KIA Insider

No hybrid power for 2021 Kia Sorento





More details have come to light regarding the 2021 Kia Sorento ahead of its Australian arrival later this year.

Following Monday’s reveal of the updated Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Kluger rival, Kia has confirmed which engines will make their way to Aussie showrooms, along with more details on the exterior dimensions of the popular seven-seat SUV.

The 2021 Kia Sorento line-up is headed internationally by a new hybrid drivetrain comprising a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder with a 44kW electric motor and 1.49kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Combined, the set-up develops 169kW and 350Nm, sending drive via an eight-speed dual clutch transmission.

However, any hopes of Kia Australia muscling in on Toyota’s turf with the new hybrid engine have seemingly been dashed because of engineering challenges in adapting it to right-hand drive. The same reasoning also precludes Australia from a 2.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder available elsewhere.

That means that, as with the current Kia Sorento, the fourth-generation version will offer a choice of two engines in Australia: a 206kW/336Nm 3.5-litre petrol V6 and an updated 149kW/440Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder.

The 2.2-litre diesel is mated to a new eight-speed transmission, which should bring efficiency and performance gains over the existing model.

Dimensionally, the 2021 Kia Sorento measures 10mm longer than its predecessor at 4810mm. Wheelbase has been extended 35mm (to 2815mm), purportedly liberating more space inside the cabin.

Kia’s seven-seater will feature a new multi-collision braking system that automatically applies the anchors when the vehicle’s airbags have been deployed. There’s also a remote smartphone Surround View Monitor available.

Furthermore, there’s a flashy new interior headlined by a big 10.2-inch infotainment screen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

Kia says the new cabin brings a ‘sophisticated next-generation design’ to the table and has confirmed metal highlights and leather upholstery will be offered. There’s also mention of ’embossed wood-effect surfaces’ designed to elevate the interior look and feel, and the Korean brand says customers will see big improvements for in-car tech and connectivity too.

The diesel version of the 2021 Kia Sorento is set to touch down in Australia in the second quarter of this year, while the corresponding V6 petrol is due closer to August.

The current Kia Sorento is priced from $43,490 to roughly $60,000 in Australia at present, and pricing is likely to be similar for the new models. Front-wheel drive variants will be offered at a lower price, with all-wheel drive models costing a little more.