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2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid review: Efficiency without compromise

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid MSRP $33,590.00 “It’s now no longer even a end comparison — the Sorento Hybrid is without doubt a number of the accurate midsize SUVs.” Execs A full bunch tech Beautiful assemble Compact automobile MPG Roomy first and 2d rows Doesn’t if truth be told feel behind Cons Tight third row 2022…

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid review: Efficiency without compromise

Front driver's side from an angle of the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid in a grassy field.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid

MSRP $33,590.00

“It’s now no longer even a end comparison — the Sorento Hybrid is without doubt a number of the accurate midsize SUVs.”


  • A full bunch tech
  • Beautiful assemble
  • Compact automobile MPG
  • Roomy first and 2d rows
  • Doesn’t if truth be told feel behind


  • Tight third row
  • 2022 model has more sides

The three-row, midsize SUV section is one who automakers were behind to impress. It makes sense — these hulking SUVs are inclined to grasp boxy designs that aren’t atmosphere friendly to open with. Discovering a sort to pork up gas economy without sacrificing all that home is asking so a lot — that will presumably perchance moreover be why there are only a couple of alternatives to net from.

With the all-new 2021 Sorento Hybrid, Kia came upon a sort to compose it work. The Sorento title has been spherical since 2002, but right here’s the first time you’ll get a hybrid powertrain in the SUV. This powertrain now no longer only helps the Sorento gash out its occupy put in Kia’s lineup, but as well in the final section. If you occur to’re wanting for a midsize SUV with a hybrid engine, you’ll wish to pass straight to a Kia dealership to investigate cross-test the Sorento Hybrid sooner than something else else.

The entry-stage S neat starts at $34,760, including the $1,170 sprint back and forth put price. The EX neat, which is the one we examined, starts at $37,760. Our tester modified into carried out in Runaway Red Paint that charges $445, bringing the mark of our tester as a lot as $38,205.

Invent and within

The closing Sorento had a frumpy assemble — now no longer precisely hideous, but ungainly from some angles. In that regard, the brand new Sorento Hybrid is a massive improvement. It doesn’t grasp the identical avenue presence as the upper Telluride, but it peaceful has its occupy form of American slip. No longer many midsize SUVs, and even fewer hybrids, test wintry, but that’s precisely what the Sorento Hybrid manages to aid out.

Front end close up of the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid in a grassy field.
Joel Patel/Digital Traits

Kia’s tiger-nostril grille presents the Sorento Hybrid a familial assemble compared with the automaker’s a host of SUVs, esteem the Niro, Seltos, and Telluride. In contrast with the smartly-liked-or-garden Sorento, the Sorento Hybrid doesn’t test enormously a host of. That’s a gorgeous ingredient from our level of come all thru. The one noticeable difference between the 2 is the shinier neat objects on the hybrid.

No longer many midsize SUVs, and even fewer hybrids, test wintry, but that’s precisely what the Sorento Hybrid manages to aid out.

The Sorento Hybrid’s within assemble is correct as comely as its exterior with a natty test that feels every bit as upscale as the exterior. The sort the center console rests in the middle of vertically-oriented vents and the toggle switches for the HVAC temperature controls and heated seats compose the cabin if truth be told feel esteem the cockpit of a airplane — that’s also completely purposeful. The most most main diagram back is the dial-operated transmission shifter that appears to be like to be esteem a gorgeous ingredient on paper but now no longer in the genuine world.

Without a doubt a number of the Sorento Hybrid’s main advantages over a host of hybrids is that it provides seating for as a lot as seven. The mix of a hybrid powertrain and seating for the complete family is something only a couple of midsize SUVs can claim. Thanks to clever packaging, the Sorento Hybrid provides the identical amount of cargo home as the Sorento. Sadly, it’s now no longer as tall as its competitors. On the succor of the third row, there could be 12.6 cubic toes of cargo home. Folding the rear seats down ends up in 45 cubic toes of cargo home, while essentially the most the Sorento Hybrid can aid is as a lot as 75.5 cubic toes of cargo.

Tech, infotainment, and driver serve

The finest demerit dealing with the Sorento Hybrid is its infotainment machine. Kia doesn’t fit the Sorento Hybrid with the identical accessible 10.25-ride touchscreen on the smartly-liked-or-garden model. As a substitute, you obtain a primitive 8-ride unit all thru the lineup. It’s now no longer a inappropriate touchscreen, but seeing the extra valid property accessible in a typical Sorento ends in envy. It’s esteem taking a grasp a study your neighbor’s yard after which coming to the conclusion that yours doesn’t rather add up. For patient of us, Kia has made things equal for 2022.

It’s now no longer the fanciest checklist of sides, but there’s something comforting about a automobile that includes easy-to-use tech.

Close up of the infotainment system in the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid with fuel economy.
Joel Patel/Digital Traits

The dimensions of the touchscreen could presumably perchance moreover now no longer provoke, but its sides will. The EX neat we examined came with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, satellite tv for computer radio, a 4.2-ride express in the instrument cluster, eight USB ports, a wireless charging pad, and 6 audio speakers. It’s now no longer essentially the most renowned checklist of sides, but there’s something to be acknowledged about having a automobile that doesn’t suffocate you with technology.

The touchscreen’s graphics aren’t as crisp or as brilliant as these came upon on the upper 10.25-ride touchscreen, but they’re peaceful if truth be told beautiful. It’s also nice to acquire to make use of buttons and dials that are positioned logically. Somebody could presumably perchance moreover obtain into this automobile and obtain contented with it in a topic of 10 minutes — that isn’t the case with many new autos.

Kia packs the Sorento Hybrid with its Pressure Wise suite of evolved security sides. The suite includes forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-holding serve, blind-put monitoring, traffic brand recognition, pedestrian detection, rear unsuitable-traffic alert, automobile exit warning, and rear parking sensors. The EX neat provides adaptive cruise help watch over, cyclist detection, intersection serve, and front parking sensors.

Driving experience

Strength for the Sorento Hybrid comes from a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with one electrical motor and a 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Blended output is rated at 227 horsepower, while a primitive six-lumber automated transmission handles shifts. It’s a substitute from the norm, as the bulk of a host of hybrids compose essentially the most of a consistently variable automated transmission (CVT). If there’s a diagram back with the Sorento Hybrid’s powertrain, it’s that front-wheel force is the one accessible configuration.

In contrast with competitors from Ford and Toyota, the Sorento Hybrid is down on strength. The Ford Explorer Hybrid sides a 3.3-liter V6 engine and an electrical motor for a blended 318 horsepower. Toyota’s Highlander Hybrid, compared, comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and two electrical motors that diagram 243 horsepower. In opposition to that crowd, the Sorento Hybrid sounds esteem it’ll moreover use some extra punch, however the SUV feels masses highly effective. There’s quite slip off the line, but it’s peaceful peppy, only being about a 2d off of the smartly-liked-or-garden Sorento’s accessible turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine in a flee to 60 mph. Passing on the highway, which in overall is a test of persistence in a hybrid, is uneventful.

The six-lumber automated transmission is smoother than alternatives with a CVT, esteem the Highlander, but it’s now no longer precisely wretchedness-free. In our week with the SUV, we came upon that it stuttered a couple of times when switching between reverse and force. Downshifts also will likely be behind when attempting to flee them by the use of the shift paddles on the steering wheel, but that’s to be anticipated with a powertrain that puts gas economy first.

Out of the few hybrid midsize SUVs on the market, the Sorento Hybrid is the accurate a number of the bunch.

Side profile of the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid from the passenger side in a grassy field.
Joel Patel/Digital Traits

Whereas Kia’s force modes in overall lead to a noticeable substitute, the Sorento Hybrid’s Comfort, Tidy, and Sport modes don’t compose any radical adjustments to the manner the SUV performs. So, holding it in Eco mode for the bulk of the time makes masses of sense. Furthermore, Kia’s Eco mode doesn’t nuke the responsiveness of the throttle pedal, making it if truth be told feel more esteem a smartly-liked force mode. Eco mode also suits the Sorento Hybrid’s compliant hasten and gentle steering for a peaceable riding experience.

Gasoline mileage and security

Out of the few three-row midsize SUVs on the market with a hybrid powertrain, the Sorento Hybrid is the accurate a number of the bunch. The hybrid is rated to acquire as a lot as 37 mpg blended (39 mpg metropolis, 35 mpg highway). The genuine the Toyota Highlander Hybrid can obtain is 36 mpg blended, while the Ford Explorer Hybrid has a paltry 28 mpg blended ranking. The Sorento Hybrid is so atmosphere friendly, it nearly suits smaller hybrids esteem the Honda CR-V Hybrid and Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Blue that grasp 38 mpg blended rankings.

Engine compartment of the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid.
Joel Patel/Digital Traits

The Insurance Institute for Dual carriageway Safety (IIHS) has now no longer crash-examined the 2021 Sorento Hybrid but. Despite the indisputable truth that, the smartly-liked-or-garden Sorento got a “High Safety Delight in” ranking after incomes “Appropriate” rankings in all six crash tests — a obtain of “Superior” for its front crash prevention technology and having headlights ranging from “Dejected” to “Appropriate.” Within the National Dual carriageway Site web declare online visitors Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) testing, the 2021 Sorento Hybrid earned a four-massive title overall security ranking.

Kia backs the Sorento Hybrid with a 5-year, 60,000-mile smartly-liked warranty and a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. The warranty beats these that Toyota and Ford offer, which incorporates a 3-year, 36,000-mile smartly-liked warranty and a 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

How DT would configure this automobile

Skip the $3,000 EX neat, which doesn’t account for its mark. The typical Sorento Hybrid comes with an intensive checklist of security sides, dual-zone climate help watch over, six audio speakers, wireless smartphone compatibility, synthetic leather-basically basically based upholstery, heated front seats, and an 8-ride touchscreen, making it smartly-geared up for many drivers.

Our eradicate

Class-main gas economy is correct one quality that makes the Sorento Hybrid an spectacular automobile. It also comes with nifty tech sides, a somewhat tall cargo put, a peppy powertrain, and a prolonged warranty. You most likely can’t miss the Sorento Hybrid’s sleek assemble, either. It’s now no longer even a end comparison — the Sorento Hybrid is without doubt a number of the accurate midsize SUVs on sale.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is available with the next 12.3-ride touchscreen, even though its graphics and menu structure test dated, it’ll obtain as a lot as 36 mpg blended, it has as a lot as 84.3 cubic toes of cargo home, it has a 243-horsepower, and it will tow as a lot as a couple,500 pounds. The Highlander Hybrid isn’t as natty as the Sorento Hybrid, but it’s accessible with all-wheel force.

If gas economy is what you’re after, the Ford Explorer Hybrid potentially won’t fit the bill. It’s rated at as a lot as 28 mpg blended, which is smartly in the succor of the Sorento Hybrid’s resolve. On the flip aspect, its powertrain produces as a lot as 318 horsepower, smartly above the Sorento Hybrid. The Explorer Hybrid also can tow essentially the most cargo with a ranking of as a lot as 5,000 pounds. When it involves cargo home, the Explorer Hybrid has essentially the most home with as a lot as 87.8 cubic toes of cargo home. Ford provides the Explorer Hybrid with rear and all-wheel force.

Ought to peaceful you obtain one?

Sure. The 2022 model provides more tech and accessible all-wheel force, however the 2021 model is peaceful price wanting for.

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