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Kia made a lot of noise yesterday with the US debut of the 2021 Sorento crossover, and there was one specific model we hadn’t seen when the global Sorento was revealed earlier this year: the Sorento X-Line. This new appearance package offers rugged styling, a higher ride height and some other special features. Kia’s tiny Soul was the first to offer an X-Line trim, and it seems like a sure bet similar packages will become available on Kia’s other crossovers as well — in fact, Kia showed off a pair of Seltos X-Line concepts at last year’s LA Auto Show.
Visually differentiating the X-Line from normal Sorentos are chunkier-looking bumpers with faux skid-plate elements, dark gray 20-inch wheels, “bridge-type” roof rails and some exterior badges. The X-Line gets an inch more ground clearance than the standard Sorento for a total of 8.3 inches, about half an inch less than a Subaru Outback, and Kia says the X-Line also has better approach and departure angles.
Kia says the X-Line is only available with all-wheel drive, and the sole engine option is the Sorento’s up-level turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four that makes 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. There’s no word yet on whether the plug-in hybrid Sorento coming next year will be available in X-Line form, but the standard hybrid is a no-go as it is front-drive. The 2021 Sorento’s AWD system features torque-vectoring tech and a center-locking differential, and AWD models also get a Snow driving mode.
The X-Line package will only be offered on the top-level SX-Prestige trim level for now, which means it should be very nice inside and come with a ton of stuff. The Sorento in these photos is finished in the gorgeous Aruba green color, which is exclusive to the X-Line, with a rust (tan) leather interior that’s accented by real wood trim. It has quilted leather, second-row captain’s chairs that slide and recline, a 10.25-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. The new Sorento is available with features like a 360-degree camera setup, wireless phone charging, a 12-speaker Bose sound system and eight USB ports, all of which should be standard on the X-Line.
We expect that all of the new Sorento’s available safety features will be standard with the X-Line as well. Every 2021 Sorento gets automated emergency braking, pedestrian detection and lane-following assist as standard, but there are a number of newly optional features like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert, safe exit assist and a blind-spot camera system.
We don’t yet know pricing for the X-Line or the new Sorento in general, but the top-end 2020 Sorento SX starts at just over $40,000, so expect a similar price tag for the new SX-Prestige. Kia says the 2021 Sorento will reach dealers in the US later this year, with pricing to be announced close to the on-sale date.