- the next-generation kia sorento crossover has been spied for the first time.
- it has a more stylish appearance than the current model, with a sleek greenhouse and a higher beltline.
- the new sorento will share its underpinnings and powertrains with the hyundai santa fe.
with kia's new telluride suv taking up the mantle as the biggest three-row crossover in its lineup, it seems that kia is letting its designers have a little more fun with the next-generation sorento crossover. spied here for the first time, the new sorento looks a lot more exciting than the current generation of the mid-size suv. don't let this prototype's presence on the nürburgring racetrack fool you, though—it's not any sort of performance model, just a regular prototype undergoing endurance testing.
the stylish greenhouse apes that of the euro-only proceed wagon with a dramatic d-pillar and c-pillar window trim that sticks up like a shark's fin. the sorento's rear hatch is more raked than the current model's, and the beltline is higher, too, giving the new suv a taller and more squared-off appearance. we can also see thinner headlights that flow into a wide grille as well as angular taillight housings and faux skid plates at the front and rear.
we haven't gotten a glimpse of the interior yet, but expect a modern-looking dashboard with a large touchscreen, a number of premium touches, and an abundance of tech and active-safety features. even given the existence of the telluride, the sorento should remain a practical choice with up to seven seats and a lot of cargo space. for 2019, every sorento now comes standard with a third row, but we think a five-seat option might return with the new generation.
not a lot is known yet about the new sorento's mechanicals, but it should share quite a lot with the hyundai santa fe. the sorento should ride on the santa fe's fresh platform and use the same powertrains, meaning a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter inline-four and a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four; the current sorento's v-6 isn't likely to survive. front-wheel drive will be standard while all-wheel drive will be an option, and the only transmission choice is likely to be an eight-speed automatic.
the new sorento could be revealed by the end of 2019 before going on sale next year as a 2021 model. if the sorento sees a price hike compared with the current model's $27,335 base price, we think it will be fairly small unless kia decides to do away with some of the sorento's more basic trim levels.