It will go 32 miles on electric power alone.
Buyers already love the latest Sorento, and now Kia will give eco-conscious shoppers a new reason to buy one. After launching the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid last year, the 2022 Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid is ready to join the lineup in the United States. Like the standard HEV model, the PHEV uses a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. On its own, the four-pot develops 177 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.
Those output figures are nothing to shout about, but when combined with a 66.9 kW electric motor, the Sorento PHEV produces a healthy 261 hp (more than the heavier Highlander Hybrid) paired to all-wheel drive. On electric power alone, the Sorento PHEV will narrowly beat its Hyundai Santa Fe counterpart with a 32-mile range, the best of any three-row PHEV on sale. However, it won't go as far on electric juice as the Toyota RAV4 Prime.
When running on gasoline and electricity, the Sorento PHEV achieves 79 MPGe. According to the EPA, this number drops to a still-impressive 34 mpg when running on gasoline alone. Kia says the Sorento PHEV should travel 460 miles on a tank of gasoline and a full charge, which is impressive considering the model comes with all-wheel-drive as standard. The Sorento PHEV will take approximately 8.7 seconds to hit 60 mph, so it won't give the RAV4 Prime any trouble in a head-to-head drag race.
Unlike the Toyota, the Kia includes third-row seating as standard with room for six passengers. Kia says the Sorento is the only mainstream PHEV on the market to offer a third row. And with 143.8 cubic feet of passenger space, it's roomier than any other PHEV SUV.
Buyers can spot the PHEV via its specialized rear badging, rear charge port, and 19-inch wheels.
No pricing is available yet, but Kia says the PHEV will qualify for a $6,587 federal tax credit and various state incentives. While the standard Sorento Hybrid only comes in lower S and EX trims, the PHEV is positioned as a more luxurious option in SX and SX-P trims. The latter is impressively equipped with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, surround-view monitor, blind spot cameras, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
More information, including pricing, will be available closer to the on-sale date in the third quarter of 2021.