Test – Kia Sorento Hybrid (2022): What is the basic hybrid version worth?
7 seater SUV
The new Sorento generation, the fourth, appeared on our roads in 2021 with a single engine. A plug-in hybrid block with 265 hp. The 7-seater SUV is now getting a boost from a non-rechargeable hybrid engine, which aims to rekindle family interest.
The first reason is financial, since this engine increases its selling price from €51,490 to €43,990 for the same livery (Motion). You have to do without all-wheel drive, accept a lower power level (230 hp) and pay two small fines. The first on CO2 emissions. The maximum amount, like our test version in a high-quality “Premium” version in 7 places, is €1,276 (153 g CO2). The second penalty concerns the weight that reaches €580 (1,858 kg), at a rate of €10 per kilo over 1,800 kg. State taxes included, the case is still valid for the customer.
A drop in performance in a vehicle of this size can make us fear the worst in terms of driving performance. It is not so. The turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine is the same as the plug-in hybrid. It’s a 1.6 with 180 hp. In contrast, it is linked to a less powerful electric motor, here 60 hp, powered by an equally smaller battery (1.49 kWh) placed in the floor under the driver. Except for a few details, it is the same principle that Toyota has been using for 20 years.
In the city, this hybridization enables powerful and silent electric start-up over a short distance (approx. 2 km) with optimized fuel consumption at the same time. From 30 km/h or when high torque is required, the combustion engine takes over. This battery is recharged via the combustion engine and during braking phases. The average consumption is logically higher compared to the battery hybrid (charged batteries), but the customer will find their way around.
With a 67 liter tank, this simple hybrid version offers greater autonomy.
In mixed operation, we record an average of 7.5 l/100 km, which is also correct in view of the enormous size to be moved. On the motorway at the limit, consumption is 8 l/100 km. Note that we achieved this score with 4 people on board. With 7 passengers, the consumption will logically be higher. Another important difference is the capacity of the tank. This gains 20 liters more than the battery hybrid due to the omission of the “large” batteries. With 67 liters now available, the Sorento can go further and longer.
The advertised 230 are practically all there, don’t expect lightning acceleration or vigorous revival, but rather a reserve of power largely sufficient to overtake and continue low, as the Sorento has to cope with a large mass and average torque (350 Nm). . The SUV does indeed behave as it presents itself: like a good father’s vehicle, brimming with flexibility and comfort. And in terms of comfort, the Korean SUV does not have to be inferior to its rare competitors Toyota Highlander, Hyundai Santa Fe and Ford Explorer.
The Sorento was primarily designed for the US market and its large widths. The Autobahn is logically his favorite place. The soft cushioning, the smooth steering and the decent soundproofing invite you to swallow the kilometers, the buttocks well wedged in the height in a seat as wide as an armchair. This requires this enormous size (length 4.81 m and width 1.90 m) Be very careful when driving in city traffic and in parking lots. In this regard, the 360° camera is a valuable tool in manoeuvres.
Available for 950 euros extra with five or seven seats, the Sorento is designed for the family, because thanks to a functional and technological cockpit, not only the driver is happy, but also his passengers. The rear seat slides out and offers gigantic legroom, the backrests recline and fold down electrically in 60/40 mode. Better, the premium finishes add a custom cup holder, heated seats, a SUB port, and a blind. In the 5-seater configuration, the 898-litre boot capacity is almost equal to a utility generator, it’s huge! The 7-seater version available in the pack offers two jump seats that, despite a slightly short seat base, allow you to travel in good conditions provided you do not exceed 1.70 m. Third-row passengers also benefit from individual climate control and USB connectivity.
Selling for €56,940 plus penalty, this top-of-the-line ‘Premium’ finish offers a level of refinement close to that of the premium competition. In the end, the ultra-equipped car is 10,000 euros cheaper than the premium competition such as BMW with the X5 or Mercedes with the GLE. The leather and plastics used are of good quality, as is the technological content. The 10.25-inch landscape touchscreen is perhaps a bit too small. In return, the resolution is good and the operating system is powerful. It has Android and Carplay connectivity. Only the Bose audio system disappoints with its power and shallow bass.