Afraid of commitment, but want to flirt with something completely new?
This may be the perfect option for you.
No, this is not some weird dating app. In fact, it’s a very impressive love story – about how two very different types of cars came together and produced something magical.
Commitment? Well, many people are still afraid to jump first in the EV market. They prefer to dance their finger in the water for a while to be sure.
And this may be your chance to do so, provided you are not flooded by a flood of fully electric models heading to our showrooms.
This is a very smart and sophisticated Sorento PHEV Korean manufacturer Kia (which means connected hybrid electric car).
Electric car for people who are not yet sure about buying an electric car.
It goes something like this.
Take a popular, practical car like Kia’s flagship SUV, the Sorento – and get him a heart transplant. Well, at least the new engine and transmission.
And Bingo, suddenly you fell in love.
At least that’s how we were impressed by this new partly petrol, partly electric Sorento.
The PHEV format, which gives the car a limited range of electricity only and then defaults to using a petrol “backup” engine, has been around for several years – first seen in a similar Mitsubishi Outlander.
It seemed that this car was always different, although the concept is good – electric for short trips around the city for a week, then gasoline-electric hybrid, if you travel further on the weekend.
With a range of only EV of about 55 km, this may seem difficult. But many urban families will be able to squeeze out two, maybe even three days of “quiet running” around the city – to work or school – without the need for recharging.
Then, when the modest-sized batteries are running low, you can either recharge your Sorento overnight from a regular outlet, or simply switch to a hybrid drive, where it provides a fuel-efficient ride of less than 5 l / 100 km.
Think of it as a hybrid SUV (for example, the market leader Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – which can also give you a long mode of operation only with electric movement), but one that combines electricity with a hybrid.
Of course, like any marriage, it helps when the two parties complement each other, and this is especially true of the Sorento.
This latest model of Korean seven-seater car is distinguished by style, quality and sophistication – something that is only enhanced by the silent operation of the electric motor.
When it finds the need to switch back to petrol (after about 50 km in EV mode), the switch works smoothly and seamlessly.
Currently, the Sorento impresses with its flexibility. It can be argued that the Plug-In Hybrid EV is two or even three cars in one. A city car, a plush SUV and, if necessary, a distant tourist with very little thirst.
Value for money? Well, it really depends on your point of view.
Priced at $ 79,330, it’s one of the most expensive models in Kia’s lineup and about $ 15,000 more expensive than the GT-Line Sorento with similar equipment to conventional engines.
This is a bigger differential than the current Mitsubishi Outlander for its PHEV version – and much larger than Toyota for the transition from the conventional to the hybrid RAV4 and in particular the Kluger-sized hybrid from the Sorrento.
Even the highly acclaimed, specially built electric flagship Kia, a stunning EV6, is more than $ 10,000 cheaper than the Sorento PHEV.
For a car with smart but not quite advanced technology, it’s pretty premium.
On the plus side, you get most of the benefits of an electric car without many disadvantages.
Built into the GT’s smart finish, it brings an impressive array of technology, convenience and comfort.
This list extends to the panoramic sunroof, the tightened leather trim, the electric heated and ventilated seats (three rows); LED headlights, heated steering wheel and transmission.
Electronic aids include vehicle stability control, trailer stability assistance, descent braking control and a brilliant 360-degree parking camera.
It is comfortable, bordering on plush, and very attractive inside.
There is a device with a double screen “Benz” and infotainment format – with clear graphics on the dazzling display.
Swivel gearshifts and clever driving mode settings with Eco, Smart and Sport options allow the driver to type a lot, which in turn makes the Sorento surprisingly interesting to drive.
What’s really amazing is how this small 1.6-liter turbocharged engine copes with the task of pulling a fairly large car. It produces a total of 132 kW and 265 Nm of torque, but actually feels a little smarter.
Whatever the mode, it’s a solid well-balanced and compatible thing to manage.
Even when the EV mode is completely exhausted, the electric motor operates as in a traditional hybrid, adding extra momentum on takeoff and whenever the driver requires it. It draws energy from its own petrol engine, as well as from regenerative braking, so that if necessary, there was always at hand some electrical impulse.
This turns the Sorento into a very capable, very easy to drive machine that contradicts this rather small engine.
Well, when put next to all-electric options (like the BMW iX3), the Kia seems a bit old-fashioned, solely thanks to its transmission.
But at worst, you’ll be left with the appeal of one of the country’s most popular SUVs – and the owner of numerous awards for best car, with some party tricks.
And it’s a seven-seater, in the trunk, and pretty decent.
It can be said to be ideal for those who have a lot of family responsibilities.
KIA SORENTO GT-LINE PHEV
HOW BIG? This is a full-size seven-seater SUV that has plenty of room for a large family. The electric battery slightly reduces the cargo space behind.
HOW FAST? It’s not particularly fast in any mode, but the electric motor provides the highest speed.
HOW THIRSTY? This is difficult to answer. Its official thirst is 1.6 l / 100 km, which is insanely frugal. But this assumes that for every 100 km you will use an electrical system for about 55 of them. In fact, it consumes just under 5 l / 100 km in petrol-hybrid mode – which is still very good. And for short trips during the week you can drive without fuel.
HOW MUCH: The tried-and-tested GT-Line model with great features costs $ 79,330 plus travel costs.