What do you look for in a car? Comfort? Price? Looks? Environmental friendliness? For me, the 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV checks all those boxes and more. But here are five features that are a standout for me.
1. It’s an Electric Car–With a Hybrid Gas Engine and a 32 Mile All Electric Range
I love plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. I love the flexibility and that it allows drivers to do their part in reducing the amount of fossil fuels we use. A PHEV, as these are called, use electric battery power to fuel part of your drive and a hybrid gas engine to take you the rest of the way. The Sorento will drive about 32 miles on the battery’s charge before the hybrid gas engine takes over. And if you charge it at home every night it’ll take about 12 hours to fully charge the battery at a standard 110v power outlet or about 2.5 hours at a 220v outlet, which is smilier to a household dryer outlet.
If you’re on a road trip or driving somewhere where there are not a lot of charging stations, you can easily use regular fuel. I drove the Sorrento in Southern California, where there was an abundance of charging stations and was able to keep the battery full.
For anyone who is intimidated by an electric vehicle or a hybrid, don’t be. If you can plug in a flat iron or a coffee maker, you can charge your car.
2. Premium Sound from Bose
Yes, a premium sound system in a car is important to me. I drove the Kia Sorrento around for half a day without checking to see what the specs on the sound system were. I kept thinking to myself “Damn, my tunes sound good.”
When I checked, I discovered the speakers were Bose. No surprise about that.
3. Spacious second and third row seating
I’m a mom with two young kids and a third row is a feature that’s important in a car. I don’t always have extra kids in tow or need to lay down all the seats flat because we’re getting supplies for a home project, but when those situations happen, I want a car that will accommodate me.
In this mid-sized 3 row SUV, the third row is great for extra kids. A tall adult could sit back there but probably wouldn’t be ultra comfortable. For short trips, it would be workable. Normally, I need the extra seating to transport an extra kid for a short trip, and the Sorento works well for that. And those times when you don’t need the third row? Center row captains chairs make my kids feel really special, and the cabin feels roomier.
I also really love the ease of configuring the seating from the back. I can arrange the seats by pushing a button. No wrestling match required.
4. Industrial Metallic Touches
I drove the new Kia Carnival MPV earlier this year and loved the industrial looking metal trim on the SX Prestige model. The Sorento has this same accent and I am here for it.
The way a car looks, from the inside out, is important to me. And, while dashboard trim isn’t number one on my list of “gotta haves” for a car, being pleased with the looks of your surroundings isn’t something to discount, especially when you’re behind the wheel as much as I am.
5. Effortless Driving
Everything about the Kia Sorento just…works. Each button was intuitive and I spent very little time trying to figure things out. Everything was placed exactly where it made sense to be, from using the charging port to charge my car at the beach to configuring the second and third row seats.
It also rides very smoothly and is very capable going up and down hills. I felt very comfortable in the Kia Sorento and it almost seemed as though the engineers had someone like me in mind when they designed this car. That’s a good feeling when you go for a test drive.
If you’re looking for a hybrid vehicle with a third row that gets it all done while looking (and sounding) great, check out the Kia Sorento PHEV.
What You Get for the Money
The vehicle you we test drove is priced at $49,720. Staring MSRP is $47,890 – this one has a couple of options loaded on, such as premium paint and carpeted floor mats. There’s a less expensive trim available with a starting MSRP of $44,990. When you consider the federal tax credit for EVs, your price will come down about $6,000.
The PHEV is available only on higher end Kia Sorento SX and Prestige models. It gets about 32 miles on a charge and then about 34 MPG on a tank, electricity + gasoline combined city + highway. Sorento owners could technically get many, many more miles from a tank of gas by charging it daily.
You can see the Monroney MSRP window sticker with all the details HERE.
Disclosure: Kia provided the Sorento PHEV for this test drive, but all opinions are my own.