Hybrid and PHEV options join award-winning Kia Sorento range

Kia New Zealand has unveiled two new additions to the Sorento SUV range, both sporting powerful, green-minded hybrid technology and improved fuel efficiency.

Hybrid (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) Kia Sorento models have joined diesel-powered variants of the Sorento, bolstering a line-up of large seven-seat SUVs that is among the most advanced and efficient on the market.

Thanks to its advanced technology, the new Kia Sorento PHEV boasts an all-electric range of up to 57km: enough to complete a short daily commute on zero-emissions electric power alone. The ability to drive short distances on just battery power enables the Sorento PHEV to deliver a stunning combined fuel consumption of just 1.6-litres/100km.


The new Kia Sorento PHEV is being offered to New Zealand customers in Premium specification only, with all-wheel-drive as standard, putting it at the top of the range. The Kia Sorento HEV also comes in Premium specification only, but in a choice of either front-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive.


Under the bonnet of both Sorento HEV and PHEV models is a powerful 1.6-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engine, producing up to 132kW and 265Nm torque. This is supplemented by an electric motor that produces 67kW and 304Nm of torque in the Sorento PHEV, and 44kW and 264Nm in the HEV version. The combined power of the turbo petrol engine and electric motors – 195kW and 350Nm torque in the PHEV, and 169kW and 350Nm torque for the HEV – puts the electrified Sorento models into a class of their own.


The electric motor in the Sorento PHEV is paired with a high-capacity 13.8kWh lithium-ion polymer battery, which facilitates the all-electric range for short commutes, while the powertrain combines electric and combustion engine power for longer journeys. Drive is sent to all four wheels via a quick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. The Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid comes with two charging cables for emergency overnight charging at home from a normal household socket. Faster charging with a Type 2 cable and dedicated charge port will fully charge the battery in around three-and-a-half hours.


The Sorento HEV has a 1.49kWh Li-ion polymer battery to supplement the power provided by the turbo petrol engine in all types of motoring. Drive through either the front wheels or all-wheel-drive system is via the same six-speed automatic transmission. The Sorento HEV is commendably efficient, with the 2WD model returning a combined fuel economy of 5.42-litres/100km and a CO2 figure of 124g/km, and the AWD model 6.16-litres/100km and 141g/km.


From behind the wheel, the driver has the ability to prioritise between electric and hybrid mode in the PHEV Sorento at the touch of the Hybrid/Electric (HEV/EV) button located on the centre console.


The addition of the electric drive components and battery pack doesn’t rob the Sorento of its practical passenger and luggage space. Clever design has enabled the battery pack, fuel tank, engine and electric motor to be integrated within the vehicle’s structure.


The battery pack is located beneath the driver and front passenger seats in both models, sandwiched between the cabin floor and the Sorento’s underfloor. In the all-wheel drive configuration, the ‘saddle-shaped’ battery pack lays over the top of the prop shaft. This clever packaging means the battery pack doesn’t intrude on the Sorento’s cabin or cargo space in the same way that it might in many other plug-in hybrid models, where the battery often takes up valuable boot space.


Prices start from $80,990 (plus ORCs) for the Kia Sorento HEV 2WD, $82,990 (plus ORCs) for the Kia Sorento HEV AWD and $89,990 (plus ORCs) for the Kia Sorento PHEV AWD.

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