New 2020 Kia Sorento hybrid: prices, specifications and on-sale date

Hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains will be offered in the all-new Kia Sorento SUV, alongside the regular diesel engine

Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid

Full details of the new Kia Sorento Plug-In Hybrid have been revealed, ahead of sales commencing in early 2021. It's set to be both the most powerful and least polluting model in the Sorento range, producing 261bhp and 350Nm of torque from the combination of a 1.6-litre T-GDi turbocharged petrol engine and 90bhp electric motor – the latter drawing power from a 13.8kWh battery.

Official fuel-economy and CO2 emissions figures for the plug-in Sorento have yet to be approved; an exact UK on-sale date, price and specification details for this car will also be revealed in due course.

In mid-August 2020, Kia released UK pricing and specification details for the non-plug-in Sorento Hybrid. This car will start from £38,845 and be offered in a choice of three trim levels: 2, 3 and 4.

The Sorento Hybrid pairs the same 1.6-litre T-GDi turbocharged petrol engine as the Plug-In Hybrid with a smaller 1.5kWh battery and less powerful 59bhp electric motor, producing a total of 227bhp and 350Nm of torque.

A six-speed automatic gearbox is standard on both versions of the car. All-wheel-drive versions of both cars also come with a 'Terrain Mode', making them more capable on muddy, snowy or sandy surfaces. It controls the standard electronic stability control (ESC), as well as the distribution of torque to all four wheels.

Sitting above the Stonic and Sportage in the Kia range, the Sorento is the largest SUV model the brand sells in the UK and this new version is based on a fresh mechanical platform. It's the fourth generation of the car since the original was launched in 2002 and the first to incorporate hybrid powertrains; the outgoing Sorento was diesel-only.

Kia Sorento Hybrid design

Kia's European, North American and Korean design studios collaborated on the car's styling, which the company says was inspired by the concept of "refined boldness". It's more sharp and sculpted-looking than the round-edged current Sorento. Up front, there's a new interpretation of Kia's trademark 'tiger nose' grille, while shorter front and rear overhangs combine with a longer wheelbase to make the car seem longer overall.

The new Sorento is 10mm longer than the old one, measuring 4.8 metres from end to end. The wheelbase is also longer and the car is 10mm taller than its predecessor. A total of 10 different paint shades will be available, along with a choice of 17, 18, 19 or 20-inch alloy wheels.

Interior and specifications

Inside, Kia is promising "cutting-edge infotainment, supreme practicality and premium-grade materials" for the new Sorento, which like all of its predecessors will have three rows of seats to carry up to seven occupants. Twin digital displays will be the focus of the dashboard, while metallic trim, leather upholstery and embossed satin-effect surfaces will also feature.

A seven-seat layout is standard across the range. Entry-level 2 specification offers LED lights, 17-inch alloys, USB ports at all seats, dual-zone air-conditioning and digital instruments, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, as well as a reversing camera.

Upgrading to 3 (which costs £42,725 with the hybrid engine) increases wheel size to 19 inches and infotainment screen size to 10.25 inches, as well as adding leather upholstery and ambient lighting. Hybrid is the only engine choice for the range-topping Sorento 4, which costs £46,945 and builds on the other trim levels with Nappa leather, ventilated front seats, a BOSE stereo and a head-up display.

Luggage capacity is 179 litres with seven seats in place and up to 821 litres in total, while Kia promises a boost in legroom for first and second-row occupants, along with extra headroom for those in the third row.