New Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid models on sale from £44,995

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

Kia has confirmed that the new plug-in hybrid Sorento will cost from £44,995 in the UK. Prices rise to £53,095 for the flagship model, with first customer deliveries due early next year.

The Sorento PHEV’s powertrain comprises a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, a 90bhp electric motor and a 13.8kWh battery, which provide a combined output of 261bhp and an electric range of 30 miles. 

The plug-in Kia Sorento range mirrors that of other versions of the SUV, starting with a 2-spec model and moving up to 3 and top-spec 4. As ever on a Kia, the kit list is very generous, and every Sorento PHEV will come with 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, front fog lamps, all-round parking sensors, roof rails and electrically adjustable door mirrors. Buyers also get a comprehensive suite of driver-assistance technology, which includes lane-keeping assist, hill-start assist, downhill brake control and trailer assist.

Inside, the Sorento features dual-zone air-conditioning, a heated leather steering wheel, heated front seats, a reversing camera, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and an eight-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Mid-range 3 specification is priced from £48,895 and adds a few cosmetic tweaks, such as rear privacy glass and satin chrome door handles. There are a few mechanical improvements, too, including self-levelling rear suspension and a power-assisted tailgate.

The Sorento 3’s cabin also gets a lift thanks to the addition of black leather upholstery, 64-colour LED ambient lighting, a wireless smartphone charger and larger 10.25-inch infotainment system. The flagship 4 model features a host of comfort-focused extras, such as ventilated Nappa leather seats, a plush black headliner, a 10-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat and a panoramic glass sunroof.

Plug-in hybrid technology

As we've said, the combustion side of the Kia Sorento's 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. As with every other new Kia, the Sorento PHEV comes as standard with a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

Now read about the best pure electric cars currently on sale...

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