pair of 2020 kia sorento SUVs in front of a nice big pool

Will the Next Kia Sorento Have a Hybrid Option?

Next-Generation Kia Sorento Powertrain Options

When hybrid technology debuted 15 or so years ago, jokes about the underpowered vehicles were a-plenty. You have to remember, the debut of this technology (which prioritized fuel efficiency over speed and power) was prior to the economic crash of 2007 that shifted legions of drivers out of their big, fuel-hungry SUVs and into the smaller and more fuel-efficient compact and midsize sedans.

These days, however, hybrid vehicles represent a new frontier for not just fuel efficiency and lifetime value but also performance. Some of the most insanely-spec’d supercars and hypercars on the market are getting hybrid powertrains. Models like the 2019 Kia Niro perform better than many gasoline-only crossovers against which they compete.

>>> READ MORE: Six Reasons to Love the Kia Niro <<<

As much as we love the Niro, however, we’re going to talk about another Kia model today. It’s a model that has risen to the status of “all-star” in the densely-populated third-row crossover segment. We’re talking about the Kia Sorento – a model whose next generation may give it more in common with the Kia Niro than simply Kia quality, style and an industry-best powertrain warranty.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid – Is it Likely?

In an earlier blog article, we made some bold predictions about the next-generation Kia Sorento. Among them, we speculated that Kia will be creating a Kia Sorento Hybrid and even a plug-in hybrid model to compete with partially-electrified crossovers like the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Additionally, with Kia’s push to move upmarket, competing with luxury models like the Acura MDX Hybrid, Volvo XC90 T8 Hybrid and Lexus RX Hybrid seems an inevitability.

Luckily, it’s been all but confirmed by Kia Motors Europe whose Chief Operating Officer, Emilio Herrera, told Automotive News Europe that both a Kia Sorento PHEV and Kia Sorento Hybrid are in the works. With the massive appeal of such vehicles in both the mass-market and entry-luxury segments, it would be a massively missed opportunity for Kia to not bring the alternate fuel Sorento to the United States.

Additionally, we see a hybrid/PHEV Kia Sorento as a way to further differentiate the model from the new big SUV on Kia’s lineup, the 2020 Kia Telluride.

>>> READ MORE: With the All-New Telluride, Does the Sorento Still Have a Place? <<<

One thing is for certain, the next-generation Kia Sorento is going to be a stylish and sophisticated entry into Kia’s increasingly-luxurious lineup. Free to finally be itself and no longer saddled by the pressure of being the biggest vehicle on the Kia lineup, we think the Sorento is going to take a turn toward the more luxurious, as other manufacturers have done with their midsize crossovers.

closeup of 2019 kia optima hybrid

Like the current Sorento and Optima, a Kia Sorento Hybrid/PHEV could easily share its platform with the existing Kia Optima Hybrid/PHEV.

interior cargo bay of 2020 kia sorento

What a hypothetical Kia Sorento Hybrid/PHEV would trade in cargo space, it would more than make up for in MPG and fuel efficiency.

As we find out more about the next-generation Kia Sorento, we’ll pass it on to you right here on the Friendly Kia Blog. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates on new Kia models, automotive news and local happenings in the beautiful Tampa Bay Region.

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