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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 Sorento Kia 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 Sorento The 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 Sorento The 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 Sorento Kia 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 Sorento A 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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Hyundai has completely refreshed the Santa Fe for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Santa Fe is getting more than just a traditional mid-cycle update for the 2021 model year. It's closer to a generational shift with new powertrains, a new platform, and more premium features.

If you're saying to yourself, "Didn't they just change it?" to yourself right now, you're not wrong. The current Santa Fe shifted generations just about two years ago as the company prepared to introduce the three-row Palisade. When the Palisade arrived, the Santa Fe was relegated to the new two-row Santa Fe and a holdover three-row Santa Fe for a year before going to just a two-row model for 2020.

The SUV has a fresh grille and headlamp design as well as new front and rear fascia.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has a face that looks like a blend of the Palisade and the Vision T concept car, which was first shown at last year's LA Auto Show. Its headlights carry over the Spartan helmet-like design that first appeared on the Kona. T-shaped LED daytime running lights flow from the headlights to the sides of the grill. The lower grille eschews the crucible-shape that is on the Palisade and offers a new, sophisticated look.

Hyundai has made the car beefier looking but also gentler with posterior that's sophisticated with arrow-like taillights that are connected through the center of the tailgate by a light bar.

Twenty-inch wheels are available as part of a Luxury Package that includes front and back lower bumpers and side cladding that match the body paint color, rather than the traditional matte black.

Hyundai has already revealed that the 2021 Santa Fe will come with hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants in Europe. They have not confirmed which, if either of those powertrains is coming to the U.S. More information is expected to be revealed soon.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai aimed for a premium SUV with the Palisade, to thunderous applause from industry experts and buyers, and it looks like that design mantra is holding true in the New Santa Fe. The company promotes the model as having more "space, comfort, and convenience" than the outgoing model. That's thanks in large part to the new platform the SUV is riding on.

The new third-gen Hyundai platform allows for improvements inn performance, handling, fuel efficiency, and safety. Additionally, it features more crash resistance. With the SUV market growing increasingly competitive, it's understandable that Hyundai would want to shift the model to the new underpinnings ASAP.

The lower half of the dashboard has been redesigned for 2021 and the cabin has been outfitted with soft-touch materials. The center console has also been redesigned and now floats and features similar instrumentation to the Hyundai Nexo and Palisade. This leaves a good amount of space between driver and front passenger for storage.

A new 10.25-inch infotainment screen floats on the dashboard.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The new 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen appears to float above the dashboard. A new 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver.

The new Santa Fe will be available in Europe starting September 2020. There is not yet confirmation as to when it comes to the U.S. or what it will cost.

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Maserati is promising an electrified future for its brand.

Photo courtesy of Maserati

In his prom "Divine Comedy," Italian author Dante Alighieri wrote, "From a little spark may burst a flame." It is fitting that Italian automaker Maserati is using a spark to tease its future.

That future includes a completely redesigned Maserati Ghibli Hybrid. Maserati has also been showing a pre-production version of the car under wraps on a tour though Italy calling it the MC20. It was designed and engineered at the Maserati Innovation Lab in Modena, Italy.

Maserati electrification 2020 As part of its announcement, Maserati shared images of its headquarters being hit by simulated lightning.Photo courtesy of Maserati

That bit about being straight from Italy is important to the brand. Despite being owned by a company headquartered in the Netherlands (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) that is about to merge with a company headquartered in France (PSA Group), the Maserati team has been given the freedom to design using Italian sports car DNA.

That Italian sports car DNA will be merging with a hybrid powertrain in a move all about sparking Maserati sales. For its part, the company is calling it, "the first in a line of new vehicles at the vanguard of a new era for Maserati." The's a next chapter, if you will.

Throughout 2020, Maserati is expected to strengthen its position in the luxury electric vehicles market as it works to allocate more of its production space to electrified cars.

The Ghibli Hybrid goes first, later this year. The Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabriolet will begin production in 2021 as the automaker's first all-electric cars. The next-gen GranTurismo and GranCabrio will be built at the Mirafiori production hub.

Maserati's Modena facility is in the process of a remodel, which will allow it to be modified enough to begin producing what the company is calling a "super sports car" in 2020.The Ghibli Hybrid will have the first hybrid engine in the history of the marque.

A forthcoming Maserati utility vehicle is set to be built at Cassino in 2021. The automaker is already teasing the model saying that it is, "intended to play a leading role for the brand, thanks to its innovative technologies." Technological innovation is not something Maserati has been known for lately so this could be a welcome change.

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