Kia Sorento PHEV Mildly Revised For North American Debut

It may be surprising to hear that this Sorento is also the most efficient in its lineup over there. 

While Kia’s latest Sorento has featured under its square hood a plug-in hybrid powertrain for well over a year already over in the old continent, this electrified engine however has not actually made it over to the new world just yet. After some minor tweaks though, this PHEV South Korean SUV will finally soon be making land fall in North America come the third quarter of this year. 

Now discussing first on the tweaks that has made for this new Sorento for the 2022 model year, it is basically limited to a set of new Kia badges to be in line with its recent rebranding exercise. Other than that, it is essentially exactly the same SUV as is currently being offered across the Atlantic. 

This therefore means that driving all four wheels of the North America-bound Sorento is still to be a 1.6 litre T-GDi turbo petrol four-pot and six-speed automatic transmission, which is then paired with a 66.9 kW electric motor fed by a 13.8 kW lithium ion battery pack. Combined power output is rated to be at a reasonable 265 hp, but what Kia is hyping up with this PHEV SUV is its claimed 52 km of all-electric range — the most of any three-row SUV on the market over there today — and its impressive 79 MPGe fuel-efficiency figure. 

In terms of other aspects Kia is touting with its Sorento too, the South Korean automaker is boasting for its latest offering to feature the most passenger room and second-row legroom of any plug-in hybrid SUV. Both feats of which comes largely courtesy of its new N3 platform, that has enabled for an increase in its wheelbase of over 1.4-inches over its prior iteration. 

Elsewhere within the cabin of the Sorento PHEV on the other hand is the usual boatload of standard tech, which includes a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen up front, a Bose premium sound system with up to 12 speakers and a wireless smartphone charging pad. Coming standard also on this South Korean SUV is the typical plethora of active and passive driver aids, with the Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) and the Navigation Based Smart Cruise Control-Curve (NSCC-C) being the highlights of the 13 Kia Drive-Wise ADAS systems available. 

Moving on to the outside of the Sorento PHEV meanwhile, this electrified offering can be distinguished from the rest of the range by way of a charging port located at the rear quarter panel and the plug-in badge on its tailgate. It will also be available in two trim levels over in North America, with the more premium SX-P variant netting an indicator-activated Blind View Monitor and standard Surround View Monitor over the lower-spec SX trim level. 

Built in Kia’s Hwasung plant in South Korea, prices for the North American Sorento PHEVs have unfortunately not been announced yet. Whatever they may be however, expect it to be a hot seller as it is still currently eligible for both the $6,587 (RM 28,000) Federal Tax Credit and other state incentives still on offer over there. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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