With the addition of electrified variations for 2022, the Kia Sorento household has grown to 11 members, however the plug-in hybrid mannequin examined right here stands out as a result of it’s the solely (comparatively) inexpensive, three-row, PHEV provided from a mainstream producer.
The PHEV alone is obtainable in three trim grades – EX ($44,995), EX+ ($50,595) and this range-topping SX ($54,995) – all nicely under the $80,000-plus for luxury-brand options.
If you wish to reduce your carbon footprint, however nonetheless need three rows of seating and might’t afford a luxurious model, it’s this or the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.
The Pacifica has more room, however is certainly nonetheless a minivan.
The Sorento is larger than any compact crossover (together with its Sportage sibling) however not fairly sufficiently big to suit the midsize mould – the Kia in that position is the 5-metre-long Telluride.
As for the Sorento, its 177-horsepower gasoline engine companions with a 67-kW (90-horsepower) electrical motor and a 14-kWh battery to yield a mixed 261 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft of torque. Official most electrical vary is 51 km. As soon as the preliminary cost is depleted, hybrid mode delivers 6.7 L/100 km mixed ranking. For perspective, the gas-stingiest non-hybrid Sorento is rated at 9.7 L/100 km mixed.
Throughout our week’s check we deliberate to maximise our driving in EV mode, however a few points thwarted that. One time we made a charge-management programming error and the Sorento solely recouped 9 kilometres of vary whereas plugged in in a single day (recharge time is about 10.5 hours on 110V). Additionally, even in EV mode the gasoline engine should still report for obligation at freeway speeds when you ask for extra energy than the motor alone can ship. Plus, in fact, a few of our outings went additional than the official 51-km EV vary.
Nonetheless, we discovered that 51 km was achievable and even beatable in the fitting situations (ambient temperature ranged between 5 and 17 levels throughout our week). You’ll be able to pre-condition the cabin temperature whereas charging, and there’s an electrical auxiliary heater to keep up it. Over the complete 408 km of our check, the journey laptop reported a mean gasoline consumption of three.9 L/100 km (and would have been even higher if we had totally recharged each night time). In hybrid mode, consumption ranged between 6.5 and eight L/100 km.
Any means you have a look at it, that’s spectacular frugality for a three-row crossover. In case your need for a plug-in hybrid intersects with the necessity for as much as six seats (solely the lowest-trim gasoline Sorentos are seven-seaters), the Sorento could also be your solely inexpensive alternative. However that doesn’t make it a Hobson’s alternative. The Sorento is a satisfying package deal in its personal proper, satisfying to drive and richly geared up, with a snug, versatile inside. And if it’s smaller inside and outside than most different three-rows, nicely, isn’t a decreased “footprint” the rationale you’re buying a plug-in hybrid within the first place?
2022 Kia Sorento PHEV
Worth: $44,995 – $54,995
Engine: 1.6-litre, 177-horsepower turbo four-cylinder engine/67-kW electrical motor
Transmission: 6-speed computerized/all-wheel drive
Gasoline consumption: EV Mode: 2.8 metropolis/3.2 hwy. (L/100 km)
Hybrid Mode: 6.7 metropolis/7.1 hwy.
Options: (3-rows): PHEVs: Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. HEVs: Ford Explorer Restricted, Toyota Highlander
The Sorento is kind of trendy, however in a generic means; it wouldn’t be immediately recognizable with out the Kia grille and badge.
The driving force’s workplace does higher than most at enabling a tall-in-the-saddle posture for individuals who need it, and there’s little to fault when it comes to visibility or minor-control user-friendliness. A full digital gauge cluster is commonplace on the SX trim. This driver did, nonetheless, discover the seat padding fairly exhausting – and I would not have a very delicate backbone.
Contemplating its sub-normal midsize envelope, the Sorento is satisfactory as a three-row; the low-to-the-floor rear tier does implement a knees-up posture, however with applicable positioning of the sliding second-row captain’s chairs it’s at the least potential to host adults in all three rows, at the least for infrequent short-term occupancy (or longer in the event that they’re individuals you don’t like.
Not like most hybrids, the Sorento has a standard 6-speed computerized transmission, so the efficiency feels regular, with out the random rev surges of rivals with CVT trannies. Kia claims 0-100 km/h in a fairly tepid 8.7 seconds, however in routine road driving it feels effortlessly fast due to the wealth of low-speed torque (the electrical motor alone provides 242 lb.-ft. from 0–2,100 rpm) and mechanical AWD traction to deploy it successfully.
The powertrain is sort of silent driving in EV mode, however the under-hood sound monitor was somewhat disappointing after we did make the gasoline engine work exhausting. And though the loping sixth gear retains the ICE subdued on the freeway (about 1,600 rpm at 120 km/h) the serenity is tainted considerably by tire and wind noise. As for the firm-ish trip, that’s a small value to pay in alternate for the Sorento’s unexpectedly lithe dealing with; it steers and turns with a satisfying sense of responsive but relaxed confidence and competence.
Whilst alert-and-avert and autonomous-drive (AD) applied sciences develop into more and more commonplace, the Sorento PHEV goes additional than most, with commonplace options like clever pace restrict help and blind-spot collision avoidance help. Wi-fi cellphone charging is commonplace, in addition to UVO Telematics that permits you to, amongst different jobs, remotely handle car charging.
The EX+ trim provides secure exit help and freeway drive help (Stage 2 AD), plus a ten.25-inch touchscreen with navigation whereas the SX trim additional provides reverse parking collision avoidance help and a head-up show.
Predictably, cargo volumes sit between compact- and midsize-crossover norms, however nearer to the latter: 357 L with all seats up, 2139 L with all seats down, and starting from 1,090 to 1,274 L behind the sliding second-row seats. The tow ranking is 2,000 lbs. (correctly geared up).
A pleasing, sensible and painless entrée into electrified automobility.
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