The 2022 Kia Sorento is already very configurable, capable, and comfortable, but now it also gets a lift and goes off-road.
Kia just introduced the fourth generation of the Sorento in 2021, and for 2022 it’s already getting some big upgrades. Among them is a more available X-Line trim package that includes AWD, a lift kit, and rugged tires. Then there’s a new plug-in hybrid engine available on four of its eight trim levels. It can go up to 38 miles on battery power alone and combined with the gasoline engine gets up to 79 MPGe.
2022 Kia Sorento – kiamedia.com | Shop 2022 Kia Sorento on Carsforsale.com
Top-notch value for the money
Only wired smartphone integration for larger screen
Lackluster cargo space
Much bigger than the last model
Of the four drivetrains available in the 2022 Kia Sorento, the one I’d recommend is the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit found in the EX and the SX trims. It makes 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. To put it simply, it’s impressive. It might not have as much power as some competitors like its big brother the Telluride, but it’s punchy and enjoyable to drive. The dual-clutch transmission it’s connected to is great too. We love the ability to snap it into whichever gear you might feel like at a moment’s notice. Unlike the slosh-boxes found in some rivals, the Sorento slots into the cog you ask for almost instantly. Front-wheel-drive is the standard drivetrain, but all-wheel-drive is available and made standard on select trim levels.
On base level trims, the standard setup you’ll find in the 2022 Kia Sorento is a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder that’s making 191 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque paired to an automatic 8-speed transmission. Also available on the S or EX trims is a hybridized 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 227 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Kia also provides a plug-in hybrid option of the same motor on the SX and SX Prestige trims that bumps up to 261 horsepower and gains a battery-only electric drive range of 32 miles. Both hybrid options are paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Overall, the Sorento feels smaller than it is as you drive it. Inputs provide nice sharp responses and feedback is great throughout the experience. Curves are handled nicely with very little body roll or struggle. The feeling inside the car is one of excellent build quality. It soaks up bumps and broken pavement like a champ and just feels nice to ride in. Rear seat passengers report the same experience.
While most drivers won’t likely buy the Sorento with towing in mind, it’s important to note that it is capable of towing up to 3,500-pounds when properly equipped with the available towing package.
It’s hard to beat the 2022 Kia Sorento when it comes to fuel economy these days. That new plug-in hybrid is an outstanding addition that can reach a combined 79 MPGe. At the same time, the standard hybrid version is great too at a combined 37 mpg with FWD and 35 mpg with AWD, which is pretty substantial considering how big this SUV actually is. Finally, the two gas engines are pretty similar. In FWD form, the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter gets 26 mpg combined, while the turbocharged version drops to just 25 mpg combined. Tacking on the AWD option drops both engine options to 24 mpg combined.
The first thing we noticed inside the 2022 Kia Sorento was how nice it was. Considering that the most expensive version of this SUV is less than $50,000, it feels like a proper steal in today’s market. The big stuff like the dash shape, the screens, the steering wheel, and the door panels all look great. Now add to that the smaller stuff, like the switchgear, the shapes of the climate vents, the door pulls, and the seats, and the Sorento starts to scream value.
Kia is clearly punching way above its weight class here. The ride doesn’t fall short either. This SUV feels every bit of $60,000 or $70,000 depending on the trim level. Highly adjustable seats, great little storage pockets everywhere, and multi-zone climate control all play a big part in that. Heated and ventilated front seats combined with heated rear seats are a nice touch too. If there’s anything we’d add it’s that with the third row in place, rear cargo space is very limited.
We’ve talked a little bit about how much we like the infotainment system in Kia vehicles in the past, and nothing has changed here. The speed and efficiency is great. Oftentimes it’s connected before you get fully seated in the 2022 Kia Sorento. The only drawback is that when you opt for a Sorento with the larger 10.25-inch infotainment screen you’ll have to switch to a wired setup if you want to use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. That’s a real fly in the ointment here and frankly the only serious one we found.
If you can spec the highway assist features like nav-guided cruise control and the like, go for it. In long trips between places or shorter ones with lots of traffic, it’ll almost feel like the Sorento is driving itself with these features engaged. It really makes a long trip that much easier. It also adds key safety features.
The NHTSA has given every 2022 Kia Sorento (aside from the plug-in which it hasn’t tested) four stars in their crash testing. The IIHS has ranked the Sorento as a Top Safety Pick too. Combine that with the advanced standard safety tech on offer make this Kia a compelling safety choice.
The standard 2022 Kia Sorento LX is the only vehicle in the lineup without multiple engine choices. It strictly uses a naturally 2.5-liter engine with 191-horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. The power is sent to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic. All-wheel-drive is available for an additional $1,800. The LX also gets a host of great standard equipment including LED headlights, 17-inch wheels, heated mirrors, and an 8-inch infotainment system. It comes equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, as well as six speakers.
The LX starts off the standard advanced safety features list with forward collision-avoidance assist, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, intelligent speed limit assist, driver attention warning, and a rear view monitor with dynamic parking guidance.
Sorento S buyers will get the same 2.5-liter engine standard. It gets 18-inch wheels, faux-leather upholstery, heated front seats, and dual-zone climate control. The larger 10.25-inch infotainment system becomes standard, but with it you’ll lose wireless smartphone connectivity. The X-Line package is also available which adds a lift kit, all-wheel drive, roof rails, and new wheels and exterior trim.
Buyers can opt for a hybrid engine at the S trim that provides 227-horsepower and gets an EPA-rated 37 mpg combined. It reduces the wheel size back to 17-inches to provide better aerodynamics, but adds in safety equipment like lane-follow assist, hill-start assist, and dynamic parking guidelines. Front-wheel-drive is the only option.
The X-Line S adds a lift kit, all-wheel drive, roof rails, new wheels, and exterior trim to the list of amenities found in the standard S trim.
The Sorento EX is the first in the batch to use the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. In addition to the features found on the S model, the EX gets second-row captain’s chairs, wireless charging, a hands-free liftgate, and improved safety equipment. That includes adaptive cruise control, enhanced forward collision mitigation, and a lane-tracking system that will center the Sorento in its lane. Front-wheel-drive is the only option.
The Hybrid EX slots in the hybrid powertrain and it swaps out black trim for silver. It also fits wood accents into the interior. It’s considered the top trim of all the vehicles that can be bought with the standard hybrid powertrain.
The Sorento SX comes with the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine and also receives 20-inch wheels, black exterior accents, chrome door handles, mirror-mounted LED turn signals, LED headlights, LED Fog lights, automatic high beams, a sound-absorbing front windshield, dual-zone automatic climate control, and some further additions to advanced safety tech. That includes navigation based cruise control that will lower speeds based on speed limit signs and upcoming curves, rear-occupant alert, and rear cross-traffic accident avoidance. Front-wheel-drive is still standard with all-wheel drive as a $1,800 option.
Go for the SX Prestige and you’ll get everything from the SX trim plus an upgraded 12-speaker sound system, front parking sensors, power-folding mirrors, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a cool 360-degree camera system. Front-wheel-drive is the only option.
The X-Line SX adds everything from the X-Line EX in terms of off-roading features and all-wheel-drive, but couples it with additional amenities found only on the SX Prestige trim.
The SX trim level is the first available with the new Plug-in hybrid powertrain for the 2022 Kia Sorento. It makes 261-horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque while offering 32 miles of all-electric range and an MPGe rating of 79. It gets everything from the standard SX trim, but also gets all-wheel-drive as standard equipment.
The Plug-In Hybrid SX Prestige comes with everything found on the standard SX Prestige trim and adds in the plug-in hybrid powertrain and standard all-wheel-drive. It is technically the most expensive 2022 Kia Sorento on offer.
While Kia won’t give you the same complimentary maintenance that Hyundai does, it still covers the 2022 Kia Sorento with a limited warranty for up to 5 years or 60,000-miles. It also covers the powertrain for up to 10 years or 100,000-miles. That’s a great warranty in comparison to the competition.
2022 Kia Sorento – kiamedia.com | Shop 2022 Kia Sorento on Carsforsale.com
The 2022 Kia Sorento is the more playful sibling to the Telluride. It’s not as full-on luxurious as offerings from Jeep or even Hyundai. It’s not as off-road capable as the Bronco or a Grand Cherokee. But it’s capable of getting kind of close on both fronts while having better tech than both, and that’s a special spot in the market.