Kia unveiled its fourth-generation Sorento in 2020 as a 2021 model. As such, the current SUV is still very fresh in our minds, and now there's a slightly fresher version packing an electric punch. The plug-in hybrid variant has arrived, combining a modest electric range with three-row seating for the family.
We say a slightly fresher version because a keen eye will spot a visual difference both inside and out for 2022. Kia's new logo splashes across the grille and on the steering wheel, but everything else is familiar territory. Being a plug-in hybrid you'll also get an extra access door on the passenger side for the charging port, feeding juice to a 13.8 kWh battery. It powers a single electric motor paired with Kia's turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder, delivering a combined 261 horsepower (195 kilowatts). All-wheel drive with a center locking differential is standard.
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For around-town trips, Kia is targeting a 32-mile all-electric range for the Sorento. Similarly, a combined 79 MPGe rating is targeted, and with the entire powertrain working together, the SUV has an estimated total range of 460 miles. It's important to note that these figures are manufacturer estimates, not EPA ratings. That process is still ongoing, but provided everything checks out, Kia says the Sorento PHEV will have the most pure-electric range of any three-row SUV currently available.
Gallery: 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV
Kia says it also has the most passenger room and second-row legroom of any plug-in hybrid SUV. And it's not sparsely equipped either, as all PHEV models will be high-end SX or SX Prestige models. That means a boatload of standard equipment, not the least of which being arguably the best set of driver-assist and safety systems in the business. Driver and front-seat passenger have a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch center touchscreen display at their disposal, and all passengers ride on standard Syntex synthetic leather seats.
Kia isn't ready to share pricing for the new Sorento PHEV. That will come closer to its on-sale date, which is coming in the third quarter of 2021.