Kia Sorento 1.6

T-GDi PHEV '3'

Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid, 2021,front, static
Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid, 2021, front, action
Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid, 2021, front, charging
Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid, 2021, rear
Kia Sorento ‘3’, interior
Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid, 2021, boot
Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid, 2021, engine
Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid, 2021, charging point

THE handsome Kia Sorento isn't unique in being a seven-seater plug-in hybrid, but it's certainly unusual.

Sure, Volvos offers a similar package but you'll have to dig deeper into your wallet.

Known for packing in comprehensive equipment, the latest Sorento is no exception in mid-range ‘3' grade.

It comes fully loaded with goodies such as 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, heated seats, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and USB sockets for mobile phone charging.

The relatively small 1.6litre produces a healthy 178bhp and with the electric motor the output increases to a generous 261bhp, giving the large seven-seater nifty performance - 0 to 62mph in 8.2 seconds - alongside a moderate thirst for petrol.

What's more torque levels are strong, some 15pc greater than the previous Sorento, an asset for those towing a boat or caravan. With the battery fully charged, it's good for at least 35miles electric-only running.

Charge the car every day and make the most of the battery facility and it's unbelievably economical, and even if you seldom plug it in, its thirst for fuel is a in the mid 30s which compares well with rivals.

As well as four wheel drive, the Sorento comes with a control to switch between snow, sand and mud. There's also the opportunity to choose either Eco or Sport as you wish. Sport mode tightens up the steering and adds a touch more weight.

It's an easy drive and doesn't feel as large as its dimensions suggest, partly due light controls and well-controlled ride, and also because of the lofty driving position which offers great visibility.

No complaints about the interior space, there's ample room up front and in the second row for tall adults to stretch out. Only the final row are bit cramped and that will probably be used only occasionally or for children.

Luggage space is cavernous. More than 600 litres can be swallowed up in the boot area and this grows to 2,100 when the rear two rows of seats are folded down.

Storage spaces within the cabin are plentiful, and there's a deep central box which can soak no end of stuff. The fascia has a large flat surface - ideal to rest things during a family picnic when it's raining!

Lots of tech on board including lane departure system - for those who like it - head-up display, forward collision avoidance system, driver attention warning system, and cabin lighting that can be switched between any of 64 colours.

It also comes with self-park control on the key fob. Seven airbags are standard issue.

The Sorento is a particularly quiet car with little wind noise and muted mechanical interference whether in electric mode or being petrol powered. It corners with less body roll than you might expect from a large SUV which sits high on the road. The level of grip is also strong.

Our average fuel consumption, included varied roads and speeds, averaged 37mpg, which is pretty impressive for such a large vehicle.

FAST FACTS

Kia Sorento 1.6 T-GDi PHEV '3'

Price: £48.245

Mechanical: 1,598cc, 261bhp, 4 cyl petrol hybrid engine driving all 4 wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 119mph

0-62mph: 8.4sec

Combined MPG: 176.6

Insurance Group: 34

C02 emissions: 38g/km

Bik rating: 10%

Warranty: 7yrs/100,000 miles

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