Tag: luxury suvs

The 2022 Kia Sorento is on a tear!

The 2022 Kia Sorento is on a tear!

The 2022 Kia Sorento
The 2022 Kia Sorento EX Hybrid

Now into its fourth-generation, the 2022 Kia Sorento is on the road and ready to grab onto the coattails of success that its larger Telluride sibling has been enjoying as of late. We tested the 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid EX and the 2022 Kia Sorento SX-Prestige X-Line. They are two of the sharpest looks from Kia’s evolving line of SUV/Crossovers.

And before you go off saying this is just a slight revision, we will stop you. This new Kia is fresh from its entirely new chassis on up and has received a good “seeing-to” that includes four powertrains, one of which is a new PHEV model later this year.

What is the Kia Sorento?

Kia Sorento open hatch
The 2022 Kia Sorento EX Hybrid as viewed from the rear.

The Kia Sorento is a midsize four-door SUV with a hatchback. It can carry up to six passengers with new captain’s chairs or seven with a bench seat. Power comes from an array of engine choices, including a 191 horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder with conventional eight-speed automatic transmission. Other choices include a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four as we saw in our SX-Prestige X-line, with a dual-clutch 8-speed automatic that makes 281 horsepower, and later this year, a plug-in hybrid PHEV option. FWD or optional AWD is up to the buyer’s choice.

2022 Sorento Hybrid
The 2022 Kia Sorento EX Hybrid 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

Our Hybrid EX tester was powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a 44-kW electric motor that combines for a total of 227 horsepower. Available in front-wheel-drive only, the hybrid package utilizes a six-speed automatic transmission. The EPA estimates fuel economy of 39 mpg city/35 mpg highway, with 27 mpg combined. That’s not too shabby for a good-sized SUV. Nor was the power: Our secret road course was the perfect venue to let the Sorento get out and strut.

How does the new Sorento look?

The Sorento continues with a new stylized version of the “tiger nose” grille and daytime running lights surrounding the LED headlights. The new “clamshell” style hood wraps over the bodysides. The overall effect gives the Sorento a longer and leaner exterior. Other design cues are here as well, along with the distinctive wave shape at the base of the C-pillars and chrome signatures found below the A-pillars.

Kia Sorento hero2
The 2022 Kia Sorento EX Hybrid

The strengthening of appearances on the new Kia Sorento has helped to toughen it up overall, replacing it with a much stronger, muscular appearance. Some credit goes to its newer and more angular silhouette and assertive styling.

Overall, it’s a clean, aggressive look.

The new Kia Sorento is available in nine trim levels ranging from base LX, S, EX, SX, SX-Prestige, SX-Prestige X-Line, S 1.6 Hybrid, EX 1.6 Hybrid and the soon-to-arrive PHEV model.

How is the 2022 Sorento inside?

Sorento Interior
The 2022 Kia Sorento EX Hybrid Interior front seats.

Inside the 2022 Sorento, buyers will find a glamour-puss of an interior compared to the outgoing model. The by-now ubiquitous 12.3-inch digital gauge display is available that makes the instrumentation jump off the dash. There’s also a 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen display that displays everything from navigation to audio to cellular to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The second row of the Sorento featured more legroom than we were accustomed to in the previous version of this SUV. Credit the additional stretch of 1.4-inches to the wheelbase for that extra backseat floor space. Buyers can select the standard bench seat to haul up to seven passengers, while those opting for the captain’s seats will settle for six. Wireless Qi smartphone charging and an optional 12-speaker Bose sound system help to sweeten the deal.

Desirable options.

Options are few on the new Sorento, with Kia preferring to tuck them into the various trim levels instead. The most desirable option of the bunch would be to pop for the all-wheel-drive system on the base LX model, which includes a snow mode for those in wintry-climate locales. For us, that’s a no-brainer.

Stepping up to the turbocharged EX 2.5T brings with it a panoramic roof with a retractable power sunshade. It’s perfect for those born in the Age of Aquarius. See Google for the lyrics.

Behind the wheel of the new Sorento!

Climbing behind the wheel of the 2022  Kia Sorento EX 1.6 Hybrid (truly a mouthful) was a pleasant surprise for a vehicle that we thought was rather played-out in its last iteration. While that one was tired, this new model is a better-put-together example of what the Kia brand is capable of. It didn’t end there, either. The 1.6-liter turbo/hybrid powertrain displayed pluck at every turn, whether cruising around town or passing the speed demons on the interstate.

Power from the SX-Prestige X-Line’s 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 offered up to 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. We found it more than sufficient to squeal the wheels, and offered amazing pep for an SUV this size.

At the end of the week though, we were actually sad to see this one go. With a new, ultra-refined interior, sufficient power to pass, and enough technology to save fuel, we found ourselves really enjoying this vehicle, which is a viable alternative for those not needing the added size of its larger Telluride sibling. It gave us a new appreciation for what was once an ungainly duckling that turned into a swan.

2022 Kia Sorento Photo Gallery