A few weeks ago, we talked about all the good things there are to look forward to when it comes to the next generation of the Kia Sorento SUV. Kia Motors is one automaker that really emboldens the term “Sports Utility Vehicle”. Performance, style, a new X-Line appearance package, a 10.25-inch inch touchscreen with split-screen functionality, and a lot more. We listed “performance” first because Kia Motors is so excited about the new powertrain options, PR just dropped a full breakdown of each engine consumers can get under the hood of the new 2021 Kia Sorento.
There will be three engine options in total, two of which will be good ol’ internal combustion engines (ICE), running on pure gasoline to get the motor humming. Like many vehicles in the Kia Motors lineup, after years of success, and sometimes very quickly, a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version of the same vehicle pops up. The same is true for the Kia Sorento, entering the 2021 model year with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) variant of the popular SUV. With seven trims with an ICE under the hood – nine trims in total with the two behind the plug-in hybrid lineup – let us break each option down for you.
Under the hood of the 2021 Kia Sorento LX and S trim is a 2.5L 4-cylinder GDI 16V DOHC w/ Dual CVVT engine. Able to produce 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque, this engine comes with Gasoline-Direct Injection for quicker combustion and optimized performance. Paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, the 2021 Kia Sorento LX and S trims can also come with front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD). Both vehicles are expected to have an estimated combined fuel economy of 26 mpg with FWD and 24 MPG with AWD.
The rest of the lineup comes with an upgraded 2.5L 4-cylinder GDI 16V DOHC Turbo engine, and there is a whole other side to these vehicles. The 2021 Kia Sorento EX, SX, and SX-Prestige sound fancy, but “and X-Line SX-Prestige” sounds really fancy. Regardless, all of these trims are powered by the same 281-HP engine, paired with an 8-speed Dual-clutch Transmission (DCT). Also able to come with FWD and AWD, the Kia Sorento EX, SX, SX-Prestige, and X-Line SX-Prestige trims have an estimated combined fuel economy of 25 mpg in FWD and 24 mpg in AWD.
The Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid comes with a Kia-first, a new Turbo Hybrid Engine (HEV), found on the S and EX trims. This electrified powertrain is a combination of a 1.6L 4-cylinder GDI Turbo combustion engine and self-charging 1.5 kWh battery that powers a 44.2kW electric motor. Connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission w/ Shift-by-wire Transmission Controls, the turbo hybrid engine gets considerable power output with 221 horsepower. Only available in FWD, the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid has an estimated combined fuel economy of 37 mpg and has a combined range of 620 ± miles.
And there’s still more good news to come. The new 2021 Kia Sorento also comes with new exciting drive modes to give consumers the ability to customize the way their Kia Sorento performs. An available option for the all-new SUV, consumers can pick from a Comfort/Normal mode for a normal and comfortable ride; Sport for a more dynamic driving experience with enhanced performance; an Eco mode for making better use of the engine in terms of conserving fuel economy; and Smart mode for combining the above based on driving patterns (that’s pretty cool).There is also a Snow Mode available for some AWD models for better driving in such weather conditions.