By on January 29, 2020


Alright, stop yer squawking. Different people see different things in a vehicle’s styling and it all amounts to a pile of nothing, but it’s hard to look at these leaked shots of the 2021 Kia Sorento and not think about the folks in Dearborn.

Photos posted by Instagram user onecar.1 appear to show the next-generation Sorento in its native South Korean habitat, enjoying a dreary rainy day with its protective wrap uncovered.

Up front, the midsizer sports Kia’s signature Tiger Nose grille, this one filled with mesh resembling chain links, which blends outward into triple-cell LED headlamps. It gives off a whiff of Explorer, in this author’s opinion.


Out back, twin rectangular taillamps stand upright on either side of the liftgate, bringing to mind cut-down Mustang housings (or that of an early-’80s Mercury Cougar coupe). None of this is to say the upcoming Sorento doesn’t improve in the looks department. With the arrival of the top-flight Telluride, Kia’s big-crossover design has taken a turn for the burly, and that’s not a bad thing. The Sorento looks to continue that design drift.

Inside, we can see a wide dashtop touchscreen that the industry can’t seem to do without, joined by a digital screen in place of a traditional gauge layout. This is almost certainly an uplevel feature reserved for the most well-monied of Sorento buyers.


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What we can’t see in these shots is anything aft of the front seats, so it isn’t known whether the Sorento will return to the lineup as a two-row-only model, one with an optional third row, or keep the same recipe as before. For 2019, Kia made third-row seats standard, but the arrival of the Telluride may have changed Kia’s strategy.

The model’s Korean debut isn’t far off, so stay tuned on that.

[Images: Instagram]

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13 Comments on “Presenting the Upcoming Ford Sorento…...”

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It does…although, to Kia’s defense, the designs for this Sorento and the Explorer were likely finalized around the same time, and there’s no practical way one could’ve copied the other. Also, neither looks particularly distinctive; they’re just copying industry trends.

    • 0 avatar

      Every car in this class basically looks the same. Does it have the flying roof too?

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. These days high mounted, thin headlights against an oversized mesh grill is what everyone is doing (see new Cadillac Escalade that was just leaked). The tail lights look like clipped, thicker versions of the Telluride, without the upper curve. I think the black color and limited trim/styling does as much as the smaller, wide set taillights to say ‘Explorer’ in the back, due to all of the police units we see.

      At least they resisted the heckeblende, or whatever we are calling the full width taillights these days!

  • avatar

    The split, 2-box tail light design really kinda reminds me of a 1st gen Lincoln Navigator

  • avatar

    I don’t see why they shouldn’t form a partnership and market it as a Ford vehicle also. The Edge is 188.8″ long and this is 189″ , so in this market, there’s enough of a size difference to slot it in between the Edge and the larger Explorer yes? Plus, Ford is going to need a quick go-to for smaller cheaper cars once the economy turns down and the public sours on expensive SUVs and CUVs, which I’ve predicted will occur at some point in the next five years.

  • avatar

    You can’t avoid the “X looks like Y” comments on the internet, but I didn’t think I’d actually see an article written about it. Especially for a similarity that’s not all that similar. This isn’t like when a Chinese manufacturer rips off a Land Rover in its entirety.

  • avatar

    nobody appears to be able to comment

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Put two slots on the roof and call it a toaster.

  • avatar

    Don’t see any Explorer in this despite the author’s squint. I do see a badge that does make you stop to look to see what is inside the oval.

  • avatar

    If there’s one thing that stretches any stylist, it’s trying to make a two box vehicle look good, unless it’s really low and long.

    With everyone buying these two box nonentities these days, it’s about impossible that some “styling” aspect hasn’t been designed and made before, somewhere, somehow. Enthusiasts for these dumbed down travel conveyances now have the task of making comparisons that try to make a mountain out of a molehill – promoting differences of such little import it’s a waste of time.

    So we get the tired old excuses about ease of getting in and out, cargo room available when you need it, and scarcely any criticism of actual important things like why front passenger seats have lousy adjustments compared to the driver’s. The average pickup truck buyer never loads a half yard of mulch in the bed, nor tows, but rabid commenters can think of nothing else but extreme use. Want a work truck? Buy a damn work truck or rent one.

    The whole thing has got so farcical, I’ve decided my next vehicle is a five ton Navistar with 12 foot tall van body. Hell, I might want to move next month, you never know. I want to be ready when the whim strikes. And who’d want to make more than one trip? That’s about the level of logic I see repeated over and over about trucks and crossovers. And none of them actually look any good.

    Styling? The Navistar has the cheesiest grin imaginable, and won’t be mistaken for a Hyundai/Kia crossover or a RAV-4 or even for a lowly Suburban. Get outta my way! I’m coming through!

  • avatar

    “For 2019, Kia made third-row seats standard” – Not in Canada. We have to cough up almost 6K and opt for the V6 to get a 3rd row. Kia is no longer the affordable people hauler.

    There aren’t many choices left. 6+ seats and AWD for under $40K CAD ($30K USD?) is long gone (Mitsubishi Outlander notwithstanding).

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Well, it does have 1960 Edsel tail lights…

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