2022 Kia Sorento
by Ric Green

The Sorento was once just a SUV that was lost in the field of non-descript models. Then Kia designers were inspired to transform it into an attractive three-row star in 2021, but they weren’t done.  In 2022, they gave the South Korean motor-company’s Cinderella a fashionable interior, hybrid or plug-in hybrid power, turning the Kia Sorento into the belle of the ball in the field of mid-size SUVs.

Featuring more powertrain options than the larger Telluride, the 2022 Kia Sorento is a compelling substitute for its big brother. Both Kia models are handsome and have three rows, but adults won’t want to spend much time in the Sorento’s far-back seats, as when those seats are upright they limit its cargo capacity. Keep the third row stowed and its nicely appointed cabin becomes a comfortable place for the family.

The 2022 Kia Sorento is a mid-size SUV that seats up to seven in its three rows. The base engine is a 191-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder that works with an eight-speed automatic transmission. A 281-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder that pairs with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic is available. The Sorento also offers hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains.

The eco-friendly Sorento hybrid features the combin-ation of a turbo 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine and a 44.0-kW electric motor that together generate 227 horsepower. However, this setup is only offered with front-wheel drive. Kia also offers a plug-in version of the hybrid that features the same engine and transmission, but it makes a combined 261 horsepower and has a larger 66.9-kw electric motor and is all-wheel drive only. When equipped with the towing package, the Sorento can pull up to 3500 pounds.

Inside, the Sorento has an optimum layout and nice materials with strong build quality. The dashboard can be outfitted with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The rest of the design blends diamond shaped air vents integrated with ambient lighting, and intricately stitched surfaces on the door panels and seat inserts. The center console is designed around a rotary shift knob as well as a drive-mode selector and other vehicle functions. A variety of cubby storage spots and cupholders support the occupants’ needs. Along with a standard third row, its second-row bench can be swapped for a pair of captain’s chairs.

Other available options include: 18- or 20-inch alloy wheels, power liftgate, panoramic moonroof, leather-trimmed seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain’s chairs, heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, 25-inch touchscreen navigation system, Bose premium stereo, wireless device charging, 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, and blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert.

I enjoyed the 2022 Kia Sorento for many reasons. Number one is its appearance. Its rugged stance is accented by the brand’s iconic grill. I recommend the optional 20-inch wheels to balance out the look.   The second item that sells me is the interior with the large display and upgraded interior. I also like the captain’s seats as opposed to the second-row bench. While I liked the ride and handling of the four-wheel drive model, I would prefer a bit more power at acceleration.

The 2022 Kia Sorento comes in many packages starting with the entry level LX at $29, 590 all the way to the top with the X-Line SX Prestige AWD at $43,190. I drove an X-Line EX AWD, which I really enjoyed with its $39,190 price tag.