Magic in the Middle With the 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV SUV

If Goldilocks and the Three Bears taught us anything, the middle is often the right place to find what you desire. That’s where you’ll find the 2022 Kia Sorento in the middle of the Kia SUV lineup. The Sorento is larger than the Sportage but smaller than the Telluride, giving you a midsize SUV build that could be perfect for your driving needs. Add the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) layout, and you’ve got a fuel-sipping right-sized SUV you can drive for many years.

New for 2022, the Kia Sorento PHEV SUV has a lot going for it                                                

Blue 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV posed
2022 Kia Sorento PHEV | Kia

The Sorento range of powertrains already includes a hybrid, but for the latest model year, Kia added this plug-in variant. Looking at a quick pro/con list created by Kelley Blue Book, we learn:

Pro

  • Remarkable fuel economy
  • Spacious cabin
  • Several included advanced safety features
  • Standard AWD

Con

  • Not going to be the SUV used for towing

Using a battery with greater capacity than the regular hybrid, this PHEV version of the Sorento gives you an SUV that drives on pure electricity for a short distance.

What is the powertrain of this PHEV SUV from Kia?

You’ll find a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine plus two permanent magnet synchronous electric motors in this SUV. The Sorento PHEV uses a six-speed automatic transmission, giving you a natural feeling for the shifting.

Together, this powertrain makes 261 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. You can drive for 32 miles on electricity with fully charged batteries. If you add a full tank of gas to the mix, your driving range is 460 miles. As mentioned, the tow rating leaves a lot to be desired at only 1,650 pounds.

Is blue your favorite color? Add it to the interior of your Kia Sorento

Blue Interior Kia Sorento PHEV
Blue Interior Kia Sorento PHEV | Kia

That’s right; you can have optional blue seats in the PHEV version of the Sorento SUV. These seats are paired with cream-colored leather in the doors to offer a contrast that seems to work well, according to AutoGuide.com. The cabin area of this SUV feels comfortable, spacious, and easy to enjoy without being opulent. The touch of brushed aluminum for the vents and dashboard finishes off the attractive appearance of this Kia.

How many trims does the Sorento PHEV have?

The 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV driving on the road
2022 Kia Sorento PHEV | Kia

RELATED: Is the 2021 Kia Sorento Safe?

Only the two top trims allow the use of the PHEV powertrain. This means your midsize SUV will either be an SX or the SX-Prestige (SX-P) trim. These two models pack a lot for you to enjoy during your drive.

SX Trim

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • LED exterior lighting
  • AWD
  • Keyless entry
  • Push-button start
  • Heated/power-adjustable front seats (10-way driver, 8-way passenger)
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Rear-seat alert
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Hands-free liftgate
  • Forward-collision warning with pedestrian/cyclist detection
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Safe exit assist
  • Front/rear parking sensors
  • 360-degree camera system
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Navigation-based driving assistance
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen
  • Navigation system
  • Voice recognition
  • Satellite radio
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Wireless device charging
  • Eight USB ports

SX-P Trim

  • Perforated leather upholstery
  • 14-way power driver’s seat with extendable thigh support
  • 10-way power passenger seat
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated second-row seats
  • Self-dimming rearview mirror
  • 12.3-inch configurable digital driver information display
  • 12-speaker Bose audio system

Both models offer a panoramic roof with a sliding shade. When this is selected, Kia adds a full LED cabin lighting package to the Sorento.

What is the seating configuration for this Kia PHEV SUV?

Because the PHEV models of the Sorento are at the top two trim levels, a pair of captain’s chairs in the middle row is standard. This gives your passengers more comfort and easier access to the third row. The cargo room in the rear is 12.6 cubic feet with the third row up, and it expands to 75.5 cubic feet with both rear rows folded down.

How much does the Sorento plug-in hybrid cost?

A green Kia Sorento is driving off-road.
A green Kia Sorento is driving off-road | Kia

The SX trim is where you start, and it asks for $44,990, while the SX-P requires $47,890 without any options. Because this is a hybrid vehicle, it qualifies for a federal tax credit, which offsets the price. Comparatively, the Toyota RAV4 Prime begins at less than $40,00 but only has two rows of seats. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV does have three rows of seats and starts at less than $37,000, but it rides on an aging platform.

Should you drive the 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV SUV?

The Kia Sorento shows the magic found in the middle of the SUV lineup. When you need a roomy SUV and want good fuel mileage, this version of the Sorento gives you what you desire. On the other hand, if you need three rows of space with more comfort in the rear, you’ll want to check out the Kia Telluride.

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