Model tested: 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid EX
Engine: 1.6-liter turbocharged plug-in hybrid powertrain
Transmission: 6-speed automatic w/paddle shifters
Torque: 258 lb.-ft.
EPA ratings: 39/city, 35/highway, 37/combined
Base price: $35,990
As tested: $37,820
Overview: The 2022 Kia Sorento is a three-row crossover SUV and after a redesign last year, the Sorento lineup grew with the addition of a plug-in hybrid powertrain, available all-wheel drive for the standard hybrid, and a new X-Line trim level with rugged looks. Our test-driver was the plug-in hybrid SX Prestige, and this review focuses on that vehicle. The Sorento offers a spacious cabin, lots of tech for the money and an ultrafrugal hybrid option. It comes in five trim levels — LX, S, EX, SX and SX-Prestige, all featuring spacious seating for five, plus a standard third-row. EX and SX models add a turbocharger while some trims — including our test-driver — are available with the frugal hybrid option.
Walkaround: The Sorento’s razor-thin grille is flanked by narrow LED headlamps and fog lights over a jutting-out bumper that makes a strong statement up front. Along its sides, styling culminates in big taillights separated by a thin strip of painted trim. The Sorento comes in a broad range of exterior colors, with wheels ranging from 17- to 20-inchers.
Interior: The Sorento can haul a lot of people and their gear, too. The busy dash captures the Sorento’s high-tech nature. Our test-driver featured the 10.25-inch infotainment screen and optional digital gauge cluster. All models come with standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plenty of USB ports and available wireless charging. Seating was comfortable, with heated front- and second-row seats plus cooled seats up front. Spacious enough to handle seven passengers, this crossover can accommodate a lot of gear with cargo room to spare. Behind the third row is 12.6 cubic feet of space, which grows to 45 with the third row folded and maxes out at 75.5 with both rows down.
Behind the wheel: The Sorento easily checks the box for easy-to-drive family utility. The hybrid powertrain in our test-driver suits the eco-friendly family vibe like a glove. With 227 net horses from a 1.6-liter turbo-4 married to electric motors and a battery pack, it’s smooth and economical, with 32 miles of electric driving before the gas powerplant kicks in. We drove the Sorento for our entire weeklong rotation on less than a half a tank of gas. The Sorento delivers a controlled, comfortable, reasonably quiet ride with good control at cruising speeds and reasonable isolation on the highway. While not truly sporty — nor intended to be — this three-row SUV makes a great all-around family vehicle.
Bottom line: Quite simply, this is an SUV that works on so many levels. From the affordable LX to the turbocharged EX or SX — or our test-driver hybrid — the 2022 Kia Sorento makes a solid case for itself by offering something for everyone.