Calling the 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid a Compact SUV Is a Stretch
Trying to determine a car’s size class gets complicated when shopping online. The problem amplifies when considering compact and three-row SUVs. For example, the Kia SUV lineup includes the compact two-row Sportage and the midsize three-row Telluride. But wedged between those easily identifiably sized SUVs is the three-row 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid.
2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid: Price, specs, and features
Edmunds notes the pros for the 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid include its standard and optional features, a user-friendly infotainment system, and a spacious interior. The Sorento Hybrid comes in two trim levels: the base EX and the more popular SX Prestige. Kia lists their starting prices at $36,690 and $42,490.
Both trims include an electric motor and a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine making 227 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission moves power to the wheels.
The Sorento Hybrid EX gets an EPA-estimated 37 mpg combined with standard front-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive with 19-inch alloy wheels is an option. Notable EX standard features include:
- 17-inch wheels
- LED headlights and foglights
- Synthetic leather upholstery
- Power-adjustable heated front seats
- Second-row captain’s chairs
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Wireless phone charger
- Hands-free power liftgate with height adjustment
The EX trim also includes the following advanced driver-assistance systems:
- Highway driving assist
- Automatic emergency braking
- Lane-keeping and lane-following assist
- Blind-spot collision avoidance assist
- Front and rear parking sensors
The SX Prestige has standard AWD, which lowers the fuel economy estimate to 34 mpg combined. This trim boasts all the standard features of the EX and upgrades or adds to those with the following:
- 19-inch wheels
- Digital instrument cluster
- Power-folding side mirrors
- Rain-sensing windshield wipers
- LED taillights
- Leather upholstery
- Ventilated front seats with additional power adjustments
- Heated steering wheel
- Bose premium audio
- Blind-spot view monitor
- Surround-view monitor
Is the 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid a compact SUV?
One of the cons Edmunds lists is that the 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid is “not so compact anymore.” The Kia Sorento grows a little longer with each generation, but the most significant stretch happened between generations two and three when its wheelbase gained 3.1 inches. It expanded again when the newest generation, introduced in 2020, lengthened the wheelbase another 1.4 inches to 110.8 inches.
Compared with two-row compact SUVs, like the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5, with wheelbase measurements of 106.3 and 106.2 inches, respectively, the Sorento is large for the segment. For example, the midsize Toyota Highlander’s 112.2-inch wheelbase is only 1.4 inches longer than the Sorento’s. However, the midsize Chevy Traverse is much longer at 120.9 inches.
Still, Edmunds classifies the 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid as a compact or small SUV. But Kelley Blue Book, MotorTrend, Cars.com, and even Kia categorize this crossover as a midsize SUV.
Is the 2023 model worth buying?
If you’re looking for a compact SUV, the 2023 Sorento Hybrid is on the large side of the segment. However, it’s an excellent choice for a small/midsize three-row SUV.
Edmunds recommends the well-equipped FWD EX trim for its superior fuel economy. But if you often drive on slippery roads, AWD is a wise choice.