Kia’s rival to the Toyota Kluger Hybrid won’t be doing any significant volume when it arrives later in February, with the local arm indicating modest double-digit monthly supply due to high demand from global markets.
The first shipment of 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid vehicles should dock in Australia during the second half of February, though the brand’s local marketing boss, Dean Norbiato, said it’ll be slim pickings from the get-go.
“We will receive around 20 units per month,” Mr Norbiato told CarExpert, “we would certainly take more [of both Hybrid and PHEV], however these variants are in high demand globally, particularly in Europe.”
According to Mr Norbiato, Sorento Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) supply is currently sitting at around 10 units per month. By comparison, over 50 per cent of Kluger sales are hybrid (and Toyota sold 4895 units in 2021).
The Sorento Hybrid will initially be solely offered in flagship GT-Line specification much like the PHEV – as reported by CarExpert in October – however the more conventional hybrid will offer both front- and all-wheel drive options.
It means Sorento GT-Line buyers will soon have five total drivetrains to choose from – 3.5L V6 petrol FWD, 2.2L diesel AWD, 1.6L Hybrid FWD, 1.6L Hybrid AWD, and 1.6L Plug-in Hybrid AWD. The Kia Sorento will be the only vehicle on the Australian market to offer such an extensive powertrain family.
As for pricing, we’ll have to wait a few more weeks for the Australian launch, though given the Sorento GT-Line Diesel AWD lists for $65,070 plus on-road costs, and the GT-Line PHEV AWD retails for $79,330 before on-roads, we’d expect the Hybrid FWD to have an RRP in the high-$60,000 bracket, with the Hybrid AWD in the low-$70,000.
It’s unclear whether Kia will offer national drive-away pricing (the PHEV launched at $81,990 D/A), though a low- to mid-$70,000 on-road price would put the Sorento Hybrid in between the mid-spec Toyota Kluger GXL AWD Hybrid ($69,577 D/A in VIC) and flagship Kluger Grande AWD Hybrid ($82,911 D/A in VIC).
Power in the Kia Sorento Hybrid comes from a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine teamed with a six-speed automatic, as well as a 44kW/264Nm electric motor and 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery.
System outputs are rated at 169kW and 350Nm, which is a little down on power compared to the PHEV’s 195kW combined power output. Further, the Toyota Kluger Hybrid offers a combined 184kW.
The UK-spec Hybrid AWD claims to accelerate from 0-60mph (0-97km/h) in 8.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 119mph (191km/h). That compares to 9.1 seconds and 127mph (204km/h) for the diesel.
Fuel use according to Kia UK is 38-41mpg (7.4-6.8L/100km) on the combined WLTP cycle depending on variant. The diesel claims 6.1L/100km in Australia.
Sister brand Hyundai will be launching the related Santa Fe Hybrid AWD later in the first quarter of 2022, forming part of a wider range update that is yet to be detailed.
Hyundai Australia’s product development manager, Tim Rodgers, told CarExpert last month that the local arm hadn’t finalised whether the electrified Santa Fe will be offered in multiple grades though early signs indicate any vehicles that make it to the country will sell quickly.
“Every single one of those we bring in, we’re going to be able to sell pretty quickly. There’s quite high demand [for Santa Fe Hybrid], we’re already getting dealers’ doors knocked on for that car,” Mr Rodgers said.
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