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Sunday, August 15, 2021

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid EX


Highlight: The methodically well thought out interior layout was designed by Brian Peterson, a former car designer. Peterson, who is an entrepreneur and humanitarian, was once a member of an elite group of approximately 30 Black car designers around the globe.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $38,205 (Base S Model$34,675)

Seating Capacity: 6

Standard Safety Features (S): airbags; ABS; a tire pressure monitoring system; intelligent speed limit assist system; forward collision warning system; a forward collision warning assist system; a pedestrian automatic braking system; a driver attention warning system; heated outside mirrors; and a lane forward assist system


Standard Equipment (S): 17-inch wheels; a 6-speed automatic transmission; an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system; smart key access; a push button ignition starter system; a dual zone automatic climate control system; pseudo leather seats; second row captain chairs; one touch slide and fold second row sears; and split folding third row seats

Standard Equipment EX):  panoramic sunroof with sunshade; a height adjustable power rear liftgate; a wireless charging system; LED foglights; enhanced forward collision; smart and go radio activate cruise control system       

Options: Red exterior paint


Other Trim Levels:

Only Two Trims Available On Hybrid Model

A plug-in hybrid

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6 speaker AM/FM audio system with SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Apple/Android Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 1.6-liter turbocharged GDI, 4-cylinder engine/227-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 39-city/35-hwy


What’s New: The third generation Kia Sorento is all new for the 2021 model year. Kia continues to push the brand and its models upscale, with premium materials, new safety features and more athletic design cues.

Pros:

·        Hybrid engine equates to enhanced miles per gallon

·        Most powerful hybrid in the segment, pushing out 227-horsepower

·        Exterior design offers a bolder, athletic look

·        Longer wheelbase equates to more passenger space

·        Easy-to-use infotainment system

·        Haptic feel buttons for 10-inch infotainment system

·        One of the best warranties in the segment

·        An affordable and well-equipped value package

·        Great road vehicle

·        Wireless in-vehicle charger

·        A number of advance safety driving systems

·        Amazon-Alexa or Google Assist allows remote control of some features

·        An African-Americanconnection to the interior design

But: 

·        A 7-seater pushes the vehicle beyond being comfortable for third row occupants

·        Limited cargo space when third row in use

·        No all-wheel drive availability with the hybrid

·        Only 2 trims available with the hybrid model

·        Middle row bucket seats only – limits capacity for 7 occupants

·        No real leather


Verdict:  The roomier midsize Sorento hybrid is available in two trims. The front wheel drive Sorento hybrid, which wears the same bold design as this year’s gasoline model, offers a premium look and feel both inside and out.

Ironically, the Sorento hybrid offer a lower base price, better fuel mileage and more seating capacity than its sibling, the Hyundai Santa Fe. Ironically, unlike the Hyundai which is available in an all-wheel drive configuration, the Kia is only available in a front wheel drive configuration.

Moreover, one can expect a host of premium-like luxury features with the stylish Sorento hybrid. In fact, when optioned out with such accessories as a cross bar and a rear entertainment center, the vehicle still comes in at a price point under $40,000.


Midsize Competition (Three Rows): Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Midsize Competition (Two Rows): Honda CRV Hybrid; Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid; and Toyota Venza

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