In-depth reviews

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.

There isn’t a lot to choose between the diesel and the hybrid in terms of raw numbers. The diesel models have an official WLTP combined cycle fuel economy of 42.2mpg with CO2 emissions of 176g/km, and our tests saw us get impressively close to that. The hybrid models are between 38.2mpg and 40.9mpg depending on wheel size, with emissions between 158 g/km and 169g/km. The diesels are around £1,000 cheaper than the hybrids model for model.

The Sorento PHEV plug-in hybrid is the star of the show for on-paper economy, with an official rating of 176.6mpg and 38g/km emissions. 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.

Kia’s plug-in hybrid costs around £6,000 more than the equivalent hybrid, and all are over the £40,000 threshold for higher road tax. 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 plug-in car.

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 3.3kW wall box. Both charging cable types come as standard. 

Insurance groups

The petrol Sorento in 2 trim sits in insurance group 30, rising to group 32 for the 4 models. The diesel mirrors the petrol models, and the plug-in hybrid is in groups 32 to 34 depending on trim. The Skoda Kodiaq is going to be a cheaper car to insure, sitting in groups 12 to 30 depending on engine and trim. Land Rover Discovery Sport models sit in groups ranging from 26 to 40.


Predicted residual values for the Sorento have the car retaining between 47 and 49 per cent of its value after three years and 36,000 miles. There’s little to choose between the petrol models and the diesel, but the lower-spec cars perform slightly better with the 2 models expected to suffer the lowest depreciation with 48.5 per cent retained, while the 4 holds on to 46.5 per cent. 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 52-56 per cent retained range.

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