The 2021 Kia Sorento is already available in many markets worldwide. Unfortunately, the Ayala-backed Kia Philippines is taking its sweet time bringing the car here, so for the meantime, our market will have to make do with the 2020 edition Kia Sorento, a carryover from the 2019 model year.
Despite being the outgoing model, the 2020 Kia Sorento isn’t an SUV that can be easily dismissed. We take a closer look at it and pick apart the Sorento’s pros and cons so you can make a better car buying decision in case you’re shopping for this particular car.
1. Stylish Tiger Nose façade
Looking at the new Kia Sorento façade, the evolution of the Tiger Face is immediately obvious. Now wider and more expansive than before, the mesh grille seamlessly integrates with the headlamps and LED daytime running lights for a more contemporary and streamlined look.
2. A definitive SUV exterior
Along with the front, the rest of the Sorento’s sheetmetal is also made more stylish by sharper lines and a deliberate focus on uninterrupted surfaces. This gives the SUV a more sculpted aesthetic than its curvier predecessor. The geometric details are also given an elongated and more swept-back appearance. Meanwhile, the trailing edge of the hood wraps around the front wings and turns into a single, strong character line that runs along the side of the Sorento, then beautifully flows into the new vertical taillights, enlarged and styled better than the one in the old model.
3. Ruggedly tough
The Sorento’s powertrain consists of a 2.2-liter CRDI E-VGT diesel that outputs 197hp and 441Nm and links to an 8-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic feature. This transmission offers four different drive modes that can be selected via the Sorento’s electronic Drive Mode Select system. Drivers can choose their desired. All of these powertrain features are aided by a MacPherson Strut and multi-link suspension system that makes the Sorento ready for the great outdoors as it is for city streets.
4. Quieter and comfier cabin
Compared to its predecessor, the locally available Sorento hosts more soft-touch plastics and textured surfaces inside its cabin. Kia claims that there’s also more insulation used in the new model, making it an even quieter car this time around. Behind the steering wheel, the instrument panel and infotainment screens now sit side by side, delivering a user-friendlier and more streamlined dashboard. A newly introduced ambient lighting system makes the Sorento interior even cozier.
5. Spaciousness galore
With a 35mm longer wheelbase, the 2020 Sorento is more spacious than the outgoing model. Planning a weeklong vacation? The Sorento has got 320 liters of space behind the third row, with storage capacity growing up to 1,077 liters with the third row folded down, and up to 2,066 liters when both second and third row seats are stowed away.
6. A level-up in safety
As you might expect, the all new Sorento comes with a multitude of advanced safety tech and driver assist features that were not available in the old model. Although the safety package varies from variant to variant, the new Sorento now comes with driver attention warning, intelligent speed limit assist, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and highway driving assist, among others. And that's not even mentioning the more than 52.7% Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), reinforcing the front, rear, sides, and high stress points throughout the body for better occupant protection during a crash.
1. Engine lacks a bit of verve
Although acceleration is decent, the quality of the handling and cornering are a bit iffy. The Sorento’s focus on functionality and comfort compromises its fun-to-drive factor a bit.
2. No third-row legroom to speak of
Unfortunately for the Sorento, it suffers from what most midsize crossover SUVs are guilty of—a cramped third row. Don’t you dare put adults back there, while the sliding second row forward does help, the third row is largely kids-only territory.
Yay or nay?
With a price range of PHP1.9 to 2.2 million, the Sorento is certainly not one of the more affordable options in its segment. But if you’re looking for a true-blue family SUV, and don’t consider acceleration and third-row spaciousness a priority, there’s no reason the 2020 Kia Sorento shouldn’t be your family driver of choice.
Photos from Kia