How much does the Kia Sorento PHEV cost?
Too much, but it is probably worth it. Supply limitations forced Kia Australia to rationalise its Sorento PHEV line-up to just one specification.
It opted for the top GT-Line outfit, on the basis about half of private buyers went for the GT-Line versions of the regular diesel and petrol model.
As a result, the retail price is $80,330, meaning buyers are paying a $15,000 premium over the comparable diesel-engined version. With that impost, it is crucial potential owners do the sums to see how long it will take to get a return on the investment.
If the daily commute is less than 50km and the cost of energy is low enough, then it’s worth considering.
There is a heap of folks who think it’s worth it - demand is higher than supply, though most buyers will only have to wait around a month.
It is worth noting the running costs for the Sorento PHEV come in at $4894 over seven years or 70,000km. That’s effectively $700 a year - not cheap by any standards. Did we mention you need to plug it in?
How safe is the Sorento PHEV?
The Sorento was assessed as a five-star vehicle by ANCAP in 2020.
That rating applies to all variants, including the PHEV.
The one blight on the big SUV is the fact the side airbags don’t extend into the third row.
Adult occupant protection scored 82 per cent, largely attributable to the off-set frontal crash (where 50 per cent of the Sorento’s front area strikes an oncoming 1400kg sled that are both moving at 50km/h). In this scenario ANCAP found “protection of the driver chest and upper legs was weak and lower legs was marginal, while protection of the passenger’s upper legs was marginal” (the scoring system rates at good, adequate, marginal, poor and weak).
Child protection was deemed to be 85 per cent.
The Kia Sorento is fitted with lower isofix anchorages on the rear outboard seats in the second and third row of seats, and top tether anchorages for all rear seating positions. That works well, given most adults don’t want to be in the third row for any longer than necessary.
Vulnerable user protection was scored at 63 per cent.
ANCAP notes pedestrians stepping out in front of the Sorento PHEV will face “marginal and poor results at the base of the windscreen and on the stiff windscreen pillars. The bumper provided good or adequate protection to pedestrians’ legs, however protection of the pelvis was predominantly poor”.
The safety assist features rated a solid 89 per cent.
All sensor-based featured tested as “good” except for the middle-row centre seat, which doesn’t have an occupant detection system.
Standard software includes lane-keep assist, a 360-degree camera, rear cross-traffic alert, driver attention alert, adaptive cruise control and speed sign recognition.
What’s the Kia Sorento PHEV like inside?
As the top-spec variant, the Sorento PHEV doesn’t want for creature comforts. Default kit extends to a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen with inbuilt satnav, digital radio and smartphone connectivity, 12-speaker sound system, 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, wireless phone charging, dual-zone air-conditioning, heated and ventilated powered leather front seats, heated second-row outboard seats, a sunroof and in-car intercom that lets front-seat occupants talk to (and hear) those in the third row.
You can’t ask for much more in any car, let alone a people-mover.
The infotainment system can be laggy when using wireless smartphone connectivity but is otherwise reasonably intuitive and hi-resolution.
Cargo capacity is 175 litres with all seven seats in use, jumping to 604 litres if the third row is unoccupied and folded down.