Kia Announces 2023 Sorento Hybrid: Base Model Disappears, Prices Start at $37,000

The Kia Sorento Hybrid is returning for 2023, but fans of the base model will be disappointed. Instead, for 2023 the EX is now the cheapest Sorento you can buy, and a new SX-Prestige top-of-the-line version debuts with a ton of new options. But the Sorento Hybrid keeps all of the value and economy that makes it a success for Kia.

The Sorento is outselling the Telluride in 2022

2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid
2023 Sorento HEV | Kia

So far this year the seven-seat Sorento has outsold the massively popular eight-passenger Kia Telluride SUV, which is a bit of a surprise. But many are waiting to buy the larger Telluride until the all-new 2023 version comes to dealers. But the Telluride isn’t available as a hybrid. The new Sorento Hybrid EX FWD starts at $36,590, and $38,390 for the all-wheel drive version. The new top-trim SX-Prestige starts at $42,390.

While the hybrid is getting small updates, the 2023 gas-powered version and the PHEV version are essentially carryovers for 2023. The 2022 base Sorento Hybrid started at $34,090.

What comes on the new SX-P trim?

2023 Kia Sorento interior
2023 Sorento HEV interior | Kia

The new SX-P, or Prestige, trim turns the Sorento in a near-luxury SUV. While it’s an expensive trim, and options can push it past $45,000 easily, it does offer a lot including a power liftgate, leather seats, an upgraded power driver’s seat, and heated second-row seats. On the outside, it gets LED projector beam headlights and LED taillights. The panoramic sunroof is a $1,300 option, back seat entertainment is a $1,500 option, and lighting kits, side steps, a tow hitch and more are also available.

What is the fuel economy of the Sorento Hybrid?

2023 Kia Sorento rear view
The 2023 Sorento HEV | Kia

The Sorento has never been known as a hot rod among hybrid SUVs. It features a 1.6-liter paired with a 44kW motor that makes 227 horsepower. That’s not a ton of power, but the Sorento’s strong suit is its fuel economy. In front-wheel drive trim it gets a combined 37 mpg, while the heavier all-wheel-drive version gets a combined 34 mpg.  

Those figures could change in 2024, however, because according to CarScoops, Kia is working on an updated 2024 version of the Sorento.

The Sorento Hybrid comes with several advanced safety features

The touchscreen of the 2023 Kia Sorento.
2023 Sorento HEV

Kia calls its suite of driver’s aids Kia Drive Wise. All versions of the 2023 Sorento Hybrid will get lane following assist, lane keep assist, forward collision avoidance, blind sport collision avoidance assist,and navigation-based smart cruise control. The SX-P version gets a blind-spot view monitor and surround-view monitor.

What competes with the Sorento Hybrid?

Reliable midsize SUV that retains value like this red Toyota Highlander
The Toyota Highlander midsize SUV | Toyota

The Sorento Hybrid faces some still competition in the hot midsize hybrid SUV class from competitors like the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer Hybrid. While both offer similar capability, the Explorer starts at about $51,000, but it does have a more potent V6 and up to 5,000 pounds of towing, compared to the 2,000 pf the Sorento. The Highlander Hybrid starts at $39,555 and comes similarly equipped to the EX versions of the Sorento. It, too, comes in front- or all-wheel drive versions and in trim levels from basic to super luxurious.

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