Kia Sorento Hybrid

Editors' First Take

Kia's trusty Sorento SUV has been around since 2002, but hot diggity, it's a real peach now. The 2021 Sorento offers sleek styling and tons of innovative tech, plus there's a new hybrid powertrain, too.

The Sorento Hybrid pairs a 1.6-liter turbo I4 engine with a 44-kilowatt electric motor. Total power output is rated at 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which is more than what you get in a Toyota Highlander Hybrid, but less than what's offered in the Ford Explorer Hybrid with its 3.3-liter V6. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive isn't available, and a six-speed automatic transmission handles shifting duties.

This powertrain combination offers plenty of get-up-and-go and I never feel like I'm lacking power when piloting the Sorento up steep hills or merging onto the highway. On top of that, the Sorento Hybrid is actually at its best when driven in Eco mode, because it doesn't mute the throttle or alter the transmission programming enough so as to be annoying. Switching to Comfort, Smart or Sport modes doesn't seem to provide a noticeable change to the Sorento's demeanor, either.

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