The sharply styled and fuel conserving Kia Sorento Hybrid entered the car market for 2021, and benefits from several appealing additions for 2022. All-wheel drive is newly available, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation and telematics is now standard equipment, and there’s a new plug-in hybrid model.
There are two trim levels of the 2022 Sorento: S and EX. They share the same turbocharged four-cylinder engine, electric motor, and six-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain trio delivers 227 horsepower and a fuel economy rating (with front-wheel drive) of 39 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 37 mpg combined. The rating for all-wheel drive models is 36/33/35 mpg.
For the record, the AWD plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Sorento makes 261 horsepower and has EPA ratings of 35/33/34 mpg and an equivalent rating (MPGe) of 79.
The Sorento Hybrid provides lively acceleration and smooth transitions between gas and electric propulsion. Its ride quality is refined enough to tackle everything short of the worst road conditions, and handling on twisty roads is sure-footed.
Seating capacity of six passengers is distributed across three rows, each with two seats. The third row doesn’t cater to adults but they’ll have scads of room seated in the middle row captain’s chairs. The cargo area looks puny when third row seats are upright, but it’s serviceable. With third row seats folded, cargo space expands to a healthy 45 cubic feet, and the completely flat floor it creates is level with the rear bumper, just the way I like it for dragging my signature 40-pound bags of black oil sunflower seeds out the back.
Second row seats can also be folded, freeing up an impressive 75.5 cubic feet for cargo.
The ample supply of standard features on the S model includes leatherette upholstery, heated outside mirrors, variable intermittent windshield wipers, heated front seats, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with two-way lumbar support, dual zone automatic climate control, roof rails, the new 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM satellite radio, voice recognition, and six-speaker audio.
A lengthy list of safety and driver-assist tech rounds out the standard equipment items.
Pricing for the front-wheel-drive Sorento Hybrid S model starts at $35,265 including a $1,175 destination charge. All-wheel drive can be yours for another $1,800.
The Sorento Hybrid EX goes for $37,065 with front drive, and $39,565 with all wheels in play. Features of the EX that are not found on the S include LED fog lights, wireless smartphone charger, height-adjustable power liftgate, smart cruise control with stop and go, three driver-assist functions with a tad more sophistication than the S, and the option of a panoramic sunroof.
Base pricing of my front-drive EX tester was increased by two options: carpeted floor mats ($210) and crowd-pleasing Runway Red paint ($445).
2022 KIA SORENTO HYBRID EX FWD
Base price, including destination charge: $37,065
Price as driven: $37,820
Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.