2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid

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2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Review: Urban Excellence

With long-distance road travel very much part of the USA's car culture, many people opt for hybrid vehicles to save fuel on the short haul, while eliminating EV range anxiety on longer trips. The 227-horsepower 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid and 261-hp plug-in hybrid give you a choice of powertrains with acceptable performance, given their thriftiness. The third row is small, and neither model is memorable to drive, but Kia's hybrid game is strong; the PHEV is good for 32 miles on electric power alone - enough for the average driver's daily duties. The Kia Sorento Hybrids are still new, having both debuted within the last two years, and their stiffest competition is in-house, in the form of the similar Hyundai Sante Fe HEV and PHEV models. Other rivals include the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the new Mazda CX-90 PHEV. Every safety review of Kia's Sorento Hybrid SUV has produced good results so far, so it's a compelling overall package at a high-value price. But is that PHEV all it's cracked up to be, and is it better than similar Santa Fe rivals?

Read in this review:

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2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Sorento Hybrid?

The 2023 Sorento Hybrid range is rationalized with the HEV's S trim being retired, leaving only the Hybrid EX and new range-topping SX Prestige in the lineup. The EX gains a frameless rearview mirror and an eight-way power front passenger seat this year. The SX-P comes with AWD, a locking center differential, 19-inch alloys, a smart power liftgate, LED foglights, leather upholstery, second-row captain's chairs, navigation, and a host of driver assists that include adaptive cruise control, surround and blind-view monitors, forward-collision mitigation, and front and rear parking sensors. The PHEV loses its SX trim, leaving behind the SX Prestige trim as the only one, this year gaining a 115V inverter that can charge household appliances, as well as rear-door sunshades and a HomeLink transceiver. The starting price of the 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid begins at just under $37k.

Pros and Cons

  • Fully featured infotainment system
  • Good gas mileage
  • Stylish inside and out
  • High feature count
  • Spacious second row
  • Tight third row
  • Small trunk behind third row
  • Six-seater only
  • Doesn't offer fast charging

What's the Price of the 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid?

With a $36,690 MSRP, the FWD Kia Sorento Hybrid EX's price represents very good value and is several thousand dollars cheaper than most of its rivals. Adding AWD will cost you $2,300 and also adds 19-inch wheels. The AWD-only SX Prestige retails for $42,490. There is only a single SX Prestige PHEV model and its price is $49,990. These prices don't include Kia's $1,325 destination charge.

Best Deals on 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid

2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Hybrid EX
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
Hybrid SX Prestige
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Plug-in Hybrid SX Prestige
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Trims and Specs

2023 Sorento Hybrid Exterior

2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Front View CarBuzz
2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Rear View CarBuzz
2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Forward View CarBuzz
See All 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Exterior Photos


  • Length 189.4 in
  • Wheelbase 110.8 in
  • Height 66.7 in
  • Max Width 74.8 in
  • Front Width 65.0 in
  • Rear Width 65.4 in
  • Curb Weight 4,000.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Snow White Pearl +$445
  • Runway Red +$445
  • Silky Silver
  • Aurora Black
  • Platinum Graphite
  • Steel Gray
  • Gravity Blue

2023 Sorento Hybrid Performance

2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Engine Bay CarBuzz
2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Charge Port KIA
2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Gauge Cluster KIA

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid, 1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Handling and Driving Impressions

The average mid-size SUV is quite boring to drive, and in this regard, the Sorento Hybrid is par for the course, lacking the pleasing punch of the RAV4 Prime PHEV or the inherent sportiness of a BMW X5 Hybrid. That said, it handles neatly enough, with limited body roll, low noise levels, and good grip levels. The ride is mostly serene, but high-frequency bumps send a few too many tremors through the structure, and on broken surfaces, the Sorento cans struggle to settle down. It's not harsh, just noticeable, and worse on the SX-P trims' 19-inch wheels. Kudos must go to the Kia engineers for seamlessly blending in the regenerative braking while the gas engine cuts in and out unobtrusively and with nary a vibration. Performance is only middling, with both HEV and PHEV getting to 60 mph in the mid-seven-second bracket.

2023 Sorento Hybrid Interior

2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Dashboard CarBuzz
2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Steering Wheel Design CarBuzz
2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Gauge Cluster 1 CarBuzz
See All 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.4 in
  • Front Head Room 40.3 in
  • Rear Leg Room 40.7 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.1 in

2023 Sorento Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space

2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Trunk Space CarBuzz
2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Trunk Space with Third Row Folded CarBuzz
2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Maximum Trunk Space CarBuzz

2023 Sorento Hybrid Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid A Good SUV?

The Sorento HEV is a roomy, well-built SUV with pleasing looks and lots of kit for a high-value price. Performance is acceptable, and fuel economy is excellent. It's a sharp choice in this corner of the market and makes a convincing case for itself. Less so the PHEV, which isn't any faster than the HEV despite being more powerful due to its added heft and commands significantly more money. Worse, it's not a proper EV when in EV mode, with a weak motor that blunts its responses, although the 32-mile range is impressive if you have the patience to drive with a gossamer's touch on the accelerator pedal. For most people, the Sorento HEV will make more sense and is a sound choice against its rivals - as well as the less-than-accomplished and more expensive Sorento PHEV. It also offers a more economical FWD powertrain, which its Hyundai Santa Fe compatriot doesn't offer, making the Kia our choice.

What 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid Model Should I Buy?

It lacks the SX-P's leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, premium audio system, and surround-view camera, and it looks a bit tippy-toed on its small 17-inch wheels, but the FWD Hybrid EX is the smartest buy in the lineup - and those wheels and high-profile tires calm the ride compared to the jittery 19s on the EX AWD and SX-P. Even adding the Panoramic Sunroof package with its LED ambient interior lighting, in addition to the destination fee, keeps you on the sunny side of $40k, which makes it excellent value in our books. We wouldn't spend $10k more on the PHEV.

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