New Model News

Redesigned 2021 Kia Sorento bows with more space, heightened efficiency

Kia has elongated the look of the Sorento with the redesign.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

With the design of the 2020 Kia Telluride and 2021 Kia Seltos firmly in focus, Kia has debuted the 2021 Kia Sorento. Representing the next generation in the three-row SUV's history, the new Sorento is more spacious and efficient than its predecessors.

More than 3 million Sorentos have been sold worldwide since the SUV launched in 2002. The Sorento sits in the automaker's U.S. lineup between the smaller Seltos and Sportage, and below the Telluride.

2021 Kia SorentoKia has given the model its new interpretation of its signature tiger nose grille.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Its exterior features sharper angles and elongated proportions, riding on a new Kia platform. At the front is Kia's new interpretation of its tiger nose grille, LED daytime running lights, a rectangular air intake, wing-shaped air curtains, and skid plate. The new Sorento's back features vertical tail lamps that wrap around the back end, lower rear bumper, dual tailpipes, and rear skid plate. There's also a subtle spoiler.

The model is more heavily sculpted with a more mature stance than the previous Sorento thanks to a larger body style. The longer and wider Sorento retains elements from previous generations as well with a wide D-pillar, clad wheel arches, and dynamic C-pillar all harkening back to previous models.

Kia has announce that buyers can choose from 10 paint jobs, and the option of 17-, 18-, 19- and, for the first time in the line-up, 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Availability may vary by model.

2021 Kia SorentoThe rear of the Sorento takes deign notes from the Telluride.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia will offer the Sorento with an electrified powertrain, which will result in lower emissions and higher performance than third-generation models. Kia has publicized that the Sorento will be available in traditional hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, though their availability for the U.S. market is unconfirmed. Kia says that the Sorento Hybrid will be available in select European markets at launch, with others to follow later in 2020. The new Sorento will also be available as a Plug-in Hybrid variant from late in 2020.

The Sorento Hybrid is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a 1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, 44.2 kWh electric motor, and six-speed automatic transmission.. That powertrain produces approximately 227 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That's more powerful than the standard four-cylinder in the 2020 Sorento but less horsepower than buyers would get with the 2020 Sorento with a V6.

A new 2.2-liter four-cylnder diesel power plant is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and unlikely to make its way to the U.S.

Kia has given the Sorento a new Terrain Mode as one if it's drive modes. The mode uses the SUV's available all-wheel drive system to distribute torque as needed to all four wheels and adapts transmission shift times to help the vehicle traverse tough conditions including mud, snow and sand.

2021 Kia SorentoThe Sorento adds a new drive mode to the equation that allows for the model to traverse sand, snow, and mud with ease.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Its interior heightens the appeal with fresh design and a level of luxury that brings the Sorento to a near-premium offering. It comes standard with an 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 12.3-inch driver instrument display paired with a 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen and navigation system is available. The list of available features also includes a mood lighting system, wireless charging pad, and Bose surround sound system.

There's two USB ports up front and the ability for two devices to simultaneously connect to the car's Bluetooth system. Two USB charging sockets are integrated into the backs of the two front seats, with a third found at the rear of the front-row center console. Both third-row passengers also have their own charging ports.

Premium appointments are available in the SUV include metallic trim, leather upholstery, and embossed satin-effect surfaces. Kia has announced that in Europe, the Sorento will be offered to buyers with a choice of black cloth, leather (grey or black single-tone, or black-and-grey two-tone), or black quilted Nappa leather. It's likely that it will be offered with similar options in the U.S.

2021 Kia SorentoKia has given the Sorento an entirely new in-cabin design with model features and a fresh look.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The hybrid model keeps its battery below the floor, allowing for a spacious cabin that retains its dimensions without restricting cargo space or headroom. In fact, there's more head-, leg-, and shoulder-room in this model. Kia brags that the seven-seat Sorento has 32 percent more cargo space in this new generation than in the last, as well as more legroom for first- and second-row occupants, and more headroom for third-row riders.

There is also a new grab handle built into the interior trim inside the C-pillar, giving third-row passengers something to hold on to as they climb aboard. Third-row passengers also have access to a newly incorporated cupholder and smartphone tray.

The 2021 Kia Sorento is available to be equipped with a range of safety and driver assistance technology: forward collision avoidance and assist with cyclist and pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring and assist, surround view monitoring, speed limit assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, safe exit, navigation-based cruise control, lane follow assist, driver attention warning, highway driving assist, rear view monitor, and rear cross traffic assist.

2021 Kia SorentoA 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen is available in the new model.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has given the SUV the same smart park technology that is in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata.

The 2021 Kia Sorento will be produced alongside the Kia Telluride at Kia's West Point, Georgia plant as well as in Korea.

Pricing is expected to remain similar to the 2020 model. The 2020 Kia Sorento starts at $26,990 and tops out near $42,000.

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Refreshed luxury crossover

2022 Lexus NX earns Top Safety Pick +

The 2022 NX earned a Top Safety Pick + award.

Lexus

The redesigned 2022 Lexus NX just got its crash test scores, and they're strong. The new crossover picked up a Top Safety Pick + award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the agency's top award. It's the NX's fourth consecutive Top Safety Pick + award, and before that the vehicle earned Top Safety Picks.

2022 Lexus NXThe NX has picked up top awards for several years in a row. Lexus

The 2022 NX picked up top scores in testing, earning a "Good" rating in all crash-test categories, a "Good" score for headlights, "Superior" scores for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention, and a "Good+" score for LATCH system ease of use. Though the 2021 model also picked up a Top Safety Pick + award, it scored lower for its car seat anchors.

Lexus offers the new NX with a whopping four propulsion options, including a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 203 horsepower, a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 275 horsepower, a 2.5-liter hybrid with 239 horsepower and a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 302 horsepower. The two gas engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive, while the two hybrids both get all-wheel drive.

2022 Lexus NXLexus offers the NX with four powertrain options. Lexus

Pricing for the 2022 NX starts at $39,025 for the base NX250. Moving up the line, the NX350h starts at $42,125 and the NX450h+ starts at $56,725.

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New luxury EV

Lexus announces all-electric RZ 450e

Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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