And it's benchmarking the new SUV against the BMW X5.
Kia is currently on a hot streak with bold new designs that are capturing buyers' attention. It began with the 2020 Telluride SUV, which is quickly being recognized as the best vehicle in its segment. Both Hyundai and Kia have admitted their designs became stale over the past few years, but upcoming models will take styling in a bold new design direction. The new Optima, says Kia, will make buyers say wow.
Kia is also about to release a new crossover called the Seltos, which looks extremely handsome. Sometime after the Seltos, Kia will show a completely redesigned version of the Sorento, which will debut as a 2021 model.
Our spy photographers captured the next-generation Sorento, which will go by the internal codename MQ4. This new Sorento should present a major overhaul in styling, driving dynamics, interior design, and powertrain, though most of the key details are still unknown.
The current engine options for the Sorento include a 2.4-liter four-cylinder putting out 184 horsepower and an optional 3.3-liter V6 with a more healthy 290 hp output. Our sources expect Kia to ditch both of these engine options in favor of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder in normally aspirated and turbocharged guises. Expect to see an increase in power and fuel economy compared to the current model.
Kia is expected to add hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants to the mix, which would be a first for the Sorento. With the larger Telluride filling the slot in Kia's lineup for a three-row crossover, we wouldn't be surprised if the Sorento shrinks in size and drops the option for a third row, as Hyundai did with the Santa Fe. It's too early to tell what the new Sorento will look like because this test mule is covered in heavy camouflage but if it ends up looking anything like the Telluride, the new Sorento should be a major hit for Kia.
It's worth noting that regardless of looks, the BMW X5 seen next to the test mule is the car Kia is benchmarking the upcoming Sorento against. That should definitely make things interesting.