There truly is something exciting about the current crop of hybrid crossovers. You can get everything you’d want in a crossover in just one car. No tradeoffs. The 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid nibbles out a unique niche with its three-row seating. The Sorento Hybrid appears to hoard every outstanding feature you’d love in a midsize SUV. It’s peachy and advanced. It’s spacious and powerful. The Kia Sorento is bigger and roomier than close rivals like Ford Explorer Hybrid.
The 2021 Sorento Hybrid mattes a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor to produce a combined 227 hp. While front-wheel drive is standard in Kia models, all-wheel drive isn’t available. With the six-speed automatic transmission providing quick-shifting, the Sorento Hybrid is easy to drive on highways and steep roads.
What’s good in the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid?
Autotrader provides a through-and-through review of the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid. The reviewer likes the Sorento’s user-friendliness, comfort, and fuel economy, but it hates that the Sorento doesn’t offer a dedicated electric-only mode like its closest rivals such as Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
The three-row 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid provides an exceptional value for money. Its fuel economy is superb; it gets an average of 37 mpg. Although it doesn’t beat the design and power of its bigger sister, the 2021 Kia Telluride, Sorento is an efficient non-plug-in hybrid.
The Sorento Hybrid’s performance is impressive
The 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid’s 1.6-liter turbocharged engine is coupled with an electric motor that’s powered by 1.5 kWh batteries. Together, the hybrid powertrain system produces 227 hp, which is neither lacking nor excessive.
This is about 20 hp lower than the power produced by the four-cylinder in the gas-only model. Nonetheless, the power delivery is good for both the lower and the higher gears.
The Kia Sorento Hybrid carries on with the legacy of the gas-only model. It is roomier and boasts an upscale interior that resembles that of the K5 sedan and Telluride. Besides the ample cabin and interior space, the Sorento Hybrid is a modern infotainment system. It is equipped with an 8-inch display touchscreen, which is a downgrade from the 10.2-inch system in the standard Sorento.
The Kia Sorento Hybrid standard safety features include blind-spot cameras, forward collision warning, traction and stability control, and lane departure assist. The Higher Sorento Hybrid EX trim has an adaptive cruise control system with a stop-and-go capability. It is also fitted with front and rear parking sensors. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, but all of its eight USB ports are TYPE-A.
Like the gas model, the Sorento Hybrid is quiet on the road but has a less sporty automatic transmission system than the gas models. Sorento has a refined drive and with its stability features, it boasts of superior handling and comfort in long hauls.
What you might not like about the Sorento Hybrid
Autotrader is disappointed with the fact that the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid does not have an all-wheel-drive configuration. This is where it loses to its rivals like the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid and the 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid. Also, since it is roomier, it is bigger than what you’d think of the conventional Sorento. This means it can be difficult to get into tight spaces with this 2021 hybrid.
The overall assessment of the Sorento Hybrid is positive. In fact, Kelly Blue Book points out that it is expected to roll out the all-wheel-drive (AWD) configuration in 2022. The Sorento feels more premium and refined than the price tag suggests. With plug-in hybrid coming next year, you can either wait or try the front-wheel model for its stellar performance and fuel efficiency.
The 2021 Sorento Hybrid is a great family car for those of you who don’t want a minivan and don’t need a third row all the time. It’s also perfect if you don’t need AWD but love the design and ergonomics of the Telluride.