there, activate the Sounds of Nature feature through the stereo that will soothe you if needed with pleasant, yet familiar sounds. The Passenger Talk button lets you speak to third-row passengers, but they can’t talk back. Finally, there is Quiet Mode, which cuts off the speakers to the rear if someone is sleeping.
Moving to the second-row captain chairs, room is good and the seats slide and recline. There are rear A/C vents, and Kia cleverly put USB ports in the back of the front seats.
Third row seat room is fairly limited, best suited for kids. If you need more room, step up to the Telluride.
Going to the cargo area, it’s also limited but there is some underneath storage. The third-row seats manually drop easily for a flat cargo area.
The Sorento X-line comes loaded with everything you see here, including a massive panoramic moonroof, keyless remote and remote start, dual front power seats, power liftgate, park assist, and a lot more.
Safety-wise, it has blind spot monitoring, forward collision assist, cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, and rear seat alert if anything or anyone is left in the back.
The blind spot system not only shows in your mirrors, but you get a full side view of the road behind you when you use the blinkers. Both side views show up on the gauge cluster, directly in front of you, depending on which direction you are switching to. Very impressive.
Fuel Economy and What You’ll Pay
Fuel economy is 21 city and 28 highway. Total MSRP as you see it here is $44,285 and frankly, it’s amazing you can get this much SUV at that price.
Kia killed it with this X-Line, it will be a runaway hit just like the Telluride has been. It is an outstanding value and of course you get the 10-year/100,000 mile warranty with it.
Standing-O to Kia for bringing this wonderful SUV to market with so much value, and giving the frustrated people wanting a Telluride, a true alternative.
2021 Kia Sorento X-Line
- What I liked most: The interior and interior quietness.
- What I would change: Actually nothing, it’s a real contender.
- MSRP: Base price $42,590, as equipped $44,285 with transportation.
- Fuel Economy: Rated at 21 city/28 highway/24 combined.
- Official Color: Aruba Green with Black interior.
- Odometer reading when tested: 4,300 miles.
- Weight: 4,120 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Inflator kit.
- Length-Width-Height: 189” long/75” wide/70” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.7 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side.
- Towing Capacity: 2,000 to 3,500 pounds depending on options.
- 2021 Sorento X-Line in a few words: An outstanding SUV and a great alternative to the Telluride if you don’t need as much 3rd-row seat room.
- Warranty: 5-year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty
- Final Assembly Location: West Point, CA.
- Manufacturers website: www.KIA.com