2024 Kia Sorento Hybrid review (2024)

The updated Kia Sorento now has a hybrid option – but spoiler alert, it’s still in very short supply.

This is the new 2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line HEV AWD, which is part of the facelifted range and serves as the flagship until the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid returns.

Priced from a little over $73,000 before on-road costs, the updated model is a few thousand dollars dearer than before – and supply is still pegged around 20 units per month, unfortunately.

Still, the top-spec Sorento Hybrid is around the same money as a mid-tier Toyota Kluger Hybrid. The related Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid has just arrived with better supply and a wider range of variants, but a more polarising design.

Key upgrades as part of the mid-life refresh include a fresh exterior design, as well as an updated interior and an enhanced technology suite. The hybrid drivetrain, meanwhile, is unchanged.

Should you be getting in the queue for one of these electrified Kias, or are you better off looking at other options?

How does the

Kia Sorento

compare?

View a detailed breakdown of the

Kia Sorento

against similarly sized vehicles.

2024 Kia Sorento Hybrid review (3)

Kia

Sorento

SsangYongRextonDeal Available!LDVD90Deal Available!IsuzuMU-XDeal Available!SkodaKodiaqDeal Available!GWMTank 300Deal Available!See more...

See more...

How much does the Kia Sorento cost?

Like the petrol and diesel range, prices are up as part of the 2024 refresh.

Model Variant$RRP
2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line HEV FWD$70,330 (+$3580)
2024 Kia Sorento GT-Line HEV AWD$73,330(+$3580)

Why haven’t we listed the V6 and diesel variants? Well the hybrids aren’t subject to national drive-away pricing and therefore the price differences aren’t consistent between States and Territories.

However, based on recommended retail pricing (i.e. before on-road costs), the Sorento HEV FWD commands a near-$5000 premium over the equivalent V6 FWD, same for the HEV AWD versus the equivalent Diesel AWD.

As was the case pre-update, the Sorento Hybrid is only available in top-spec GT-Line guise due to its limited supply. Kia Australia says it’s working with the factory to increase allocation, but the car is sourced from the factory that supplies the Sorento HEV for Europe, North America and the Korean domestic market.

To see how the Kia Sorento lines up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

What is the Kia Sorento like on the inside?

If you’ve sat in an updated Sorento GT-Line, it’s pretty much the same here.

Save for energy flow graphics and a dedicated hybrid menu in the infotainment system and cluster, it’s otherwise the same as a Sorento GT-Line in V6 or diesel flavours.

That means you get a nicely trimmed cabin with Nappa leather upholstery, lashings of gloss black, and brighter silver tones, and it’s all nicely put together and has an upmarket look and feel to it.

Even the base Sorento S scores a 12.3-inch touchscreen with Kia Connect, and higher grades get embedded satellite navigation with real-time traffic updates. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard across the board, as is DAB radio.

The GT-Line gets the upscale twin 12.3-inch array which effectively gives the Sorento the same full digital co*ckpit as the larger all-electric EV9.

There’s also a 10-inch head-up display with better graphics, and can project turn-by-turn navigation prompts from third-party mapping apps from smartphones. There’s a digital rear-view mirror on the flagship too.

Kia’s latest software features here, bringing wireless smartphone mirroring across the range (yay!) and Kia Connect for connected navigation, over the air software updates, and remote functions including cabin pre-conditioning, and more.

Higher grades offer extended functionality too, such as surround camera snapshots on the GT-Line, and you can control the vehicle’s windows GT-Line models with auto up/down functionality.

All of this is accessed via the Kia Connect smartphone app. We’ve tried these features in other Kias, and they’re handy once you get it all set up. The Bose 12-speaker premium audio system is also good, with crisp audio and punchy bass.

Comfort and space up front are pretty good, with plenty of nooks and crannies to store your phones, wallets, and keys. There’s a big shelf under the centre stack for your phone, toothed cupholders, and several bins and cubbies – though the door pockets will only fit smaller bottles.

The GT-Line offers a wireless phone fast charger. Worth noting is some of the cubbies aren’t felt or rubber lined so harder items can rattle around a bit.

Another new feature of the Sorento is the touch bar that serves as a climate control panel and virtual hard controls for the infotainment system. We’ve seen this on the EV6 and Sportage; unlike some touch-based controls the Kia ones work much like conventional switchgear.

As before, the GT-Line gets a slew of luxury features like heated and ventilated front seats, as well as a heated steering wheel and manual rear sunshades. A panoramic sunroof is again reserved for the flagship, and it’s a great feature if your kids like to look up at the sky while in the car.

Not much has changed in the rear other than some new seat designs and new USB-C ports on the seat backs in higher models, but there’s still plenty of goodness in the second and third rows.

Adults easily fit behind adults in the second row, even three abreast without it being too much of a squeeze. The third row is one of the more practical for the segment, though it’s not as good as the Palisade or Carnival and the curtain airbags only cover that second window – and therefore technically don’t offer full three-row coverage.

The Sorento is also very kid-friendly, with five top-tether and four ISOFIX anchors meaning you can fill up the rear two rows with child capsules if you need the space. The second row has a one-touch entrance function too to make getting in and out of the rearmost seats easier.

The third row itself remains one of the best in class, with enough room for average-sized adults for shorter journeys and more than enough space for kids. Disappointingly, the Sorento doesn’t get a proper third zone of automatic climate control like numerous rivals do.

Rounding out the rear amenities are a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders, net-type map pockets behind the front seats, cupholders, and bottle holders in the doors themselves, as well as a 12V outlet behind the centre console. GT-Line models also feature heated outer second-row seats.

Regardless of which Sorento you choose, there’s a full-size alloy spare wheel under the boot floor as well. Props to Kia for continuing to offer this, which no doubt will be a key point of difference to many buyers.

DimensionsKia Sorento HEV
Length4815mm
Width1900mm
Height1700mm
Wheelbase2815mm
Boot capacity179-1995 litres
Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)2580kg – FWD
2640kg – AWD

To see how the Kia Sorento lines up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

What’s under the bonnet?

As before, it’s a 1.6-litre turbocharged hybrid drivetrain underneath the skin.

Technical SpecificationsKia Sorento HEV
Engine1.6L 4cyl turbo HEV
Power169kW
Engine torque350Nm
Transmission6-speed auto
Driven wheelsFWD or AWD
Kerb weight1951kg – FWD
2014kg – AWD
Fuel economy – claim5.4L/100km – FWD
5.7L/100km – AWD
Fuel economy – observed6.8L/100km
Fuel tank size67 litres
Fuel requirement91 RON
CO2 emissions122g/km – FWD
129g/km – AWD
Emissions standardEuro 5
Maximum tow capacity1650kg – braked

To see how the Kia Sorento lines up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

How does the Kia Sorento drive?

The combustion-only Sorento range is already good, and the HEV adds an electrified powertrain into that mix.

With a small turbocharged engine and an electric motor built into the six-speed automatic transmission, the Sorento HEV requires little learning curve to get accustomed to its driving characteristics.

The Sorento HEV will often start in silence, but on cold starts the petrol engine fires up shortly after with the buzzy, muted tone this unit has in other Hyundai-Kia products. It sometimes sends slight vibrations into the cabin, but it’s far from harsh.

Being mated to a conventional auto and not a dual-clutch, as well as having an electric motor fill the void that would normally be turbo lag, the Sorento HEV actually gets off the line quite smoothly.

Compared to something like a Kluger Hybrid, which uses an e-CVT, you might need to get used to the shifting between cogs, but otherwise it’s pretty conventional. You’ll find it doesn’t stay in EV mode much during acceleration unless you’re really feathering it or rolling at slow speeds in stop-start traffic.

The Sorento HEV is clearly pitched at those that rarely venture onto the open road, with its hybrid system doing its best work in town. The gearing sees the 1.6-litre engine spinning at about 2000rpm at 100km/h. By comparison, the V6 and diesel will be far less stressed on the freeway thanks to their eight-speed ‘boxes.

It’s also evident in the indicated fuel consumption. Our week ended with an indicated readout of 6.8L/100km which is good for this size of vehicle given we mainly drove to and from the office in peak hour with high traffic, though it’s still a bit up on the brand’s 5.7L/100km claim. Spend more time on the highway and you’ll see sevens.

Technically the electric motor acts as a launch gear and reverse, so you could consider it a seven-speeder, but the final drive appears a touch short to really make this a proper all-rounder. If you spend more time on the freeway, the diesel even without idle stop-start will do better numbers than the more expensive hybrid.

Otherwise it’s all pretty much standard Sorento, as with the mid-life update both the Sorento HEV and PHEV have been given the same ride and handling tune as the wider range, which wasn’t the case previously. As you’d expect, the Sorento HEV handles with accuracy and confidence, with a lovely balance between comfort and engagement.

The updated model feels nicely tied together to mask its size, and is a little softer in its damping to add an extra layer of compliance over undulations and harder hits.

The Sorento HEV barely has any added weight compared to the equivalent petrol or diesel. While Kia Australia doesn’t quote 0-100km/h times, the UK division quotes 8.7 seconds for the Sorento Hybrid, with the PHEV reducing that to 8.4 seconds. According to British specs, the diesel is almost half a second slower.

It doesn’t feel as outright punchy as the V6, nor as effortlessly torquey as the diesel. It splits the two in terms of performance and refinement, adding the electrified low-speed drive as a bonus while also achieving diesel-like economy for the most part.

Insulation from road and wind noise is good, and the new Santa Fe arguably pushes the game forward again with its very clear focus on premium rivals in terms of presentation and ambience.

The array of driver assistance systems works well, as we found in the core range. Highway Driving Assist combines adaptive cruise and lane centring for a semi-autonomous highway driving experience, and works well if for the odd confusion in freeway construction zones or if a vehicle suddenly cuts you off.

Blind Spot View Monitor bolsters the standard blind-spot and rear cross-traffic assist features by showing you a live side camera feed every time you indicate, and the surround camera with 3D view likewise increases visibility.

If there’s one complaint, it’s the annoying beeps and bongs of the Speed Limit Assist default to on and can be quite annoying even if they’re quieter than previous iterations. Best to add the shortcut to the assistance menu to the star-labelled button on the steering wheel.

What do you get?

The Sorento HEV is exclusively offered in flagship GT-Line trim, meaning it comes fully loaded.

Sorento HEV GT-Line highlights:

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Full size spare wheel
  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • Blind Spot View Monitor
  • Remote Smart Parking Assist
  • Parking Collision Avoidance Assist – Reverse
  • Quilted Nappa leather-appointed seats
  • Digital centre mirror
  • Suede headliner
  • Interior mood lighting
  • 360-degree surround view monitor
  • Heated, ventilated front seats
  • Heated second-row seats – outer
  • Panoramic sunroof – powered
  • Kia Connect
  • Over the Air (OTA) updates

Read our price and specs breakdown for the petrol and diesel Sorento range here.

Is the Kia Sorento safe?

The new Sorento carries over the pre-update model’s five-star ANCAP safety rating, based on Euro NCAP tests.

The Sorento managed an adult occupant protection score of 82 per cent, child occupant protection score of 85 per cent, vulnerable road user protection score of 63 per cent, and safety assist score of 89 per cent.

Standard safety features include:

  • 7 airbags incl. front-centre
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Car detection
    • Pedestrian detection
    • Cyclist detection
    • Junction assist
  • Blind-spot assist
  • Driver attention alert
  • Highway Driving Assist (HDA)
    • Adaptive cruise incl. stop/go
    • Lane Following Assist
    • Navigation-based
  • Lane Following Assist
  • Lane keep assist
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (NEW)
  • Parking sensors front, rear
  • Rear cross-traffic assist
  • Reversing camera
  • Safe Exit Warning
  • Tyre pressure monitoring

Kia Connect features include:

  • eCall
  • Remote lock
  • Remote climate control
  • Vehicle tracking
  • Vehicle status monitoring
  • Voice assistant
  • Destination send to vehicle
  • Real-time traffic updates
  • Valet parking mode

It’s worth noting the updated Australian range doesn’t pick up more airbags like Korean models, which get rear-side inflators and a driver’s knee airbag – bringing the total to 10.

Local models also appear to miss out on the ‘reverse guide lamp’ that’s similar to the rear lights offered by Genesis models.

How much does the Kia Sorento cost to run?

The Kia Sorento lineup is covered by a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. High-voltage battery and motor components for electrified models are covered for seven years or 150,000 kilometres.

Scheduled maintenance is required every 12 months or 10,000 kilometres – whichever comes first. Kia models with turbocharged petrol engines have shorter mileage intervals than naturally aspirated petrols and turbo-diesels.

IntervalSorento HEV FWDSorento HEV AWD
12mth/10,000km$352.00$352.00
24mth/20,000km$732.00$732.00
36mth/30,000km$426.00$426.00
48mth/40,000km$1062.00$1098.00
60mth/50,000km$396.00$396.00
72mth/60,000km$882.00$882.00
84mth/70,000km$695.00$695.00
Total$4545.00$4581.00

CarExpert’s Take on the Kia Sorento

The Sorento Hybrid remains a solid option for families wanting to reduce their emissions, if you can get your hands on one.

While the Australian-market diesel continues with older Euro 5 emissions systems, the HEV is easily the cleanest way to get around. If you’re spending more time in town, it’ll outdo both the V6 and oiler for fuel consumption.

It’ll take some time to make up the $4000-$5000 premium over the equivalent V6 and diesel, and the lack of national drive-away pricing means that initial deficit could be wider from the get-go. But, if you’re not only buying for the fuel savings and just general reduction of impact and perhaps future resale, it could be the better bet.

There are a few things going against it, however. High relative consumption on the highway is one, which I imagine will only get worse with seven on board. As noted earlier, regular highway stints or plans to tow would make the cheaper and more readily available diesel a better option.

Very short supply is the other huge grey cloud. You could be waiting a very long time for one. It won’t be subject to FBT exemptions like the upcoming PHEV will be – which if you’re leasing, could make the plug-in more attractive.

Finally, there’s the fact the new Santa Fe Hybrid does the same things but offers a wider range of variants and better supply (starting from $15,000 less), as well as a more power (172kW v 169kW). It may have looks that polarise, but it has a newer version of the same mechanicals underneath.

That all said, the Sorento stacks up well still against the Toyota Kluger like-for-like, and will no doubt be a very capable family chariot for those lucky few that can get one in their driveway. Hopefully upcoming emissions regulations in Australia open up more supply Down Under.

Click the images for the full gallery

MORE: Buy a Kia Sorento
MORE: Everything Kia Sorento

2024 Kia Sorento Hybrid review (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kareem Mueller DO

Last Updated:

Views: 5950

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kareem Mueller DO

Birthday: 1997-01-04

Address: Apt. 156 12935 Runolfsdottir Mission, Greenfort, MN 74384-6749

Phone: +16704982844747

Job: Corporate Administration Planner

Hobby: Mountain biking, Jewelry making, Stone skipping, Lacemaking, Knife making, Scrapbooking, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Kareem Mueller DO, I am a vivacious, super, thoughtful, excited, handsome, beautiful, combative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.