The next-generation Kia Sorento has been spied again, this time wearing less fake body panels than the prototype seen last month.
Still wearing a full body wrap concealing most of the design details, the new Sorento looks to be an evolution of the current model’s design, though the hidden details could prove otherwise.
Comparing the new and current models side-by-side, it looks like the Sorento will get a chunkier and more upright front end, while the rear will be a little more raked and score vertical tail-lights rather than the current horizontal units.
Top: 2021 Kia Sorento prototype, Bottom: 2019 Kia Sorento GT-Line
Some clues could be taken from the US-market Telluride SUV, which features boxier styling and upright lighting at both ends. However, it appears the Sorento will maintain a sleeker profile compared to its larger American sibling for a wider appeal given it’s available globally.
Expect an overhaul for the interior too, drawing upon the more upmarket look and feel of other high-end Kia models, namely the Telluride and Cadenza – things like a larger touchscreen for the infotainment system, the availability of a fully-digital instrument cluster, and more premium trims and finishes.
As for powertrains, the new Sorento is expected to offer hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions for the first time, along with conventional petrol and diesel options as per the current model.
It’s unclear whether the new range will feature revised versions of the current 2.2-litre turbo-diesel and 3.5-litre V6 options, or new motors from the Hyundai/Kia ‘Smartstream’ family.
The new Sorento should also feature Kia’s latest driver assistance and active safety technologies, which should allow for semi-autonomous highway driving (Level 2).
Under the skin, it appears Kia is really working on making the Sorento more engaging to drive. Last month a prototype was spotted driving in convoy with a new BMW X5 – which is widely regarded as a dynamic benchmark for large SUVs.
That could indicate the Korean brand is trying to give its three-row SUV a more sporting edge, which could be a bid to make it more popular in markets like Europe, and better challenge more premium rivals.
We’re expecting the new Kia Sorento to be revealed sometime during the first half of 2020, before a global sales rollout in the fourth quarter of next year.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest, and click on the images for the full gallery.