Kia Sorento review - MPG, CO2 & running costs
Efficiency is a real strong point for the Sorento, with all the powertrains turning in strong numbers. You just need to pick the right one for your needs
The Kia Sorento isn’t the budget option in the large SUV class that it once was, but its hi-tech powertrains should help to keep running costs in check. Unsurprisingly, the amount you’ll spend on running your Sorento will depend greatly on your choice of powertrain, diesel, hybrid or plug-in hybrid.
The diesel and the hybrid are pretty close in terms of their raw numbers. According to Kia, the diesel Sorento can return up to 42.8mpg and emits 173g/km of CO2, and we managed to get impressively close to that fuel economy figure when we tested this version.
It's the same story with the self-charging hybrid Sorento. It has an official WLTP-rated fuel economy figure of 39.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 168g/km, and when we pitted the electrified Sorento head-to-head against a Nissan X-Trail it achieved 38.7mpg, although the Nissan trumped it with 42.8mpg. The diesel is also around £1,500 cheaper than the non-plug-in hybrid model, which is another factor to consider.
However the plug-in hybrid Sorento PHEV is the star of the show for on-paper economy, with an official rating of 176.6mpg and 38g/km CO2. There is, of course, always the plug-in hybrid caveat that achieving such returns in the real world will be very difficult unless you charge the car religiously and stick to short trips that lean mostly on the 35-mile electric-only range.
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Kia’s plug-in hybrid costs around £6,000 more than the self-charging hybrid version in the same specification. The big plus comes for company car drivers, who will benefit from significant savings in BiK company car tax thanks to the 38g/km CO2 emissions of the Sorento PHEV.
Electric range, battery and charging
The electric range of the Kia Sorento PHEV is 35 miles officially, but you could get closer to 40 miles in urban environments while our test route of mixed driving saw the battery exhausted after 27 miles. To charge the 13.8kWh battery in the car, you’ll be looking at five hours from a domestic three-pin plug, or three hours and 25 minutes from a home wallbox. Charging cable for both come as standard with plug-in model.
The diesel and hybrid Sorento in Edition trim sit in insurance group 31 (out of 50), rising to group 33 for the plug-in hybrid version in the same specification. The Skoda Kodiaq is going to be a cheaper car to insure, sitting in groups 12 to 30 depending on engine and trim, meanwhile the Nissan X-Trail attracts ratings between groups 22 and 31.
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Predicted residual values for the Sorento have the car retaining between 52 and 57 per cent of its value after three years and 36,000 miles, with the diesel performing the worst and the self-charging hybrid the top model.
For reference, the Skoda Kodiaq and SEAT Tarraco have very similar predicted values to the Kia, but Land Rover’s Discovery Sport is in the 64-70 per cent range.
To get an accurate valuation on a specific model check out our valuation tool...
In this review
- 1Kia Sorento reviewThe Kia Sorento is a top-class family SUV with plenty of kit and space, although it's expensive to buy
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Sorento serves up a tidy driving experience through a strong and varied engine range, but the ride is on the firm side
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costs - currently readingEfficiency is a real strong point for the Sorento, with all the powertrains turning in strong numbers. You just need to pick the right one for your needs
- 4Interior, design and technologyA lot of standard kit and a simple control interface impress, but some material quality could be better
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceLots of space and features focused on everyday usability make the Sorento a fine family car option
- 6Reliability and safetyThe level of standard safety equipment is as good as you’ll find in the sector, while Kia’s seven-year warranty is a further draw