KIA Insider

Kia Sorento SUV goes plug-in

Kia New Zealand has confirmed it will add a plug-in hybrid variant of its Sorento seven-seater to the fleet next year.

The Sorento PHEV joins the diesel-powered models that have just gone on sale as the only petrol-electric option. It uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine paired with a 67kW motor and 13.8kWh battery, producing a combined 195kW and 350Nm of torque. That power is sent to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic.

Kia doesn’t specify the total electric range, but we’d expect it to be around the 60km mark, possibly more.

Apparently, the new PHEV powertrain is the Korean carmaker’s most advanced and efficient, using an independent water cooling system for the battery pack, which should allow it to charge at it maximum rate for longer.

* Kia confirms Stonic SUV landing next year
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* Kia shows off sharp new Sorento

Aside from the powertrain, the Sorento PHEV is identical to the rest of its family. That means it has a full suite of driver assistance systems, including active cruise control, lane-keep assist, autonomous emergency braking and automatic high beams, among others.

The Sorento features "sharper lines and uninterrupted surfaces," Kia says, giving it a crisper, less curvy look than the current generation.

Kia's 'tiger nose' corporate grille is still present, now wider and wrapping around the headlights, which feature a new 'tiger eye' LED daytime running light design.

Full specifications are yet to be confirmed, as is the PHEVs price. Expect that information closer to the Q1 2020 launch.

If you’re in the market for a smaller Kia SUV, the Stonic will also dot down early next year with a sharp $21,990 introductory price. There’s no plug-in version at this stage, Stonic instead using the same 1.4-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine and six-speed automatic transmission which powers most Rio hatchback model variants as well as the three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol and seven-speed dual clutch transmission combination from the Rio GT Line.