New Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid detailed ahead of 2021 launch

Kia has shared details about the new plug-in hybrid version of its Sorento SUV.

The flagship seven-seater promises to emit the lowest CO2 in the SUV’s range while also being the most powerful.

It uses a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine paired with a high-capacity 13.8kWh battery and powerful electric motor. The combined output is 251bhp and 350Nm of torque, but because it has not been fully homologated yet, economy figures are not available.

Kia Sorento
Kia Sorento

Again, the electric-only range hasn’t been confirmed, but Kia says most short drives could be completed without engaging the petrol engine.

Power is sent to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission that allows power to be sent from the engine and the electric motor at the same time to improve response.

The hybrid system uses a water cooling system for the battery pack, which is a first for Kia, and ensures optimal heat management to improve efficiency.

NEWS Kia has revealed the new Sorento Plug-in Hybrid, an electrified SUV with a turbo-hybrid powertrain, offering low emissions, high power, and supreme practicality. Read the full details here:

— Kia UK PR (@KiaUKPR) August 26, 2020

The new Sorento is underpinned by Kia’s new mid-sized SUV platform, which has been built with electrification in mind from the start. It means there’s no cabin intrusion from the battery pack, so it has a choice of five or seven seat configurations as well as a large boot of up to 809 litres (seven-seat) or 898 litres (five-seat) with two rows of seats in place. In seven-seat models with the third row up, boot capacity is 175 litres.

Inside, the design has been mildly tweaked for the PHEV variant, with a new 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster that shows relevant information such as the battery’s state of charge.

Prices will be revealed closer to the 2021 release date, but Kia has already shared some equipment that will be included, such as a 12-speaker Bose sound system, an infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and various safety equipment.