2020 Kia Sorento: price, economy and performance

The latest version of the Kia Sorento seven-seater SUV is now on sale – and it’s available with petrol-electric hybrid power

James Allen
Sep 15, 2020

A new Kia Sorento has arrived, and it picks up where its spacious predecessors left off. Like before, it’s a large family-friendly SUV model, and this latest version has been designed to take on other equally vast rivals like the Skoda Kodiaq, Seat Tarraco, Peugeot 5008 and Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace.

While the bold and angular styling is a big departure from the more rounded shape of the old Kia Sorento, it’s the engine range where you’ll find some of the more prominent changes, with several petrol hybrid options.

For the first time in a Sorento, drivers who don’t want a diesel engine can opt for a conventional petrol-electric hybrid setup - and Kia has also confirmed that a new plug-in hybrid option - which can be plugged in to charge up the larger battery pack - will also be added to the range later this year.

As with previous Kia Sorentos, this latest version is a full seven-seater, though it’s likely that taller adults may find themselves wanting for a bit more head and legroom in the two rearmost seats. This is the case with all but the biggest seven-seat SUVs.

With all seven seats in place, the boot is pretty tiny at up to 187 litres, though this can be increased up to a much more usable 821 litres when the pair of rear seats are folded flat into the boot floor. In short, expect decent space for seven passengers with a minute boot or a substantial amount of passenger room for five with plenty of luggage space.

Quick facts

  • New seven-seater on sale now
  • Prices start from £38,845
  • Hybrid and diesel available at launch
  • Plug-in hybrid version on the way
  • All-wheel drive and automatic gearbox
  • Up to 2,500kg of towing capacity

2020 Kia Sorento performance and economy

From launch, the Kia Sorento will be available with two engine options: a conventional 2.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel, and a hybrid setup consisting of a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and an electric motor.

On paper, there isn’t a huge amount separating the two engines. Both are able to haul the Sorento to 62mph from a standstill in similar times (8.7 seconds for the hybrid; 9.1 seconds for the diesel), and the 199hp diesel doesn’t have that big a power deficit to the 226hp hybrid. Even their fuel economy figures are broadly in line with each other - according to Kia, the Sorento hybrid can return up to 40.9mpg, and the diesel is capable of up to 42.2mpg.

It’s a very different story with the torque - that's low engine speed muscle - that each engine produces, though. While the hybrid Sorento’s 350Nm is fairly decent for an SUV of this size, it’s quite a bit down on the diesel engine’s 440Nm. As a result, the diesel has a much better towing capacity than the hybrid model (2,500kg vs 1,650kg), which means the diesel-powered Sorento will likely be more useful if you regularly tow heavier loads like trailers and caravans.

Regardless of the engine fitted, the new Kia Sorento will be all-wheel drive-only and solely available with an automatic gearbox. Which gearbox you’ll get, however, will depend on the engine you pick: hybrid models are fitted with a six-speed automatic, whereas the diesel comes exclusively with an eight-speed automatic.

2020 Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid technology

In late 2020 the Kia Sorento’s engine range will expand to include a new petrol-electric plug-in hybrid option. Exact details will be confirmed closer to this model’s launch, though it’s highly likely the Sorento will use the same setup that will be used in the upcoming plug-in hybrid version of its sister car, the Hyundai Santa Fe.

As a result, expect the Sorento plug-in hybrid to use the same 1.6-litre petrol engine as the regular Sorento hybrid, but with a more powerful electric motor that boosts the total output to 265hp (the torque is unchanged at 350Nm).

Thanks to its much larger 13.8kWh battery pack, the plug-in Kia Sorento will also be able to drive for short distances on electric power alone, though there’s no word yet on what the electric-only driving range will be. Expect something around the region of 30 miles from a full charge.

Like every other Kia Sorento variant, this plug-in hybrid version will likely be all-wheel drive, and will be available only with an automatic gearbox.

2020 Kia Sorento prices and specifications

Prices for the new Kia Sorento start at £38,845 for petrol-powered models in the entry-level ‘2’ trim, and top out at £46,945 for range-topping cars in ‘4’ spec. While that does mean the Sorento has a much higher base price than some of its rivals (alternatives such as the Seat Tarraco and the Peugeot 5008 start from under £30,000), the Kia is at least on par with its competitors when they have engines of similar power under the bonnet.

The Sorento also comes with a decent amount of standard equipment. All versions have heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and built-in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity for the touchscreen media system. Higher trim grades are available with additional features like electrically adjustable front seats, and a Highway Driving Assist feature that helps the driver stay safe on the motorway by keeping the car within its lane and at a suitable distance behind vehicles ahead.

While the hybrid version of the new Kia Sorento is available in all three trim levels, the diesel variant is only available for the moment in the mid-range ‘3’ spec. The prices and available trims for the plug-in hybrid version are expected to be announced in late 2020 shortly ahead of the first deliveries.

Model

Engine

CO2

Fuel economy

Price

2

1.6 GDi Hybrid 226hp

158g/km

40.9mpg

£38,845

3

1.6 GDi Hybrid 226hp

166g/km

38.7mpg

£42,745

4

1.6 GDi Hybrid 226hp

168g/km

38.2mpg

£46,945

3

2.2 CRDi 199hp

176g/km

42.2mpg

£41,245

 

 

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