2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid Review: Hybrid Haven

Derryn Wong

Return to Page 1: Kia Sorento Hybrid – what’s different on the outside, and inside

2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid review - CarBuyer Singapore - on the road rolling shot

Here’s the biggest difference: With electric power at low speeds, the hybrid’s impression is naturally one of increased refinement from the get go, as it creeps around in near silence. When the 1.6-litre turbo engine kicks in, it’s seamless and refined, and if you do decide to go heavy-footed there is a noticeable purr, but not an unpleasant one. 

While the hybrid’s 350Nm can’t match the 440Nm grunt of the diesel, it’s really not far off in day to day driving, and we don’t see the hybrid losing out much in terms of acceleration, or the work of carrying seven people around.

2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid review - CarBuyer Singapore - rear rolling shot

The Sorento’s a large SUV, and delivers the now-expected high-riding, easy-to-see-from driving experience. But it also matches that with hybrid refinement, and the 17-inch wheels deliver a slightly less busy ride than not just the diesel, but many other SUVs too. It’s also relatively quiet overall, and a predictable easy-to-live with manner. Sure there’s a bit of wallow and a bit of excess roll, but as family SUVs go, it’s not lazy nor unpleasant to drive in the least. 

Where it truly endears itself to the driver of course is at the pump: The hybrid is more efficient than the diesel, officially it’s 5.4L/100km for this car, against the diesel’s 5.7L/100km. 

In our unofficial testing, the hybrid was able to deliver near 5.0L/100km on relaxed highway runs, creeping up toward 7.0L/100km in town, but overall we never saw more than 7.0L/100km – around 6.0L/100km is likely for normal people. There is an Eco driving mode, along with ‘Smart’ and ‘Sport’, but we left it in Normal for our drive.

2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid review - CarBuyer Singapore - front seats and sunroof
SX Tech Pack trim level delivers lots of goodies like air-con seats and a panoramic sunroof

Compared to what Julen got in the diesel, around 6.0L/100km for diesel on the highway, and close to 9.0L/100km in slower conditions, the hybrid does obviously have the edge in efficiency. 

While hybrids have traditionally been Japan’s forte, in official model terms they’re still not common. The only officially-imported seven-seat hybrid are MPVs: Namely the Toyota Prius+ and the Nissan’s Serena E-Power, both very different cars from another segment/bodystyle entirely.

Since mainstream, large, seven-seat hybrid SUVs are completely absent from the rest of the market, if you don’t like the mechanically-very-similar Santa Fe’s approach, the question will boil down to which Sorento you should buy: Diesel or hybrid? 

2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid review - CarBuyer Singapore - Kia Badge

Officially, the hybrid costs S$2k less than the equivalent diesel SX Tech Pack, so the choice is very clear because the hybrid is more efficient, pollutes less, and has less than half the road tax of the diesel (S$2k per year versus S$739 per year) and if you read our related story, the diesel only pulls ahead in cost terms if you’re a very, very high mileage driver. 

Finally, some might baulk at paying more than S$200k for a Korean car, and those who do should get with the times. S$90k goes to the COE, for one, and the Sorento can do almost everything a BMW X5 or Audi Q7 can for almost half the price.

We’ve always known that hybrids are the bridge between the ICE and the Electric Eras, and the Kia Sorento proves it by being a worthy hybrid haven for cleaner family motoring.  

2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid review - CarBuyer Singapore - eco hybrid badge

Kia Sorento Hybrid SX Tech Pack

Drivetrain type Petrol-electric full hybrid  
Engine 1,598cc, inline 4, turbocharged
Engine Power177hp at 5500rpm
Engine Torque265Nm at 1500-4500rpm 
Gearbox6-speed automatic 
Electric Motor59hp/264Nm
BatteryLithium Ion, 1.5kWh
System Power / Torque227hp / 350Nm
0-100km/h8.8 seconds
Top Speed193km/h
Fuel Efficiency5.4 L/100km 
VES Band A2 / -S$15,000
AgentKia Singapore / Cycle & Carriage
PriceS$224,900 with COE and VES
Availability Now
Verdict Rolling hybrid brings only benefits and adds even more appeal to Kia’s excellent seven-seat SUV – more efficiency, lower road tax, same price tag.

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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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