Great fuel economy
Second-row captain’s chairs are standard
Many safety features included
Not so good at towing
All-wheel drive becomes available
Rear occupant alert is newly standard
More driver aids are added
Panoramic sunroof goes from standard in the EX trim to optional
Price: The 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid starts at $33,990.
The 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid is a fuel-sipping 3-row midsize SUV/crossover. It has seating for six and achieves an average of 37 mpg. Part of a wider Sorento range that includes conventional drivetrains, a broader spectrum of basic and luxury features, and a plug-in hybrid variant, the 2022 Sorento Hybrid is one of the first vehicles to check out for families wishing to reduce their emissions.
There is, of course, another 3-row midsize SUV/crossover made by Kia
—the Telluride. But the Sorento is slightly smaller and therefore lighter. And there isn’t a hybrid version of the Telluride.
The non-hybrid 2022 Kia Sorento lineup is reviewed separately. So is the new Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid.
The 2022 Kia Sorento
2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid pricing
As the first of two trims, the 2022 Sorento Hybrid S starts with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $33,990, plus a destination charge. The higher EX trim is priced from $35,990.
Adding all-wheel drive to the S costs $1,800. Kia charges an extra $2,300 for all-wheel drive in the EX model. Equipping that top AWD version with a few choice options could amount to just beyond $41k.
In the context of 3-row midsize crossovers with hybrid power, the Sorento Hybrid is priced competitively. For example, the Toyota
Highlander Hybrid starts at around $39k. The Ford
Explorer Hybrid is about $50k. The closest in price is the Hyundai
Santa Fe Hybrid, also about $34k, but with less standard equipment and just two seating rows.
Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid for their new Sorento Hybrid. From the perspective of resale values, this model doesn’t do as well the Toyota Highlander, but still performs respectably, about level with the Ford Explorer.
Driving the 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid
Torque is arguably more important than horsepower. It’s the thrust we feel as we accelerate away once the light turns green or dart into a gap in the traffic. Horsepower comes more into play when trying to achieve maximum speed — hardly a sensible thing to do away from a track.
The Sorento Hybrid’s 258 lb-ft of torque, produced by the gasoline engine in tandem with the electric motor, is a substantial portion of push for a family vehicle. There are no worries about getting up to freeway speeds or making a decisive and safe overtaking maneuver. Yet fuel economy still averages out at about 37 mpg.
The Sorento Hybrid accomplishes this in a polished manner. Transitions from gasoline to electric propulsion are virtually imperceptible.
Refinement isn’t only reserved for the drivetrain. The suspension soaks up bumps without being too soft, and the steering has just the right amount of weight to it. Where it’s fitted, the all-wheel-drive system has a mode for snow.
A pleasant dashboard design — that looks like it could easily have graced a luxury car a few years ago — brings a classy air to the 2022 Sorento Hybrid’s cabin. Adding to this upscale vibe is the leather-wrapped steering wheel and the generously sized 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen.
The Sorento Hybrid is a 6-seater, two in each row. Standard-issue captain’s chairs bring optimum comfort for those in the middle row. The Sorento’s wheelbase is about 3 inches shorter than the Telluride’s, so third-row legroom here makes it a kids-only zone.
The second row, however, has an expansive 40.7 inches of legroom. And the seats are still foldable, for those occasions when there’s some serious hauling to be done.
Behind the third row is 12.6 cubic feet of luggage space, expanding to 38.5 and then 75.5 cubic feet as the back rows tumble. These figures are the same as the non-hybrid Sorento, meaning no compromises in packaging with the extra hybrid hardware.
A year into this fourth generation of Sorento, the exterior design remains fresh. It’s a confident and mature look, reflecting the great strides the Kia marque as a whole has taken in recent years.
The most affordable trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails with a satin chrome finish, plus wheel arches and side cladding in matte black. The higher trim brings LED fog lights, along with a radiator surround and rear spoiler in gloss black.
Premium paint choices for either version are Runway Red or Snow White Pearl.
Second-row captains’ chairs
Often an optional extra in other 3-row crossovers, these separate seats are more comfortable than the usual 3-person bench while providing easier access to the third-row seats.
6-speed automatic transmission
The difference between this and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) may be lost on some. But respect to Kia for installing it. A typical CVT, often found in hybrids and other vehicles, is a cheaper form of automatic transmission. As a result, it can be slow and noisy. This 6-speed unit improves the quality of driving life.
In the grand scheme of Sorento things, S trim would be one up from a base LX. But that applies only to the non-hybrid version. The 2022 Sorento Hybrid starts with a well-equipped S model.
This includes heated side mirrors, keyless entry/start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, simulated leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and second-row captain’s chairs.
Among the driver assistance features are forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assistance, lane-departure warning, rear parking sensors, automatic high beams, and rear occupant alert (warning the driver if someone or something has been left on the back seat at the end of a trip. It happens).
The standard infotainment system comes with the largest touchscreen available in the 2022 Sorento range, a 10.25-inch unit. Apple
CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration is also on board, along with navigation, satellite radio, voice recognition, Amazon
Alexa compatibility, Bluetooth, and no less than eight USB ports.
Actual options are relatively few. There’s all-wheel drive, powered panoramic sunroof package with LED interior lighting (for the EX only, costing $1,300), premium paint ($445), cross bars for the roof rack ($360), side steps ($690), rear-seat entertainment system ($1,500), self-dimming rearview mirror with garage door opener ($350), and some other minor things. To obtain more features, think about the top EX trim.
This model adds LED fog lights, wireless phone charging, hands-free liftgate operation (with height adjustment), a more sophisticated forward collision mitigation system with cyclist detection and junction assistance, Highway Driving Assist/navigation-based smart cruise control (see our Safety Technology section below), and front parking sensors. When all-wheel drive is included with the EX, this brings 19-inch alloy wheels.
Engine and transmission
A turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine functions as the gasoline side of this gas/electric hybrid drivetrain. It’s joined by an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery.
Together, they create 227 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, which goes through a 6-speed automatic transmission to either the front wheels in standard form (FWD) or an optional all-wheel-drive (AWD) system.
Maximum towing capacity is 2,000 pounds.
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
Permanent magnet synchronous electric motor
227 horsepower (total system output)
258 lb-ft of torque (total system output)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 39/35 mpg (FWD), 36/33 mpg (AWD)
This story originally ran on KBB.com.