2022 RAV4 Prime PHEV or Kia Sorento PHEV: Is the Kia Worth the Premium?

Toyota’s RAV4 Prime PHEV is one of the hottest plug-in hybrid vehicles, or PHEVs, you can buy today. It’s quick, it’s comfy, and it’s reliable. But Kia wants you to know that it, too, makes a great PHEV SUV with the Sorento SUV. But is it worth the price premium to step up to the 2022 Kia Sorento over a 2022 RAV4 Prime?

How much do these PHEVs cost?

A red 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid SUV is parked outdoors.
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

The RAV4 Prime starts at $39,800, while the top trim XSE starts at $43,125. The Kia Sorento PHEV in SX trim starts at $44,990 while the Kia Sorento SX-P starts at $47,890. That’s a nearly $7,000 jump over the price of the Sorento Hybrid. The jump from the base RAV4 is even steeper. The Base two-wheel drive gas-powered RAV4 starts at about $27,000. But, RAV4 Primes are hot and in short supply right now and dealers are asking a steep premium. Some dealers, according to The Guardian, are charging up to $10,000 above sticker for RAV4 Primes.
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What’s similar betwen the two PHEVs?

The 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV is a capable, six-seat, SUV. Is it better than a 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime?
2022 Sorento PHEV | Kia

The Kia Sorento PHEV and the RAV4 Prime are both plug-in hybrid SUVs. They are electric vehicles that can go further because they have a gas engine backing up the EV powertrain. They’re both popular, and premium, versions of the gas-engine counterparts. They have multiple cameras, safety systems, leather seating, premium audio, and nice large navigation and infotainment screens. They are both all-wheel-drive SUVs.

Range: Advantage 2022 RAV4 Prime PHEV

Supersonic Red 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime driving on a coastal road
Supersonic Red 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

Kia says the Sorento PHEV can go 32 miles in all-electric mode. That may be enough to get the kids to school and back, but it’s not much. The Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV, however, adds 10 miles to that range. Both SUVs, though, have gasoline powerplants that kick in once the EV charge is depleted, or for extra power. Having a gas-engine backing them up is one of the big bonuses of a PHEV over an EV or a hybrid that mostly uses its gasoline engine. Both are eligible for federal EV tax credits.

Speed: Advantage 2022 RAV4 Prime PHEV (by a lot)

A black interior on a 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV is a nice place to be. But it's smaller than the Sorento's interior.
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Interior | Toyota

Unfortunately, the Sorento’s electric motor is only rated at 90 horsepower, which doesn’t make enough juice to overpower the extra weight of the batteries. Its gas motor is a 1.6-liter four cylinder that makes 177 horsepower. The Sorento PHEV can hit 60 mph in about 7.6 seconds. While that’s not terrible, and it will certainly keep up with traffic, the RAV4 Prime is a lot faster.

The RAV4 Prime has a combined 302 horsepower. It has a 177-horsepower 2.5-liter four cylinder paired with three AC motors that add the rest. The rear, 53-horsepower, motor provides all-wheel-drive traction when you need it. It can sprint to 60 mph in a positively quick 5.7 seconds.

RELATED: The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Is the Second Fastest New Toyota for Sale

Seating and room: Advantage Kia Sorento PHEV

The Kia Sorento interior is one of the best, and roomier than the RAV4 Prime's.
2022 Sorento PHEV

The 2022 RAV4 Prime PHEV is plenty roomy for five, but the Sorento can hold six people in its three rows. The third row-seats split 50/50 and fold to expand the cargo capacity. The second row also has generous leg room. The Sorento can hold 75.5 cubic feet of stuff with the rear seats folded. At most, the RAV4 Prime can hold 69.7 cubic feet.

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