Remember when Kia just sold cheap warranties wrapped in sheetmetal? After looking over these fresh spy photos of the 2021 Sorento crossover, we'd forgive you for saying no, as those days are clearly well behind the Korean automaker.
Not even a week ago, we saw leaked images of a finished example hiding out underneath a sheet, but this week's unveiling is far more comprehensive. Our spies weren't crafty enough to position themselves for any interior shots, but we have just about every angle of the new Sorento's exterior, and quite frankly, we like it a lot.
Like most newer cars, the 2021 Sorento is rocking an almost full-width grille, but we'll forgive this unfortunate bit of trendy convention because the rest of the design looks clean, contemporary and practical.
While there are plenty of details and nuances to the sheetmetal, the overall shape is fairly minimalist. It's a classic SUV silhouette with only a slight taper to the rear glass, which should allow the new Sorento to hold a good bit of cargo even with the second-row seats intact.
Also in the rear, we see that Kia has taken a page out of some European designers' playbooks with a widely spaced "SORENTO" made up of individual letters across the bottom of the tailgate. Kia has also gone for a split vertical tail light design that places interior housings on the tailgate itself and exterior housings in the quarter panels.
This Sorento also shows what appear to be integrated exhaust finishers that are mirrored by reflector housings above them, giving the whole lower rear bumper a very futuristic look.
A Kia executive confirmed that hybrid and plug-in variants are planned for the redesigned crossover, however it's not clear yet whether (or when) those variants will come to the U.S.
We're expecting to learn more about the new Sorento soon, as the model is set to debut in Korea in mid-February.