First Look Review: The 2025 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid packs a punch

  • Facelifted Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid makes world premiere at the 2023 LA Auto Show
  • Features a bolder exterior, cleaner interior, and probably even an updated powertrain
  • Expected to be priced from just under USD 50,000 (excl. DPH fee)
  • Confirmed to start reaching U.S. dealerships after April 2024

The 2025 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid made its U.S. debut at the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show and will hit U.S. dealers after April 2024. The facelifted plug-in hybrid SUV comes with a wide range of new features that make it significantly more appealing than the outgoing model. I was at the LA Convention Center to take a close look at the 2025 Sorento Turbo Plug in Hybrid SX-Prestige AWD variant well ahead of its dealership rollout. Here are my first impressions:


The 2025 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid builds on the bold and stylish exterior of the outgoing model. In my opinion, this is Kia’s best execution of vertical headlamps yet, featuring four low- and high-beam modules arranged in a straight vertical line complemented by T-shaped DRLs along their side and top. I think the new headlamps, along with the new broad radiator grille, endow the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid with a more robust image.

The new hood on the 2025 Sorento Plug-in Hybrid is flatter and features the brand logo. The new bumper has more muscle, the new lower air intake looks taller, and the skid plate garnish is wider. On the sides, the updated SUV sports new 19-inch two-tone wheels wrapped in 235/55 R19 Continental Cross Contact all-season tires. At the back, Kia has used tweaked split combination lamps that are connected on both sides and form an inverted U shape. These changes lend the SUV a more emotional and sophisticated look.


When I sat in the 2025 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid at the 2023 LA Auto Show, I felt that it had a clean and elegant appearance and that it looked more upmarket than the outgoing model. The dashboard looks sleeker because of the new horizontal air vents and controls and the new panoramic curved panel that integrates two hoodless 12.3-inch displays.

I think the 2025 Sorento PHEV’s 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which replaces the 10.25-inch unit, looks sleeker and more upmarket, as Kia has elegantly integrated it into a curved panel that includes a 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster as well. It features edgy graphics, a simple menu, and smooth animations. In my experience, it is pretty intuitive and snappy to use. I understand it has an exclusive page that displays the battery status, remaining range, analytics, and other vital details related to the plug-in hybrid components.

I think the best upgrade in the new infotainment system is the inclusion of wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto. Another new capability worth mentioning is OTA software updates, which will keep improving this system in the future. The 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster is also new, and it features new graphics for a cleaner and more futuristic look. I felt that the steering wheel with manual tilt and telescopic adjustment offers a solid grip, but the lower dual-spoke with the piano black finish is a fingerprint magnet.

Also new on the 2025 Sorento Plug-in Hybrid is UWB-based Digital Key 2.0, which allows customers to unlock it without holding their smartphone and share the key over text messages. I think Digital Key 2.0 would certainly make ingress and egress more convenient for me.

The facelifted Sorento Plug-in Hybrid has a six-seat interior with two captain’s chairs in the second row and 50:50 split-folding seats in the third row. I’m six feet tall, so I had no issues entering or exiting the first row. When I sat in the driver seat, which is power-adjustable and features a memory function and 4-way lumbar support, I had great headroom and felt that the lumbar support was A-OK, too.

In the second row, too, ingress and egress were easy. I think the captain’s chairs offer good adjustability, It’s possible to manually slide back and forth the captain’s chairs and recline their backrest. From my experience, I can say that they offer good adjustability. I had good legroom and kneeroom, and the headroom was also sufficient for a person of my stature. Under-thigh support wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. The seats are heated, and the space is made further practical with cup holders uniquely designed into the doors, and USB-C ports below the rear air vents.

Entering/exiting the third row was easy, thanks to a one-touch slide & fold button on the shoulder of the second-row seat. Alternatively, it’s possible to walk into the third row from between the captain’s chairs. That said, the third-row seats are not suitable for tall adults like me.

While I did have some knee room, I felt that under-thigh support was inadequate and since the floor is higher, the knee position is uncomfortable. My head was brushing up against the headliner, so my assessment is that these seats are suitable for shorter folks or kids.


2025 Kia Sorento Turbo Plug in Hybrid SX-Prestige AWD rear
I expect the 2025 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid’s electric range to be around the same figure as the pre-facelift model (32 miles).

The 2025 Sorento Plug-in Hybrid’s specifications haven’t been announced, and I think Kia will release them closer to the launch in 2024. Based on the changes in the 2025 Sorento Hybrid, I expect it to have an improved 1.6-liter turbocharged gas engine under the hood, producing 180 PS (177 hp) and 27 kgf·m (265 lb.-ft.) of torque. Similarly, the electric motor could be more powerful, and as a result, the total power and torque of the powertrain should be higher, leading to improved performance.

For reference, the 2024 Sorento Plug-in Hybrid’s 1.6-liter turbocharged gas engine puts out 177 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque and its permanent magnet synchronous motor develops 89 hp and 224 lb.-ft. of torque. This combination gives the outgoing model 261 hp of combined power and 258 lb.-ft. of combined torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission and a mechanical all-wheel drive system work together to direct drive to the wheels.

The outgoing model has a 14 kWh battery pack that gives it 32 miles of electric driving range. Using a Level 2 AC charger, it takes 3 hours and 25 minutes to fully charge the battery pack. While I can’t say for sure if the new model will have a bigger battery pack, I’m almost certain that it won’t support DC chargers either, as offering that capability would require a change in the electrical architecture that companies typically introduce only in new-generation vehicles.


The 2025 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid’s prices will likely start at just under USD 50,000 (excl. DPH fee).

TopElectricSUV says

The 2025 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid is a stylish six-seat SUV with a comfortable second row and a third row that’s good for the kids. It packs plenty of high-tech comfort, convenience, and safety features. I expect it to impress in performance, driving dynamics, and electric driving range as well. However, like its predecessor, the pricing is expected to be on the higher side.

2025 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid FAQs

What is the 2025 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid release date?

The 2025 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid will start reaching U.S. dealers after April 2024.

What will be the 2025 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid price?

The 2025 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid will likely be priced from just under USD 50,000 (excl. DPH fee).

Which models will be 2025 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid rivals?

Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid and Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe.

This article contains contributions from our reader.