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  • Writer's pictureKate Bee

2021 KIA Sorento X-Line

This week, we test drove the Kia Sorento X-Line 2021, with a 2.5 L Turbo 4 cylinder GDI engine, six-passenger seats, 41,460 CAD$ as tested.

KIA Sorento X-Line
Photos by Vince P. Szigeti

There were several differences between the Kia Sorento 2019 we tested last year and the Kia Sorento X-line 2021.

KIA Sorento


Kia removed the V6 in favour of a 2.5 L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, increasing its torque figure and making it more engaging to drive while reducing GHG emissions. Consequently, we saw a higher fuel economy than the outgoing model, especially while driving in the city. We reached a 6.7 L/100km fuel consumption on the highway with a 100km/h speed on cruise control. However, the average was 10.2 L/100km.

Driving comfort

This car has a pretty excellent driving comfort with the features such as two-way lumbar support captain seats with multidirectional electrical height adjustments for the driver. Heated front seats (I accidentally pressed the passenger's button, and I can tell you my butt got warm-up faster than it took me to realize I pushed it). Heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, tilt and telescopic steering column, leather-wrapped gearshift knob, lighted mirror in the sun visor and a wide variety of compact storage. The legroom space is also convenient for tall people. So you could highly enjoy a long driving ride with the Kia Sorento X-line 2021.

KIA Sorento interior

Passenger's comfort

It was pretty easy to install the infant seats or a booster in the second row, and the 5-foot-6-inch front passenger had plenty of legroom, even for an adult. You can find every set of anchors for easy access and connection of the seat. Our kids were happy to have their own space. They could hardly reach each other, so the car is family-friendly because it avoids fights. Also, the buckles are held up and connected to the seat, so they should be easy for kids to use independently.

The third row is an issue if you have more than two children because it is smaller and you don't have enough leg space. Even if you can quickly press the button to collapse the seat forward to access the third row, it doesn't work if you have a booster or an infant seat in the second row. So you will have to use the narrow pass-through between the second-row seats to access the third row. The belt buckles of the third-row are floppy, and younglings may have difficulties using them without your help. The fixed head restraints only flip when you fold the seat. Finally, we tried the booster on the third row, and it was not a perfect fit; the back should sit flush against the seat, but it was slightly off. For these reasons, we recommend the passenger's capacity for a family of four because it is still convenient if you invite some of your kids' friends occasionally. You'll appreciate the back row if your older children no longer use a booster and aren't too tall for the available legroom.

KIA Sorento car seats

Interior design

Even if the KIA Sorento X-Line 2021 interior is more appealing than the 2019 model, some of the materials in the dashboard probably won't age well. The touchscreen design is pretty much a dust collector, but it looks sharp, and Kia improved a lot its multimedia interface with a 10.25-inch screen and integrated browser.

The six-seat configuration is convenient for four people; if you go up to six passengers, it highly limits the cargo capacity, which is insufficient if you have luggage or groceries. It seems like there is more legroom between the driving and the passenger row than the 2019 model when you look at it, so it might explain why the trunk seems small. Furthermore, when you lower the rear seats, be prepared to enjoy a rain of objects flying all over the cabin because nothing is holding them back. Although the kids found it hilarious, it is not safe in a collision (which refers to every SUV, not Kia only). You might want to add a safety net to prevent stuff from moving in the car.

Exterior design

As you can see from the review of the KIA Sorento SXL 2019, the Kia Sorento X-Line 2021 design's improved considerably. The shape is more defined and less round than its predecessor. It looks more modern with many details, such as the hexagonal pattern of the grill and its eye-catching LED taillights. When you look at both 2019 and 2021 models of the Sorento, it is a bit like when you go at the eyelashes technician: it is the same face, but with a WOW effect. So, you can still see that it is a Sorento, but it is way better looking.

KIA Sorento infotainment


The driver assistance technology is reasonably practical on the highway. The blind-spot monitoring is quite impressive, and the lane-keeping assistance is sensitive. Even if this option is terrific, it is pretty annoying on a small road, and it kept ringing every time. You might want to take the lane-keeping assistance technology off to avoid persistent noises while not on the highway. A feature we think might needs some improvement is the wireless phone charger. It seemed not to charge the phone enough while connected to the route navigator on the Apple CarPlay. A characteristic of the car that we like is the soundproofing of the car. It is so quiet, which is fantastic when you have kids, because you know, they can give you headaches sometimes. After all, your little vocalists are not quite the kind of performers you can listen to at The Voice. Not hearing other noises in addition to theirs is a gift.

Compared to the Kia Sorento SXL 2019 (MSRP at CAD 51,065.00), the Kia Sorento X-Line 2021 (CAD 41,460 as tested) has improved in every way. Therefore, if I could say « I do » to a car, I would say it to the Kia Sorento X-Line 2021.

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