Kia Sorento 1.6 T-GDi Plug-in Hybrid 6AT 4WD / Family SUV that won’t get lost in the field

The current Kia Sorento is already the fourth generation of this successful large SUV. Customers can choose a 2.2-liter turbodiesel or a hybrid system with a 1.6 T-GDi petrol engine. We tested the most powerful plug-in hybrid version, which came last on offer. It offers a supercharged four-cylinder petrol engine with a capacity of 1.6 liters, with an output of 132 kW and a torque of 265 Nm, complemented by an electric motor with an output of 67 kW and a torque of 304 Nm. The system achieves a system power of 195 kW with a torque of 350 Nm. In this case, the electric motor is integrated in the gearbox and the power is transmitted to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic. The system includes a battery with a capacity of 13.8 kWh, which, however, is charged only with a slow 3.5 kW charger, so you will wait more than four hours to charge it.

The plug-in hybrid does not differ much from its combustion brackets and you can only recognize it from the outside by the cover of the Type 2 charging connector on the right side and the marking on the back. The interior differs with only a few specific elements, such as the control of switching between electric or hybrid mode, and the instrument panel with the indicators of the hybrid system. Due to the fact that the battery is integrated in the floor, it does not introduce any space restrictions and the size of the luggage compartment is almost the same as in the combustion versions. There is also the possibility of a seven-digit version, which we also had for testing. Compared to the previous generation, the design of the vehicle has undergone relatively large changes, which can be seen from the outside as well as from the inside. New is the shape of the front grille, which gives the vehicle a monumental look, while the rear part of the group light design evokes the American style.

As is customary with the manufacturer, the vehicle has high technological equipment in the base and after its completion it reaches the level of the best in class. We have tested the highest Platinium equipment, but almost all important assistance and safety systems, including adaptive cruise control, are already in the base. You’ll also find quality lane maintenance, an uphill and downhill assistant, as well as a new motorway assistant that can automatically pick up speeds on the motorway. Of course, there is a monitoring of blind spots and crossing traffic when reversing, an assistant to prevent collisions when reversing and an assistant turning left, which monitors traffic in the opposite direction. The system also warns you to check the rear seats when getting out of the car to see if anyone is left, and when getting out of the vehicle, it monitors traffic behind the vehicle and does not allow the door to open when a cyclist or car approaches.

The highest equipment was very comfortable front electrically operated seats with soft leather upholstery Nappa, which were heated and ventilated.

As with the electric e-Niro, the gearbox selector takes the form of a circular carousel, which selects the direction of travel and neutral, with a P (parking) button in the middle. After a while of exercise, you can get used to it and you will take it for granted. Behind it, there is another rotary selector on the center console, which can be used to switch between driving modes. It has endless rotation without defining positions, and with it you switch between eco, sport or smart driving modes, which are designed for normal driving. Sport mode has, of course, higher dynamics and, since it keeps the internal combustion engine running while driving, it will also serve to force the battery to be charged from the engine. There is no other way to force the battery to charge while driving, except for recuperation. In smart mode, the system intelligently determines in which situations it is more advantageous to have only the electric motor or only the internal combustion engine switched on, or where both types of drive are advantageous. When the selector is pressed, three more off-road driving modes are available, marked according to the type of ground snow, sand or mud. When these driving modes are engaged, the downhill assistant is also automatically activated, and when a descent is detected, it automatically starts and maintains a constant descent speed. The tested novelty was also equipped with the highest version of infotainment with a 10 “touch screen in the middle, which is surrounded by touch buttons of basic functions and two rotary selectors. The instrument panel consists of a 12-inch color display with a virtual cockpit, which has a relatively rich personalization options, but to my surprise does not allow the display of a navigation map. It is displayed when the turn signal is thrown in a circular cutout on the right or left side of the display, depending on which side you are turning in. It is displayed over the entire speed range, but this function makes the most sense to go through an active cyclist or a pedestrian who wants to bypass you. The vehicle was also equipped with a large projection head-up display, which projects the data on the windshield.

The new Kia Sorento is a large family SUV that will provide the entire crew with plenty of space and comfort. Adjustable backrests in the second row or climate control in the third row also contribute to this. The tested vehicle was in a 7-seater configuration. The third row of seats is designed primarily for transporting smaller children, an adult would not enjoy much comfort here. A very good impression of the quality of workmanship is a bit spoiled by the creaking center panel. It’s nothing tragic, but it doesn’t have to be. Riding the Sorento is very comfortable and enjoyable. Despite the relatively high output of 195 kW, however, the driving performance is settled and dignified rather than dynamic. You simply won’t be fooled by more than two tons of weight. The six-speed automatic has slower reactions, so even when starting off, he seems to think for a while before the car moves. The integration of the electric motor in the gearbox does not help either. In this respect, a better concept is the separate placement of the electric motor on the rear axle, as used by some competing models. It can cover just dead spots when shifting the transmission and its torque is available immediately. However, it is, of course, just a matter of habit and you definitely don’t need to play the racer on family trips. The chassis is well tuned and the car, thanks to off-road driving modes, can also cope with occasional off-road trips. The plug-in hybrid system helps keep power consumption within acceptable numbers, but it depends on how often you charge. Unfortunately, this is not only helped by the 3.5 kW AC charger, with which you rely essentially only on night charging. When you visit a shopping mall, your car will charge your car for about 10 km per hour on a public charger, which will not motivate most users to pull out the cable at all. The actual range in electric mode ranges from 38 to 45 km, which is not much, but with regular recharging, you can significantly reduce consumption. After driving 1,190 km, we reached a consumption of 5.7 l / 100 km, with about 40% of the rides coming from the highway, and we charged every day.


• Internal combustion engine petrol four-cylinder, fuel petrol, volume 1598 cm³, power 132 kW, torque 265 Nm, 6-speed transmission. automatic, electric motor power 67 kW, electric motor torque 304 Nm, system power 195 kW, system torque 350 Nm, battery capacity 13.8 kWh, driven axle 4 × 4, charging AC Type 2, 1f / 3.3 kW, weight standby max. 2057-2147 kg, max. speed 193 km / h, acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h 8.7 s, consumption according to manufacturer 1.6 l / 100 km, electric range according to manufacturer WLTP 57-70 km


+ Spacious cab and trunk, good driving characteristics, rich technological equipment
– Slow charging, creaking plastics in the cabin

• Model price (EUR with VAT): 56 290 EUR, tested vehicle: 57,890 EUR


• Consumption in the test for the first 100 km (l / 100 km): 2.8
• Consumption in hybrid mode (l / 100 km): 6.5
• Total combined consumption (l / 100 km): 5.4
• Electric range in the test (km): 38-45
• AC charging power on 11 kW 3f charger (kW): 3.5
• Max. DC charging power, charger 50 kW (kW): –
• Charging time 10-80% (min): –

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Source: Nextech by

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