Currently reading: Kia Sorento PHEV: seven-seat plug-in hybrid priced from £44,995
Plug-in hybrid SUV with 35-mile EV range will follow diesel and hybrid versions in early 2021
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2 mins read
16 December 2020

The new plug-in hybrid version of the fourth-generation Kia Sorento SUV is now available to pre-order in a choice of three trim levels and with prices starting from £44,995 - roughly £6000 more than the standard car.

Arriving in showrooms at the beginning of 2021, the PHEV is described as the "most environmentally and powerful Sorento" yet produced. With an electric-only range of 35 miles and CO2 emissions of just 38g/km, the Sorento PHEV will be eligible for a 11% business-in-kind tax rate when it launches.

As with the standard car, the line-up begins with 2 trim, which features LED lights at both ends, 19in alloy wheels, black body trim with contrasting silver skid plates and USB ports in all three rows of seating as standard. 

Mid-range 3 trim bumps the price up to £48,895 and gains a gloss black front grille, chrome door handles, privacy glass, black leather upholstery, eight-way adjustable front seats and ambient lighting. 

The line-up tops out at £53,095 for 4 trim, which brings a head-up display, ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof and an upgraded sound system. 

All models get seven seats, smartphone mirroring functionality, a reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors. 

The powertrain comprises a 177bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to a 90bhp electric motor, fed energy by a 13.8kWh battery, for a combined system output of 261bhp and 258lb ft.

As standard, drive is sent to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox, which can transfer full power of both the engine and electric motor in parallel, which Kia claims results in "immediate acceleration response at any speeds, and direct access to available battery power at higher speeds.

Kia also claims the powertrain is the first of its kind to use an independent water cooling system for the battery pack to ensure optimal efficiency. The electric motor itself is also coated in a two-stage lamination process to boost refinement. 

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Can the new Sorento live up to the high aspirations that Kia has for it, or is the Skoda Kodiaq still the seven-seat SUV of choice?

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Kia is yet to homologate the model, so fuel economy, CO2 emissions and electric-only range can’t be provided. However, it’s claimed to be the Korean brand’s most advanced and efficient PHEV to date, and its battery requires almost no compromise in boot capacity. 

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Timmmm 22 February 2021
It really will not help the environment at all. It will not save driver money as it will be running on gas a great deal of the time. Max milage per year is about 7500 on electric so recovering additional spend will be blown away with increased servicing because its so complex. A government interested in genuine environmental change will close the tax dodgers loopholes that kia are exploiting. A DERV power plant might be better I agree but they are hard to start as electric switches on and off so even more complex till warmed up.
giulivo 6 February 2021

It would make sense for this to be a PHEV with Diesel. Either the 1.6 136HP or the 2.0 185HP. You'd still be able to run emission free on electricity for the daily commute but also have an efficient powertrain for extended trips or going on holidays. Mercedes seem to be the only ones offering Diesel PHEVs, but the high price and lack of seven seats are a disadvantage compared to this Sorento.

xxxx 16 December 2020

Plus 6k, for the non tax dodgers I wonder how many years that additional 6k will take to recoup, especially when its doing 25 mpg after 20 miles

Finlay Turnbull 16 December 2020

You'll probably be able to make up the difference in cost pretty easily because you'll pay lower VED than you would if you bought a HEV Sorento, and the Sorento PHEV will have better residuals than the HEV Sorento. 

Finlay Turnbull 16 December 2020

If you typically do under 20 miles per day and have off-street parking; plug it in everyday and you might be getting your hair cut more often than you'll be filling up your car with fuel!

xxxx 16 December 2020
Finlay Turnbull wrote:

If you typically do under 20 miles per day and have off-street parking; plug it in everyday and you might be getting your hair cut more often than you'll be filling up your car with fuel!

In which case your fuel cost will be so low you will never recoup 6k increase.

scotty5 16 December 2020
Finlay Turnbull wrote:

If you typically do under 20 miles per day and have off-street parking; plug it in everyday and you might be getting your hair cut more often than you'll be filling up your car with fuel!

Spending Mid £40k to almost £50k for a car that does less than 20miles a day? Only the seriously well off need apply.

Nope, false economy. These cars will be used to shuttle families around, not just for the school run. When you go over the 20miles a day that the engine also has to shuttle heavy batteries around.

Only advantage will be when it's used as a business car. As others say, it works as a tax dodge although when you're paying luxury tax on even the cheapest model, that too may be a false economy. You could be better off with the self charging hybrid that lists under £40k.

May well work in other markets but not under present UK tax structure as the list is too high.

PS someone mentioned residuals. Even if the residual is higher than the mild hybrid, the price difference isn't going to be the same. Are you going to get that £6000 back? Nope. 

xxxx 16 December 2020
Finlay Turnbull wrote:

You'll probably be able to make up the difference in cost pretty easily because you'll pay lower VED than you would if you bought a HEV Sorento, and the Sorento PHEV will have better residuals than the HEV Sorento. 

pretty easily, VED is quite low compare to an increase of 6k.  How many years for 12k miles per year driver, 7, 8 or more 

Finlay Turnbull 16 December 2020

If you drive 20 miles per day on average and do 99% of driving using electricity, based on an annual mileage of 7,300, you could save on average over £500 per year. Over 4 years of ownership, with the additional VED savings, and higher resale value, you'll have made your £6K back. 

xxxx 17 December 2020
Finlay Turnbull wrote:

If you drive 20 miles per day on average and do 99% of driving using electricity, based on an annual mileage of 7,300, you could save on average over £500 per year. Over 4 years of ownership, with the additional VED savings, and higher resale value, you'll have made your £6K back. 

You are saying people who spend 40k on a car will drive 99% of the time on electricity, that is only 3 days a year going over 25 miles, no chance.   7200 miles a year is only around 790 pound in diesel so your maths is well out. Resale value wont be great as tax dodgers offer no advantage after 3 years