2020 has barely begun, but Kia is already looking forward to 2021. First, it was the all-new Optima and now, it's the turn of their second largest crossover, the Sorento. The 2021 Sorento will be revealed soon, but spy shots are now circulating in social media, giving us a good look at the car.
There are those saying that the 2021 Sorento is a re-skin of the current generation. If so, Kia put in a lot of effort into this update because the front, rear, and interior look totally different from the ones we're seeing in showrooms now.
For starters, that front end takes some cues from the subcompact Seltos. The headlights for instance are now slim, wraparound units with a distinct LED signature. While it doesn't have the 'U-shaped' design on the Seltos, the curve of the upper part of the headlight follows the marque's current design language. Also, the 'Tiger Nose' grill has been wider, giving the crossover even more presence. Last but not least is the bumper, which has been totally redesigned for the 2021 model year.
If you think the changes are dramatic at the front, the rear is almost unrecognizable if you were to put it side by side with the current Sorento. The tailgate kicks outwards, sort of giving it a 'tail' just below the rear windshield. The rear windshield itself is more curved than before and the tailgate spoiler is more prominent. But it's the tail lights that totally transforms the look of the Sorento. It draws inspiration from the full-sized Telluride (and its cousin, the Hyundai Palisade) with its vertical design.
As for the interior, just about everything is different about it. The dash, infotainment screen, instrument cluster and even door panels have been changed. It's now more angular and upright compared to the 2016 – 2020 edition. We see a 'floating' infotainment screen, a digital instrument cluster, and, in tune with its tail lights, vertical air-conditioning vents in the center stack. The 2021 Sorento also does away with the conventional gear selector, opting for an electro-mechanical system instead.
With that many changes, we reckon this is an all-new model rather than a refresh. Remember, the Sorento has, traditionally, shares its underpinnings with the Hyundai Santa Fe. The Santa Fe was fully redesigned a few years ago so it sounds sensible to built the Sorento on the new platform rather than re-skin the current model.
According to reports, the 2021 Sorento will be revealed in a few weeks time, likely at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show.