by Gerhard Horn
With the famous SUV now entering its fourth generation in the USA, the first-ever Kia Sorento Hybrid has been added to the lineup. Currently, two models are available, both powered by the same 1.6-liter turbo inline 4-cylinder engine and electric motor that combine for a total of 227 horsepower. Later in 2021, a plug-in derivative will join the line-up, offering around 30 miles of all-electric range and a manufacturer-claimed 260 hp. Kia's Sorento is now marketed as a luxury six-seater midsize SUV, which is another unique selling point in the segment. Traditional rivals like the Chevrolet Blazer, Nissan Murano, and Ford Edge only have two rows. Kia also claims best-in-class horsepower and combined gas mileage and offers the Sorento with impressive driver assistance features across the two-model hybrid range.
The 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid midsize SUV is a new addition to the Sorento range. The entire lineup has been substantially updated for the new model year, with a refreshed, dramatic exterior design and larger dimensions than before. The Sorento Hybrid has a six-seater configuration, with two seats up front, a second-row with two captain's chairs, and two, tiny fold-down seats in the third-row. Even the base model is handsomely equipped with blind-spot collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, affording it with respectable safety ratings. It also gets a smart key with push-button and remote start, heated front seats, and 17-inch alloys.
See trim levels and configurations:
The current Sorento owes its existence to the superb Telluride, which offered large SUV shoppers more than they bargained for. A review of the new Kia Sorento Hybrid returns similar glowing recommendations, especially since it provides the added benefit of six seats on those odd occasions you need them. Sure, they're small, and there are better three-row options in the US, but none of the Sorento's direct rivals offer this feature. Kia also took great care to use only high-quality materials and the latest technology to keep passengers both safe and comfortable. We're also big fans of the car-like driving experience, and the compliant ride. From a powertrain point of view, it's hard to ignore the EPA-estimated consumption of 39/35/37 mpg city/highway/combined cycles. Even though the hybrid's tank is just 17.7 gallons, it should get over 650 miles between refills. The long list of standard features and driver assists deserves a mention too, as even the base model comes with forward collision avoidance, pedestrian detection, driver attention warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert, to name just a few.
There are currently two models in the range: S and EX. The price of the Kia Sorento Hybrid starts with the base S at $33,590 MSRP, while the EX will cost you $36,590. These prices exclude Kia's $1,175 destination charge.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid:
Check out some informative Kia Sorento Hybrid video reviews below.