The next generation of Kia's mid-size crossover will be electrified, a company executive confirmed Friday. The redesigned Kia Sorento, due in 2020 as a 2021 model, will be offered in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants.
Kia's European COO, Emilio Herrera, confirmed the new green models in an interview with Automotive News Europe. They will join the Niro (which is offered both as a PHEV and a pure EV) and the delayed 2021 Soul EV in Kia's stable of electrified crossovers.
Details are still slim, and while the U.S. is the largest potential market for the Sorento, American buyers have been hesitant to jump on larger hybrid models. At this point, it's not clear whether the two hybrid models will be included in the variants available with the new Sorento launches, or whether they will be added to the lineup later in the crossover's product cycle.
Autoblog has reached out to Kia for clarification on timing and availability and we will update this story if we learn any pertinent information.
We do know that the new Sorento is due in 2020, and will share its fundamental architecture with sister brand Hyundai's new Santa Fe. Hyundai has not announced formal plans to offer hybrid variants of the Santa Fe here in the states, but electrified powertrains were hinted at for Europe when the crossover was originally unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show back in 2018.
Like Hyundai, Kia has been working hard to overhaul its crossover and SUV lineup here in the United States, where customers are migrating to taller vehicles in droves. The introduction of the larger Telluride has made some room for the stretched Sorento to shrink back into its primary role as a two-row mid-sizer.