Plug-in hybrids are one of the most responsible and practical car choices one could make in these wild times of inflated everything. Like the electric car market, plug-in hybrid vehicles are slowly gaining some exciting and even cool models. While the 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV doesn’t scream cool, Gear Patrol believes it may be whispering it a little if you listen very carefully.
Are hybrids or electric cars better?
The technology in most electric cars is simply amazing. These vehicles have the capacity to be immensely powerful or extremely efficient. However, there are still many logistical problems with living with an EV every day: the number of chargers, range, the time it takes to charge, and more. However, the PHEV uses enough of that amazing new battery tech to give added efficiency or power, but without the heavy burden of charging as a necessity. Until we get a handle on EV charging, PHEVs are the smartest play for an efficient new car.
Gear Patrol notes that while many of the EV hurdles might well be temporary, they are quite a pain currently. The PHEV options give most of the added benefits of electric power with none of the pains. Sure, you still have to buy gasoline, but that option is what will keep you happy with a PHEV.
Does the 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV get good gas mileage?
Hell yeah, it does! Gear Patrol notes that the average EV gets around 259 miles of range from one charge. Meanwhile, the average internal combustion engine (gas or diesel) can squeeze 360 miles from the dino juice. What happens when you mix the two together? Magic. The average PHEV gets 460 miles out of a full tank and full charge.
Even cooler is that many PHEVs can travel up to 40 miles around town without using a drop of gasoline. So, where does the Kia Sorento PHEV fit into all this? All the way at the top! The 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV gets 32 miles of electric range; the highest EPA estimated all-electric range of any three-row SUV. This means the potential of making a tank of gas last wells or even months.
Gear Patrol is a purveyor of taste, and they still like the hybrid Sorento
Base Price: $48,090
Powertrain: 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four + electric motor; 6-speed automatic; torque-vectoring all-wheel drive
Torque: 258 lb-ft
EPA Fuel Economy: 35 city, 33 highway, 79 MPGe
The folks at Gear Patrol matter because people respect their taste. Without this taste, the brand would be irrelevant. So, if Gear Patrol has strong taste, then does that mean they think the Kia Sorento PHEV is Cool?
Yes. And to that end, Gear Patrol reviewer, Steve Mazzucchi, says, “Of course, all that range would be almost meaningless if the Sorento PHEV wasn’t a pleasure to drive. In my limited time with it, the vehicle wins on this front as well. I drove it all around Manhattan and Brooklyn and also upstate to camp and ride some gravel, ample opportunity to assess.”
The 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four engine and the electric combine for 261 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That’s pretty cool. It has sharp steering and responsive handling. But most importantly, the 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV supports some pretty rad outdoor activities.
It offers tons of interior space for gear storage. Although the Sorento doesn’t have a trailer hitch as standard, which is objectively uncool, the tester could fit four bicycles inside the Sorento, and that is pretty sweet.
Lastly, Kia’s rebranding is well underway, and the 2022 Sorento wears it well. Sharp angles, aggressive headlights, and even an old-school pickup-truck-style extended roof pokes out back.