In-depth reviews

Kia Sorento SUV - MPG, running costs & CO2

Hybrid petrol options should expand the Sorento's appeal

Carbuyer Rating

4.5 out of 5

MPG, running costs & CO2 Rating

4.5 out of 5

The Kia Sorento was previously available with just a diesel engine, and while this is still offered, buyers will now have considerably more choice. For a start, there's a new petrol hybrid combo, and a frugal plug-in hybrid model that runs on electric power for a range of over 30 miles.

This will be welcome news for anyone seeking an alternative to diesel power, and the plug-in hybrid should broaden the Sorento's audience, particularly to business users put off the regular Sorento by its position in the most expensive Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) band. The PHEV may be more expensive in the first place but its BiK liability is less than a third of the diesel, which will equate to a big saving over the course of a year.

Kia Sorento MPG & CO2

The regular hybrid Sorento uses an interesting new powertrain based around Kia's 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine together with a powerful electric motor and 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. CO2 emissions are lower than the diesel, starting from 158g/km, while fuel economy is rated at 40.9mpg. Driven gently, the Sorento can remain in its EV mode for short distances, but harder acceleration sees the petrol engine chime in. During our test, we were able to achieve fuel economy of around 38mpg. Incidentally, that’s what you can expect from models with the larger 19-inch wheels.

While the Sorento plug-in hybrid is also powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, it gets a larger 13.8kWh battery mounted under the interior floor. This powertrain makes it the economy star of the Sorento lineup, with an official fuel economy figure of 176.6mpg. It’s worth noting that this figure is only achievable with a full charge, and once the battery was depleted during our test drive, fuel economy fell to around 35mpg.

With a fully charged battery, the Sorento PHEV promises a pure-electric range of up to 35 miles and we managed to get close to this, covering around 27 miles on electric power. Charging is simple, with a 3kW home wallbox taking under 3.5 hours to fully top up the battery, or around five hours via a three-pin domestic plug socket. The PHEV is also the pick of the range for business drivers, with CO2 emissions of 38g/km placing it into a low BiK banding.

Around 20kg lighter than before, the diesel engine has also been thoroughly redesigned to reduce its internal friction. It's paired with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox that's promised to be more efficient, and fuel economy is 42.2mpg - up from 39.2mpg for the old model. CO2 emissions have been cut from 190g/km to 176g/km, but this still places the diesel Sorento firmly in the top BiK band.

The Sorento diesel is liable for annual VED (tax) at the standard rate, with the hybrid models taxed at the discounted rate. Most versions cost over £40,000, meaning they’re subject to the additional VED surcharge in years two to six.

Insurance groups

Insurance is also likely to be fairly pricey, given that the Sorento is a big, powerful SUV. The hybrid sits in groups 30-31 depending on trim level, with the diesel placed in group 31. These are slightly lower than those of the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Warranty

Ever since Kia launched its seven-year/100,000-mile warranty with the Kia Ceed in 2007, it has been a key selling point for buyers. It can also be transferred between owners for no extra cost, helping boost resale values. The mechanical warranty is backed up by a 12-year anti-perforation warranty for the bodywork and a five-year paint warranty.

Servicing

Servicing is needed once a year or every 10,000 miles for the hybrid and every 20,000 miles for the diesel, whichever arrives first. The Sorento can also be covered by 'Kia Care' service plans, giving buyers the option of paying for maintenance on a monthly basis.

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