The next-generation Kia Sorento will be made available in electrified formats. Kia’s boss in Europe, Emilion Herrera, confirmed the news just before the weekend. The next-gen Sorento is expected to debut over the course of 2020 as a 2021 model, and it will come in hybrid as well as plug-in hybrid versions.
This will make it the third electrified product in the Korean automaker’s lineup, after the Niro and the Soul.
One important bit of news not divulged by the Kia executive was what the company’s plans are for the North American version of the 2021 Sorento. This remains hard to predict, especially when you remember that for its electric Soul Kia employed a different strategy for Canada and the U.S., bringing it out here even as it delayed it south of the border. Kia could also unveil the next Sorento without the electrified versions being on hand at first. One or both could follow but only in 2021 itself.
Set to make its first impression during the course of 2020, the new Sorento will share its foundations with the current-generation Hyundai Santa Fe. That SUV is not available in a “greener” version in North America, but when it was presented in Geneva in 2018, Hyundai representatives did mention that was a possibility down the road. So we’ll have to see what both of the sister companies come up with.
The big question for Kia remains the American market, where interest for hybrid-powertrain big SUVs is not as high as elsewhere. On the other hand, perhaps the arrival of the Telluride means that the next-gen Sorento will shed a few inches here and there and become a more-compact, and thus more-appealing, option for U.S. consumers wanting better fuel economy.
As we head into 2020, the industry continues to operate in very fluid transition. Stay tuned.