The decision: Households searching for a big car with small-vehicle gas economic system don’t have numerous choices, however the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid is a great one. The electrified three-row SUV enhances the already spectacular Sorento lineup by way of including a good bump within the gasoline mileage division.
Towards the contest: The Sorento Hybrid has few direct competition, however its closest one is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The Highlander is somewhat larger, however the Kia is more cost effective and has higher gas economic system.
Redesigned for 2021, the Kia Sorento three-row SUV slots slightly under the Telluride three-row SUV in Kia’s lineup. Compared with the 2020, the Sorento is larger this 12 months and has an up to date multimedia device, a nicer cabin, an to be had hybrid powertrain, extra same old security measures and a rugged off-road model.
This overview focuses most commonly at the front-wheel-drive hybrid fashion; you’ll be able to learn my overview of the gas-only Sorento beneath.
What You Get
The Sorento Hybrid makes use of a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, a 44-kilowatt electrical motor and a 1.5-kilowatt-hour battery for a complete device output of 227 horsepower, which is masses robust. Torque is robust from a quit, and the six-speed computerized briefly ticks off shifts, making for fuss-free energy supply at upper speeds.
The hybrid from time to time makes abnormal, airy whirring sounds, as do many hybrids in the marketplace, however Kia has carried out a cast process smoothing out different telltale hybrid quirks in two spaces: regenerative braking and the transition from electrical car energy to gasoline.
The Sorento’s brakes have a quite herbal pedal really feel and linear motion, either one of which might be very not like some hybrids’ company, unresponsive pedals. There’s no EV mode to drive electric-only operation, however the electrical motor kicks in continuously — each to spice up energy and to power the auto on electrical energy by myself — to extend potency. The transfer to electric-only energy occurs seamlessly; the one clue is a inexperienced EV indicator mild.
Sorento Hybrid MPG
The Sorento hybrid has an EPA fuel economy rating of 39/35/37 mpg town/freeway/blended — cast numbers for a car this dimension. They’re a smidge upper than the FWD Highlander Hybrid’s EPA ranking of 36/35/36 mpg; for extra on those two, compare Highlander Hybrid and Sorento Hybrid specifications here. The Highlander Hybrid is rated relatively decrease with all-wheel power (35 mpg blended), which the Sorento Hybrid doesn’t be offering.
In observe, the Sorento’s estimated gas economic system used to be somewhat tough to succeed in. I averaged 34.7 mpg all the way through a 1,309-mile avenue go back and forth — somewhat below its total ranking. A couple of issues had been running towards it, then again. The SUV used to be loaded with 5 other folks and every week’s value of stuff, and the go back and forth consisted virtually solely of freeway riding, which averted the powertrain from taking pictures the misplaced braking power had to recharge the battery and increase engine energy. Our 34.7-mpg reasonable used to be, actually, lovely with reference to the SUV’s freeway estimate.
As you’d be expecting, the hybrid’s gas economic system is much better than the common Sorento’s. The traditional Sorento makes use of a 191-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an uplevel 281-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder; the former V-6 is not to be had. With the bottom engine and FWD, the normal Sorento will get an EPA-estimated 24/29/26 mpg, whilst the uplevel front-drive turbo model is rated at 22/29/25 mpg.
Or even higher gas economic system is coming. A plug-in hybrid Sorento with 261 hp, AWD and an estimated 30 miles of all-electric vary will sign up for the lineup later in 2021.
What You Give Up
We didn’t tow the rest on our go back and forth, but when you want to, you’ll need to pack sparingly. The Sorento Hybrid is solely rated to tow 2,000 kilos, which is not up to the gasoline fashion’s 3,500-pound max ranking (with the not obligatory engine). It’s additionally not up to the Highlander Hybrid’s 3,500-pound ranking.
It took a couple of miles to settle into the Sorento Hybrid’s avenue manners. It has a less assailable trip and shall we in additional avenue noise than the common model; its hybrid-specific tires are most probably in part accountable. In lots of alternative ways, then again, the Sorento Hybrid advantages from the successes of the common Sorento, particularly in the case of area and cabin options — with a few exceptions.
The Sorento Hybrid has an identical quantity of shipment area at the back of the 3rd row because the gas-powered model, at 12.6 cubic ft, in step with Kia; that’s not up to the Highlander Hybrid’s 16-cubic-foot ranking. In relation to rear headroom, the Sorento fashions are as soon as once more matched — and as soon as once more relatively path the Highlander. In rear legroom, the Sorento Hybrid gives an inch much less legroom than the gasoline fashion, nevertheless it wasn’t noticeable to me or my backseat group.
What disappoints with regards to area, then again, is that the hybrid fashion is solely presented with second-row captain’s chairs; no three-seat bench is to be had as it’s within the gas-only model. This omission limits the SUV’s versatility.
Additionally restricting is the truth that the hybrid solely is available in mid-level S and EX trims — which you’ll acknowledge the minute you hop within the cabin. After I examined a best SX-Status trim of the gas-only Sorento, I used to be wowed by way of its delicate fabrics and stylish design. The hybrid isn’t that. The Sorento Hybrid EX I examined had extra of the cheap really feel, with copious plastic items and a much less subtle design.
Additionally lacking from the hybrid is the uplevel variations’ huge 10.25-inch touchscreen, which is slick-looking and simple to make use of. The Sorento Hybrid solely has an 8-inch touchscreen. It’s additionally simple and responsive, however I favor the bigger setup.
Protection and Price
As with the gas-powered model, the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid is loaded with same old security measures, lots of which you’d be expecting and a pair you could now not. Standard security measures come with computerized emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot collision avoidance lend a hand, rear cross-traffic alert, a driving force consideration caution device, lane stay lend a hand and automated lane-centering. Adaptive cruise regulate with stop-and-go is solely same old on EX fashions.
Sudden same old options come with a secure go out help device for the rear seats, which makes use of the SUV’s rear-facing radar to hit upon oncoming site visitors and save you a rear door from being opened if an drawing near car or bicycle is detected. There’s additionally a regular rear-seat alert device that makes use of ultrasonic sensors to hit upon kid or puppy motion in the second one and 3rd rows after the doorways were locked; if motion is detected, the device sounds the horn and illuminates the danger lighting.
The 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid S begins at $1,700 greater than a gas-only S trim, at $34,765. The $37,765 EX model prices $1,600 greater than its gas-only EX counterpart. The associated fee top rate for a hybrid fashion would possibly glance top, however its ticket undercuts the Highlander Hybrid, which begins at $39,910 in base LE trim (all costs come with vacation spot).
The Sorento Hybrid isn’t best, however in case you’re searching for a three-row SUV with thrifty gasoline mileage, the sacrifices when compared with the common fashion are small in alternate for giant fuel-economy positive aspects.
Comparable Video: 2021 Kia Sorento: Assessment
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