2021 Kia Sorento to debut at Geneva, hybrid confirmed

February 4, 2020

Following some very revealing spy photos last week, Kia has now officially previewed the upcoming 2021 Sorento and confirmed its debut for the Geneva motor show next month. The company has also confirmed the new model will be offered with a hybrid powertrain.

The 2021 Kia Sorento will showcase a fresh design for the large seven-seat SUV, borrowing plenty of tones and elements that we saw with the Kia Seltos. Even though we’ve all already seen revealing spy photos, these teaser images handed out today confirm the new-look headlight design and complete wrap-around front grille.

Around at the back are some vertically-oriented taillights that feature unique ticks that stretch into there rear quarter panel, with a squarer and more slab-like tailgate profile and indented number plate locator in the middle. From the rear teaser shot you can also see the clean body lines carrying over very similarly from the outgoing model.

No concrete specifications accompany the official teaser, however, Kia confirms it will be based on a new-generation mid-size SUV platform. It will also showcase a range of advanced driving assistance systems, and “progressive connectivity and infotainment features”, Kia says.

Dynamic Display Ad(Long Version)

We know the new SUV will showcase a brand new interior as well. By the looks of the earlier spy shots (below) there will be two digital screens for the dash (at least on some models), with a new climate control stack in the middle, a rotary gear selector (potentially for hybrid models only), and a revised centre console.

Speaking of hybrid, the 2021 Sorento will be offered with a hybrid option, potentially in some markets only. Word has it Kia will introduce a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol paired with an electric motor assist system, providing around 170kW. At this stage no official information on the components has been revealed. In a statement, Kia said:

“Designed and engineered to take on everything life can throw at it, the fourth generation of Kia Motors Corporation’s flagship global SUV is the latest addition to the brand’s reinvigorated SUV lineup. The first vehicle based on Kia’s new-generation midsize SUV platform, the Sorento raises standards in its segment for practicality, offering space on a par with larger vehicles. The new model also marks the first-time adoption of hybrid power in the Sorento lineup.”

The existing 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder is likely to carry on, currently producing 147kW and 441Nm, while a 3.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol V6 developing 206kW and 336Nm could continue to be offered in some markets. In Australia, both of these engines are currently matched to an eight-speed auto.

We don’t have to wait long for all of the details as the 2020 Geneva motor show opens to press on March 3. Market entry in Australia is expected later this year.

Brett is the editor and founder of Performance Drive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.