With more powertrain options and a smaller footprint, the 2022 Kia Sorento is a compelling substitute for the larger Kia Telluride. Both Kia models are handsome and have three rows, but adults won't want to spend much time in the Sorento's far-back seats, and when those seats are upright they limit its cargo capacity. Keep the third row stowed, however, and its nicely appointed cabin becomes a comfortable place for a small family. Unlike the Telluride, the Sorento is available as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid, which help maximize fuel efficiency. No matter what's providing the motivation, the Kia has a smooth ride and satisfying handling characteristics. The entire package is cohesive and packed with popular standard and optional features, making the 2022 Sorento one of the better options in its class.
What's New for 2022?
A plug-in-hybrid model joins the Sorento lineup for the 2022 model year. Its powertrain combines a turbocharged four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission with an electric motor for a total system output of 261 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard, and Kia claims the plug-in Sorento has a combined fuel-economy rating of 79 MPGe and an electric-only range of 32 miles. While we don't know how much the PHEV variant will cost, we know it'll be offered in two top-tier trims: SX and SX-P.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We like the EX trim level. It's pricier than the bottom two models, but it comes standard with the more powerful 281-hp turbo four. It also has nicer amenities than the S trim below it that includes leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, remote start, and snazzier styling such as 18-inch wheels and black exterior accents. Pairing all-wheel drive with the EX trim costs an extra $3700, which is $1900 more than the previous model year. However, the upgrade now comes with content from the X-Line appearance package that includes a 1.0-inch higher ride height, 20-inch wheels, a bridge-type roof rack, and other exclusive exterior details.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Sorento has a wide selection of engine options and is available with front- or all-wheel drive. A 191-hp 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine is standard and a 281-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder is available too. Both pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the hybrid model uses a six-speed automatic. We drove a top-of-the-line SX trim with the turbo four and appreciated its noticeable thrust, but we wish the powertrain felt more responsive off the line. The same model delivered poised handling, a nicely isolated ride, and firm brake-pedal feedback. The eco-friendly Sorento hybrid features the combination of a turbo 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine and a 44.0-kW electric motor that together generate 227 horsepower. However, this setup is only offered with front-wheel drive. Kia also offers a plug-in version of the hybrid that features the same engine and transmission, but it makes a combined 261 horsepower and has a larger 66.9-kW electric motor and is all-wheel drive only. When equipped with the towing package, the Sorento can pull up to 3500 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Sorento with the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder is estimated to earn up to 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The more powerful turbocharged 2.5-liter four is rated up to 22 mpg city and 29 highway. The hybrid Sorento is the most fuel efficient with estimates of 39 mpg city and 35 highway. The plug-in hybrid has a combined rating of 79 MPGe, but its city and highway estimates are listed at 35 and 33 mpg, respectively. Kia also claims the PHEV can travel up to 32 miles on electricity alone on a single charge. Once we have the chance to run these powertrains on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can evaluate the SUV's real-world mpg. For more information about the Sorento's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the Sorento has an attractive layout, nice materials, and solid build quality. The dashboard can be outfitted with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The rest of the design blends rhombus-shaped air vents integrated ambient lighting, and intricately stitched surfaces on the door panels and seat inserts. The center console hosts a rotary shift knob as well as a drive-mode selector and other vehicle functions. A variety of cubby storage spots and cupholders also fill out the console. Along with a standard third row, its second-row bench can be swapped for a pair of captain's chairs. Compared with the larger Telluride, the Sorento's far-back seats aren't comfortable for adults, and we only managed to fit two carry-on suitcases in the cargo area—two fewer than the Telluride.
Infotainment and Connectivity
With infotainment and connectivity features at the forefront of new-car technology, the Sorento supports all of the most desirable content. It comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen or an optional 10.3-inch touchscreen. Along with a wireless charging pad, there's also an optional 12-speaker Bose sound system for those who prefer an upscale audio experience. A rear-seat entertainment system with a touchscreen mounted on the back of each front seat is also optional.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Sorento enjoys a roster of standard and optional driver-assistance technology. For more information about the Kia's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Kia has one of the most impressive warranty plans in the industry. However, it doesn't offer the complimentary maintenance that its corporate counterpart, Hyundai, does.
- Limited warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance