Kia confirms new plug-in hybrid Sorento for New Zealand

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Words: Matthew Hansen
25 Oct 2020

Another electrified SUV option has joined New Zealand's competitive family wagon market, following confirmation from Kia New Zealand that it will sell the Sorento PHEV in local showrooms.

The announcement follows the local launch of the all-new Sorento, as tested in the latest edition of NZ Autocar Magazine in its 148kW/440Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel Premium designation. 

Similar to the Niro PHEV, the Sorento PHEV combines a 1.6-litre four with a 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery and a 66.9kW electric motor. Kia claims combined output of 195kW and 350Nm. Kia hasn't confirmed electric range for the Sorento PHEV, although the firm's European arm has said that electric range “will be sufficient to enable drivers to complete most short drives on electric power alone”. 

Kia claims the Sorento PHEV boasts a segment first, in the form of a water-cooling system attached to the battery pack. This helps manage temperatures to improve efficiency. It's one of a few clever EV touches on the Sorento; a platform Kia says it built specifically with electrification in mind. 

The aforementioned battery sits under the Sorento's floor, making “minimal impact” on the seven-seat SUV's cabin and boot space. 

It's been a busy year on the SUV front for Kia's local arm. It's introduced a new Sorento and an updated Niro, while also adding the Euro-flavoured compact Stonic to the line-up. Simultaneously, the Seltos has been a strong seller nationwide. 

“Kia is strongly focused on expanding the number of electrified vehicles in the market, which started for us with the Niro hybrid and EV models,” says Todd McDonald, Managing Director of Kia Motors New Zealand.

“The introduction of the Sorento plug-in hybrid next year provides an exciting opportunity for buyers to experience Kia’s advanced technology in a larger family vehicle.”

Pricing hasn't been confirmed for the new model, but expect it to sit above the $76,990 Sorento flagship. 

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