Kia is killing it. Between recent models of the EV6, the Stinger, the Carnival, and the Telluride, the company has come out with hit after hit. So much so, that it’s easy to forget about its older models — but you shouldn’t. For 2022, the Sorento has been updated to offer a plug-in hybrid model, making it a compelling alternative to the larger and less efficient Telluride.
The Sorento isn’t just good for efficiency though. It’s also stylish, offers a solid infotainment system, and more. But it also goes up against serious competition — from Kia itself, and the likes of Jeep and Hyundai.
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- Sleek exterior
- Comfortable interior
- Smart driver-assist features
- Lots of room
- Slightly slow response
- No CarPlay Wireless
2022 Kia Sorento exterior design
Kia redesigned the Sorento last year, but it’s not a bad thing that it hasn’t received any major updates this year. The 2022 Kia Sorento looks sleek and stylish, plus offers a few modern touches that help it look current.
On the front of the Sorento, you’ll find Kia’s now-signature tiger-nose grille, which flows into the headlights and makes for a refined and smooth look. There’s another bottom grille too, which makes for a slightly busy, yet far from ugly front.
While the Sorento is an SUV, it doesn’t looks as bulky or big as some of the competition. The side profile flows nicely, and you’d easily be forgiven for forgetting that it actually stores three rows of seats inside. The rear of the car looks great too, with slotted rear headlights that give it a modern and unique touch.
The outside styling does change a little depending on the trim that you get, but not drastically. Some trims add nice black accents, while others give you different bumper and wheel designs. We’re reviewing the Kia Sorento SX-Prestige Plug-in hybrid, which is one of only two models of Sorento plug-in hybrids — the other being the SX. Ours is in the Snow White Pearl color, and while I’m not normally one for white cars, I like the look of it in person.
2022 Kia Sorento interior design
The interior is premium and stylish, and quite comfortable. Our model has the black synthetic interior, and it feels great. You’ll find nice stitching throughout, and generally premium materials at the front.
As mentioned, this car offers three rows, with seven seats. In using the third-row seats, you definitely cut down on trunk storage, and I would argue that this probably isn’t the best option for those who permanently need the third row. That said, for those who occasionally need a few extra seats, it’s perfect. With the third row of seats up, you’ll get 12.6 cubic feet of space, while with the Telluride, you’ll get 21 cubic feet with all three rows of seats up.
Controls are the front are easy to use and get used to. You’ll find a rotary dial for changing gears, and another to change drive modes. And, there are simple buttons for things like the parking cameras, and steering wheel heater. Climate controls are a mix of real buttons and switches, and capacitive buttons. The capacitive buttons are pretty easy to reach, and while you won’t get feedback for pressing them, you’ll get used to the placement.
2022 Kia Sorento infotainment
The infotainment system in the Kia Sorento is the same as all other modern Kia cars — which is to say, it’s great. It’s responsive and easy to navigate, and it supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Only one problem — both Android Auto and CarPlay are only available through a wired connection, which seems crazy. It’s 2022, and those systems should be available wirelessly, like most other modern cars that support Auto and CarPlay.
Still, Kia’s infotainment is better than the vast majority of the competition, whether you actually use it or not. The system is laid out like a smartphone, with an app screen that lets you dive into specific features, and you’ll be able to navigate it pretty easily.
2022 Kia Sorento performance
The Kia Sorento is available as a gas-powered car, a traditional hybrid, and a plug-in hybrid. We’re reviewing the plug-in hybrid model, which comes with a 1.6L engine that’s able to deliver 261 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and generally, I found that it performs well. It’s not the fastest or most responsive car out there, but it’s certainly not underpowered either, and the electric motor helps ensure that it’s more efficient than much of the competition. The plug-in hybrid models also come with all-wheel drive.
The response time is perhaps the worst thing about driving the Sorento, as it often took a little too long to accelerate. But you’ll definitely get used to that feel and forget about it. The car was quick to brake too, which helps.
Of course the biggest reason to go for the plug-in hybrid over other models is the fuel-efficiency. Most of the time, you’ll use the car in “Eco” mode, which relies on the electric motor at lower speeds, and kicks in the engine as needed for faster acceleration. Kia claims the car can run for 32 miles on electric power alone, however you probably won’t use the electric motor alone much.
2022 Kia Sorento driver assist
The 2022 Kia Sorento also comes with some great driver-assist features that can come in handy, depending on which options you go for. You’ll get all the basics, like blind-sport monitoring and a backup camera, but there are options for things like a 360-degree camera view as well. And, one of my favorite Kia features is here too — the side mirror camera that switches on when you turn on the indicator. This can really help.
There are other safety-focused features. For example, the car comes standard with forward-collision, and a lane-keeping assist. It’s a good selection of features, however you’ll obviously need to upgrade for some of them.
The Kia Sorento is a great mid-size SUV that’s perfect for those who might occasionally need a third row of seats. As mentioned, if you need a more permanent third-row setup, it’s perhaps a good idea to go for something like the Kia Telluride, which is a little larger. But if you’re fine with the size and like a slightly more efficient take on the SUV, then the Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid is worth considering.
Of course, the car faces stiff competition. Chief among the competition is perhaps Kia’s own Telluride, which has been making serious waves since its release. If you want something slightly bigger, it’s the way to go.
Should I buy the 2022 Kia Sorento?
Yes. If you want an eco-conscious mid-size SUV, it’s a great option.