New Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid models join the range

Mix of 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor promises 261bhp for the Kia Sorento but the lowest emissions of the range

This is the new Kia Sorento PHEV, a car which tops Kia’s seven-seat SUV range for performance while generating the lowest tailpipe emissions.

The combustion side of the plug-in powertrain is a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which on its own offers up 178bhp and 265Nm of torque. This is backed up by an electric motor which adds a further 90bhp and 304Nm.

Because the two elements don’t ever offer their peaks simultaneously, the combined maximum is 261bhp and 350Nm. Performance figures have yet to be confirmed, but the plug-in hybrid Sorento should out-sprint the 226bhp petrol hybrid - despite carrying around a larger battery.

The battery itself is a 13.8kWh, water-cooled unit - official WLTP driving data is yet to be confirmed, but a pack that size should enable the Sorento PHEV to cover roughly 30 miles in zero emissions mode. 

Despite the need to accommodate the big battery, practicality has only taken the smallest of hits relative to the rest of the Sorento range. The PHEV is still available with either five or seven seats, and in the latter form it offers a 175-litre boot with all seats in place, or 809 litres with the back row folded flat. That’s just four and 12 litres down on the regular petrol and diesel options.

Design wise, the Sorento PHEV looks near-identical to the rest of the Sorento family. Prices are to be confirmed a little closer to the early-2021 release date, but it will cost more than the current range, which starts at £38,845 and tops out at £46,945. As with every other new Kia, the Sorento PHEV comes as standard with a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

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