June 7

Kia Sorento’s Towing Capacity

2021 kia sorento

If you want a midsize crossover SUV that you can use as a commuter car, for weekend adventures, or to tow a boat or trailer with, consider the 2021 Kia Sorento. Check out the features, engine specs, and towing capacity of the 2021 Kia Sorento to help you decide which trim and powertrain will fit your towing needs.

About the 2021 Kia Sorento

The 2021 Kia Sorento is a three-row SUV that seats up to seven people depending on the trim level. The Sorento comes in five trims: the LX, S, EX, SX, and the SX Prestige. The LX, S, EX, and SX come standard with front-wheel drive with the option to upgrade to traction-grabbing Dynamax all-wheel drive. The SX Prestige trim only comes with front-wheel drive. Each trim offers its own unique features, especially when it comes to towing performance.

Power and Performance

Depending on the trim, the Sorento comes with two engines. The base engine is a 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder producing 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission pairs with this engine. Select trims come with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder DOHC 24-valve engine that delivers 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission mates with the latter engine. All trims come with selectable drive modes that manage the driving dynamic of the SUV when weather and terrain conditions change.

Interior and Technology

The LX and S have a second-row bench seat that can seat up to seven people. The three higher trims come with second-row captain’s chairs that seat up to six people. Depending on the seating configuration, the Sorento has a maximum of 75.5 cubic feet of storage space. As you move up the trims, the 2021 Sorento features leather upholstery, heated and ventilated, power-adjustable front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Kia’s infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and on the upper trims, a wireless charging pad, voice-activated recognition, and a panoramic sunroof.

Features of the Kia Sorento Towing System

Using the all-wheel-drive system along with the more robust 281-horsepower engine gives your Kia the advantage to haul the heavier load of 3,500 pounds. All trims of the Sorento have the option to add a tow hitch and trailer harness. Standard features that come on all trims include electronic stability control, a traction control system, and a brake assist system. All these features combined help to stabilize the SUV and trailer while you’re towing.

In addition, the Sorento comes with disc brakes, and you can have a trailer brake controller added to help when stopping the SUV and the trailer. Trailers often sway when wind gusts hit the side or when cornering. The optional torque-vectoring corner control system distributes the proper amount of torque to each wheel to help you maintain control of the trailer.

With the addition of the available electronic locking center differential, the Sorento has the ability to lock the front and rear axles so the engine can send power to both the front and rear wheels equally. If your Sorento gets stuck on a wet boat ramp, a slippery dirt road, or in ice or snow, the locked center differential will help the vehicle get unstuck.

2021 Kia Sorento Towing Capacity With the 191-Horsepower Engine

When you choose the 191-horsepower engine with front-wheel drive or the available all-wheel-drive system, the 2021 Kia Sorento has a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. This is enough to haul a small trailer with a couple of jet skis or a small cargo trailer.

2021 Kia Sorento Towing Capacity With the 281-Horsepower Engine

The more powerful available 281-horsepower engine combined with Dynamax all-wheel drive allows the Sorento to haul up to 3,500 pounds. With this combination, you can tow a small travel trailer like a teardrop trailer, a couple of dirt bikes, or a large load of gardening supplies.

Standard and Available Safety Features of the Kia Sorento

Have peace of mind that when you’re driving the family on vacation, towing a boat or trailer, or maneuvering through city traffic, that the 2021 Kia Sorento has numerous driver-assist features. Depending on the trim, key safety features include forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and a lane mitigation system. Additional features include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, smart cruise control with stop and go technology, and rear occupant alert.

The Importance of Understanding Towing Capacity

Basically, towing capacity is the amount of weight a vehicle can safely tow. The Sorento will have an unbraked towing capacity unless an additional braking system gets added. This means that the Kia Sorento’s 4-wheel disc brake system and brake assist are responsible for stopping the SUV and the trailer. You can find the towing capacity for your trim and powertrain in the owner’s manual, the door jam of the driver’s side, or on Kia’s website.

Additional Towing Terminology

  • Tongue Weight (TW): This term refers to the amount of downward force the vehicle can handle when towing. This is important to know so you can balance out your load to help you maintain control of the trailer. 
  • Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW): This is the maximum amount of weight that the car can carry to keep it safe. The GVW number includes the weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo before adding a trailer and its contents.
  • Gross Trailer Weight (GTW): The amount of the unattached trailer and its cargo.
  • Gross Combined Weight (GCW): This number determines how much weight the car can handle safely. The numbers include the GVW plus the GTW.

When towing, it’s vitally important to not exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations for towing capacity. Having the proper trailering equipment, understanding towing terminology, and taking a class on towing techniques, can help to ensure that you have a fun and safe towing experience.

The 2021 Kia Sorento is a capable SUV with an impressive towing capacity. If you’d like to learn more about its towing capacity, have us equip it with towing features, or take one for a test drive, stop by or contact our team at Huffines Kia Corinth today.

Image via Kia.com


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