2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid Review: Hybrid Haven

Derryn Wong
2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid review - CarBuyer Singapore - outside front 3/4

Hybrid efficiency and smoothness make the already capable Kia Sorento Hybrid an even more obvious choice for Singaporean families 

SINGAPORE – How do you make a great car better? Make it a hybrid. The addition of petrol-electric technology to most cars is almost always an obvious plus, and it’s no different with the Kia Sorento. 

The Sorento is the Korean brand’s first full-hybrid offering to follow the Niro crossover/SUV, which has been on sale here since 2017 and is still one of the most affordable full-hybrids on the market

Summing up the Sorento story in Singapore, simply: It’s Kia’s big, seven-seat SUV now in its fourth-generation. Always impressive for its generous price-to-features ratio, the fourth-gen car amped up the quality feel and showed Kia could do mainstream with premium-ness and exciting design. 

2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid review - CarBuyer Singapore - rear 3/4 view

That car debuted here in Singapore in 2020 with a frugal, torquey 2.2-litre turbodiesel and it’s still well worth a look here in 2022. But it’s the Electric Age, which makes the hybrid version a much welcome addition to the lineup. 

The Sorento Hybrid is very similar to the diesel – the two cars we tested both have the same equipment variation, what Kia dubs ‘SX Tech Pack’. We won’t re-tread what we already wrote about in the review of the diesel, so be sure to check that review out for all the details.

Cosmetically, the Hybrid looks almost exactly the same as the diesel, which is no bad thing given Kia’s now mature, capable design chops and the look of the current Sorento. It’s a big SUV with big presence, and it doesn’t copy anything else outright nor try too hard to be cool.

The only differences are that the hybrid rolls on smaller wheels – 17-inches vs 18-inches for the diesel – and the hybrid has Kia’s ‘Ecohybrid’ badge on the rear.

2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid review - CarBuyer Singapore - hybrid engine

Under the bonnet is the crucial difference : The hybrid packs Hyundai Motor Group’s new hybrid drivetrain stars here, of course we’ve already seen it in the Sorento’s sister/arch-rival, the Santa Fe. It’s a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine that works in tandem with a 59hp electric motor, draining or adding electrons to a 1.5kWh lithium ion battery pack that resides in the floor of the car. Remember that Kia’s also designed the Sorento as a plug-in for other markets, so making space for a small hybrid battery pack here isn’t a worry. 

2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid review - CarBuyer Singapore -  seat adjuster, usb port

That way, seven-seat practicality remains the same too. You could fit adults in the third-row, but better if you dislike them to begin with. Like most seven seat SUVs, the third row is best reserved for the vertically-challenged, but at least there’s an air-con vent/control there, and the second row seats can be shifted forward to ease the pain somewhat.

Boot space is cavernous at 608-litres (eight less than the diesel) with the rear seats folded away, though obviously if you carry seven people you can’t fit a whole lot of cargo. 

The non-driving experience from the cockpit is just as technology-laden as the diesel, thanks to the identical screen layout – 10.25-inches for the infotainment touchscreen and 12.3-inches for the driver’s display. The latter has a unique theme with more blue in it, #becausehybrid.

2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid review - CarBuyer Singapore - cockpit screens

With the SX Tech Pack equipment trim, you also have nearly every nicety you can think of: Wireless charging, electrically-adjustable/air con front seats, a panoramic sunroof, a HUD, even a Bose sound system.

2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid review - CarBuyer Singapore - gear rotary dial
The conventional stick-type gearshifter is also changed to a rotary selector in the hybrid

There’s also an identical slew of safety systems – adaptive cruise control, 360 parking monitor, and the Sorento’s unique feature – the Blind spot view monitor. It’s extra useful in an age of rampant professional-e-bike-riding-blind-spot-hiders. 

2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid review - CarBuyer Singapore - Side View Monitor
Kia’s blind spot monitor will literally show you what’s lurking in your blind spot. If this is what you see, you may want to rethink your life choices

Page 2: Here’s the biggest behind-the-wheel difference of the Sorento Hybrid vs the diesel

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5-door 7 seat Hybrid Hybrid SX Tech Pack Kia sorento SUV

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment.

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