7 things you need to know about the 2023 Kia Sorento PHEV [Update]

Update: ‘New pricing’ section updated.

The 2023 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid (2023 Kia Sorento PHEV) is available in the U.S., and it’s a carry-over model. The plug-in hybrid midsize SUV competes with the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV and the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Here are seven things you need to know about Kia’s new electrified SUV:

Trim revision

The old Sorento PHEV was available in SX and SX Prestige trims. As part of the MY2023 revisions, Kia has curtailed the line-up to one fully-loaded trim – SX Prestige.

New features

The 2023 Kia Sorento PHEV includes two new features. The first new feature is a 115-volt inverter that allows offloading energy stored in the battery pack to power laptop and other household electronics. The other new feature is an IRVM with the HomeLink wireless control system that allows electronically operating garage doors, gates, home lighting, and other functions. This basic feature was a glaring omission in the old model.

7-seat version unavailable

Kia makes the Sorento PHEV in 5-, 6-, and 7-seat versions, but, as before, it doesn’t offer the 5- and 7-seat versions in the U.S. That has remained unchanged with the MY2023 update. The second and third rows comprise 50:50 split-folding seats. The second-row seats are individually adjustable captain’s chairs, giving passengers superior comfort.

Should you want a 7-seat plug-in hybrid SUV, the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the right pick for you. The Japanese model comes with seven seats as standard. Kia will launch an eco-friendly SUV with seven seats in the second half of 2023, though, and it will be fully tailpipe emission-free – the Kia EV9.

Made in South Korea

The gasoline-powered Sorento rolls out of the West Point Kia plant (Georgia) in the U.S., but the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid’s manufacturing is only at the Hwasung Kia plant in South Korea. The model year update for 2023 has remained unchanged in that regard.

2023 Kia Sorento Plug in Hybrid front three quarters
The 2023 Kia Sorento PHEV is made at the company’s Hwasung plant in South Korea. Image Source: Kia

261 horsepower powertrain

There are no changes under the hood. Positioned above the 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid, the 2023 Kia Sorento PHEV combines a 1.6-liter T-GDi turbo-four mill with a 66.9 kW (90 hp) electric motor, and the resulting combined power output is 261 hp. Like in the current model, Kia mounts the electric motor between the engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2023 Kia Sorento PHEV has an AWD system with a center locking differential and selectable drive modes, including a Snow mode, as standard.

Better EV range than sister car Santa Fe

The electric motor of the Kia Sorento PHEV draws power from a 13.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. It’s a saddle-shaped, water-cooled unit located between the cabin floor and the underfloor, over the top of the propshaft. A 3.3 kW onboard charger situated beneath the cargo floor allows charging it with a plug. The charging port is on the rear three-quarters, opposite the fuel tank lid on the other side.

The 2023 Sorento PHEV can travel up to 32 miles (EPA est.) in EV mode. With the gasoline tank full and the battery pack fully charged, the total range (EPA est.) is 460 miles. The combined fuel economy rating (EPA est.) is 79 MPGe. All of these are better than its sister model from Hyundai, the Santa Fe.

2023 Kia Sorento PHEV EPA-est. ratings and 2023 Santa Fe PHEV EPA-est. ratings

Aspect2023 Kia Sorento PHEV SpecificationExpected 2023 Santa Fe PHEV Specification
Combined Fuel Economy (Elec + Gas)79 MPGe76 MPGe
Combined Fuel Economy (Gas)34 MPG33 MPG
Pure Electric Range32 miles31 miles
Total Range460 miles440 miles
2023 Kia Sorento PHEV EPA-est. ratings vs. 2023 Santa Fe PHEV EPA-est. ratings

New pricing

The Kia Sorento PHEV has become dearer with the MY2023 update, and there’s more to it than the discontinuation of the SX trim, in which it was priced at USD 45,190. The price of the SX Prestige trim went up from USD 48,090 to USD 49,890, but the destination charge remained the same – USD 1,295. Now, the price and destination charge have increased by USD 100 and USD 30, respectively, to USD 49,990 and USD 1,325.

Just a month before the MY2023 update, on August 16, 2022, the Sorento PHEV became ineligible for the USD 7,500 federal tax credits when the Clean Vehicle Credit scheme replaced the Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit program. The discontinuation of the SX trim and the price hikes for the SX Prestige trim have further affected the value and appeal of the plug-in hybrid SUV.

2023 Kia Sorento PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid) FAQs

What is the 2023 Kia Sorento PHEV electric range?

The 2023 Sorento PHEV’s pure electric range (EPA est.) is 32 miles.

Which are the 2023 Kia Sorento PHEV rivals?

The plug-in hybrid midsize SUV competes with the Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

What is the 2023 Kia Sorento PHEV price?

The 2023 Kia Sorento PHEV costs USD 49,990 (excl. USD 1,325 destination charge).

Featured Image Source: Kia