Kia Sorento Hybrid Gets Way More Luxurious For 2023

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It's more expensive, but for a good reason.

Kia has made some interesting changes to the Sorento Hybrid lineup for the 2023 model year. Previously, if you wanted a fully-loaded Sorento Hybrid in the luxurious SX Prestige trim, it required you to upgrade to the more expensive plug-in hybrid version. For the 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid, that requirement has been dropped, and the lineup has moved upscale.

Kia has discontinued the base S trim, which was the most affordable option at $34,090. The EX front-wheel-drive is now the base model, starting at $36,590 (up from $35,890 for 2022). If you want the EX with all-wheel drive, it costs $38,390. These prices do not include the $1,295 destination fee.

For the 2023 model year, the EX also gains an eight-way power passenger seat and frameless rearview mirror.

But these changes aren't the most important...

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The Sorento Hybrid SX-P is new for 2023, starting at $42,390. This model comes standard with all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission.

Adding the SX-P trim unlocks the most luxurious Sorento Hybrid possible without the added cost of the PHEV system. The SX-P trim adds niceties like 17-inch wheels, LED fog lights, smart tailgate, Bose audio, perforated leather, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, adaptive cruise control, surround-view monitor, blind view monitor, parking sensors, and more. This version includes rear captain's chairs, making the Sorento a six-seat vehicle. Options for the SX-P include a few premium paint colors, a two-tone white/blue interior, and a panoramic sunroof.

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Power on all Sorento Hybrid models comes from a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, combined with a 44 kW electric motor to produce 227 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is rated at 39/35/37 mpg city/highway/combined with FWD or 36/33/34 with AWD.

Making the SX-P trim available on the standard HEV rather than just the PHEV was a smart move for Kia, especially since the Korean automaker recently lost the $7,500 tax credit on all of its electrified models. The 2023 Sorento PHEV SX-P (which is now the only trim level) starts at $49,890, which is significantly more than the most expensive Sorento Hybrid. That $7,500 price difference used to be offset by the tax credit but now falls on the consumer.

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Opting for the PHEV brings the output to 261 hp and adds a 32-mile all-electric range, but we aren't sure if those benefits are worth such a hefty premium.

It may be more expensive for 2023, but Kia's changes to the Sorento Hybrid seem like a smart move. South Korea is working hard to restore its tax credits, but unless Kia can quickly shift PHEV production to its US factory in Georgia, it seems unlikely that they will return any time soon. Unless you have a short commute to work and can heavily rely on the PHEV's electric range, the standard Sorento Hybrid seems like the better option at the moment.

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