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Kia Sorento review – Latest plug-in hybrid SUV beats rivals at value for money – Colin Goodwin

We’re behind the wheel of the brand new Kia Sorento PHEV.

When Kia launched its new Sorento final year, the vary solely featured a hybrid amongst diesel and petrol choices – not a plug-in hybrid.

So right here it’s: the company automotive tax and BIK-busting model of Kia’s largest SUV.

A key? How previous-normal and reasonably surprising in a car that additionally consists of chopping-edge know-how. It’s additionally surprising in a contemporary automotive that prices £44,955.

But by no means thoughts – I like simplicity. And we’re testing the entry-stage model of the automotive in ‘2’; go up a grade and keyless entry options.



But by no means thoughts – I like simplicity

Even our automotive is pricey for a Kia, however you might have to remember that there aren’t that many massive seven-seat SUVs on the market which are additionally PHEVs. Volvo’s XC90 T8 Recharge is considered one of them and also you gained’t be shopping for a brand new a kind of for beneath 50 grand.

So right here’s the {hardware} spec. Under the bonnet we’ve Kia’s 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder direct injection petrol engine, which mixed with an electrical motor produces a most energy output of 261bhp.

The 67kW electrical motor is sandwiched between the engine and a six-pace automated gearbox. All Sorentos are 4-wheel drive, together with this one.

Electric-only vary for the Sorento is quoted as 35 miles. You’d be doing properly to handle that however late 20s ought to be doable.



Kia Sorento
Electric-only vary for the Sorento is quoted as 35 miles

Although we coated round 400 miles whereas testing the large Kia we didn’t begin with a full battery.

What I can let you know is that the Sorento averaged 43mpg on the journey – not dangerous going for a automotive that weighs 2,099kg, albeit one which had only a driver and no baggage.

Slipping contained in the Sorento, remembering that it’s important to put a key right into a slot to show it on, and we’re able to go.

One of the issues I like about Kias and their stablemates at Hyundai is the simplicity of their management layouts.

Sadly, that’s not fairly the case within the Sorento as there’s a considerably scattered assortment of buttons and switches with a number of contact-delicate controls thrown in. But the vital features you’ll want to get to rapidly and sometimes, comparable to heating and audio settings, are simple and apparent.



There’s much more inside area

The new Sorento has clear and tidy styling that makes the 4,810mm lengthy and 1,900mm extensive Kia look barely smaller than it’s. The automotive is constructed on a wholly new platform and that’s paid dividends on inside area. There’s extra legroom for each entrance and center seat passengers and extra headroom for the latter.

The two rearmost seats are greatest left for children, however there’s extra room than there’s in Mercedes-Benz’s seven-seat GLB or in Land Rover’s Discovery Sport.



It’ll work out in the event you want petrol or election energy for you

We discovered the common Sorento which we drove in October final year a bit gradual to get going. But with the additional energy out there on this PHEV model, notably from the 90bhp electrical motor, it’s a lot smarter pulling away from junctions.

Before we used up the battery energy, the automotive did hesitate because it labored out whether or not it wished to make use of electrical or petrol energy, however when you’re on the fly the transition is just about seamless.



But the additional area is what makes this automotive stand out

Performance for overtaking is greater than sufficient. You have the selection of a number of driving modes together with Sport, which brings each motors into play. This isn’t a remotely sporty automotive so leaving it in consolation is the best choice.

Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are customary on all plug-in hybrid Sorentos, and don’t give fairly pretty much as good a experience because the smaller wheels out there with different powertrains.

It’s nonetheless a cushty automotive for lengthy journeys.

If you’ve received entry to a charging level at dwelling, have a big household and, higher nonetheless, can benefit from the 11% BIK tax, then this newest huge Kia makes a number of sense.

Especially in contrast with the specification you get for your money in opposition to the few rivals it has.

THE FACTS

Kia Sorento 1.6 PHEV ‘2’

Five-door SUV Price: £44,995

Engine: 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder petrol, plus electrical motor, 261bhp

0-60mph: 8.4sec

Fuel consumption: 176.6mpg

Co2: 38g/km

THE RIVALS

Volvo XC90 T8



Volvo XC90
The XC90 is a cool £65,540

A stupendous machine with numerous class, however not low-cost. £65,540

Mercedes-Benz GLB220d AMG Line Premium Plus



Mercedes GLB
The Mercedes will set you again £45,695

No PHEV mannequin, nevertheless it’s a properly-constructed and sensible automotive. Even the design is rising on me.

Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI Sportline



Skoda Kodiaq
The Kodiaq prices £41,310

A diesel, however economical and properly-outfitted on this excessive spec.

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