Old against new: 2019 vs. 2020 Kia Sorento

kia sorento

Kia was supposed to unveil the latest version of the Sorento at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. Alas, that event had to be cancelled to due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the setback, the South Korean car maker has managed to release the new SUV in several markets in the span of the year.

Unfortunately, those markets do not include the Philippines, and the one we have here remains to be the 2019 model. While we await the arrival of the true 2020 Sorento, let’s see how different it is to the currently sold on PH shores.


Looking at the new Kia Sorento façade, the evolution of the Tiger Face is immediately obvious. Now wider and more expansive than before, the mesh grille seamlessly integrates with the headlamps and LED runners for a more streamlined look.

kia sorentohttps://press.kia.com/

The Sorento’s sheetmetal is also made more stylish than ever by sharper lines and a conscious increase in uninterrupted surfaces. This gives the SUV a more sculpted look than its curvier predecessor. The contemporary geometric details are also given an elongated and more swept-back appearance. The hood gets bulgier vertical character lines, especially in the middle. LED daytime running lights are relocated to the underside of the bright headlights, instead of over them as in the outgoing model.

kia sorentoKia Sorento PHEV

At the sides, the A-pillar is pushed 30mm to the rear of the front axle for a more ‘cab-rearward’ design. The trailing edge of the hood wraps around the front wings and turns into a single, strong character line which extends along the side of the Sorento and flows into the new vertical taillights, now larger than in the old model.


If the exterior changes seem subtle to you, then you’ll find the interior updates a lot more substantial. Aside from the major upheave in design, there’s also more soft-touch plastics and textured surfaces this time around. Kia reports that there’s also more insulation used in the new model, making it an even quieter car for occupants.

kia sorentohttps://press.kia.com/

At the dash, the infotainment and instrument panel screen now sit side by side. A newly introduced ambient lighting system allows occupants to set the mood during nighttime travel.


The Sorento’s engine and transmission carries over from the old to the new, meaning the new Sorento still runs on a 2.2-liter CRDI E-VGT diesel that outputs 197hp and 441Nm, and links to an 8-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic feature. This transmission offers four different drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Smart. Drivers can choose their desired mode via the Sorento’s electronic Drive Mode Select system.


Kia introduced a hybrid variant of the Sorento in the middle of last year, marking the biggest difference between the old and new model in terms of powertrain options. The electrified powertrain, dubbed ‘Smartstream by its maker,’ delivers 227hp and 350Nm via a 1.6-liter T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine-slash-1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack-slash-44.2 kW electric motor pairing.


With a wheelbase that’s 35mm longer, the 2020 Sorento is more spacious than the outgoing model, and unlike many of its contemporaries that have a cramped third row, full-sized adults will be happier to travel in the rearmost seats.


As you might expect, the all new Sorento comes with a multitude of advanced safety tech and driver assist features that were not available in the old model. Although the safety package varies from variant to variant, the new Sorento now comes with blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, driver attention warning, intelligent speed limit assist, and highway driving assist, among others.

kia sorento

To be fair though, the old Sorento also had its fair share of advanced safety systems that include electronic stability control, brake assist, vehicle stability management control, and hill start assist control.

Pricing and options

The Kia Sorento sold in the PH market right now comes in two different trims. The first is the 2.2 EX AT 4x2, priced at PHP1,895,000, and the other is the 2.2 EX AT 4x4, priced at PHP2,195,000. Color options include Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver, Iron Gray, and Aurora Black Pearl. We’ll have to wait for the local release of the upcoming Sorento to learn about its pricing and options.

Ready to shop for a Kia Sorento? Carmudi has both new and used Kia Sorento models for your perusal.

Photos from Kia

Also read:

2020 Kia Soluto vs. the competition: Your other subcompact sedan options

Old against new: 2nd gen vs 3rd gen Kia Picanto

Explore KIA Sorento

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