Prices, specification announced for Kia New Zealand's electrified Sorento
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Kia New Zealand's big seven-seat SUV has gone green in a big way with the addition of Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) models.
The $80,990 HEV matches a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine with an electric motor and 1.49kWh battery pack for combined outputs of 169kW/350Nm. The standard HEV is 2WD, but an AWD version is also available for an extra $2000.
The $89,990 PHEV uses the same petrol engine, but adds a much larger-capacity 13.8kWh plug-in battery for combined outputs of 195kW/350Nm. The PHEV is AWD only. While the PHEV price is $14k more than the equivalent Sorento diesel, it's also lineball with the top-specification version of the rival (and closely related) Hyundai Santa Fe diesel. Hyundai has confirmed it will have a hybrid Santa Fe in NZ later this year, but the plug-in version is on hold pending a business case: "That's yet to be determined - there has to be demand," says Hyundai NZ technical boss Gavin Young.
The Kia Sorento HEV 2WD returns 5.4l/100km (124g/100km), but with its 57km of pure-electric range the PHEV achieves just 1.6km/100km (36g/km).
Both electrified models are top Premium specification, which includes leather upholstery, a head-up display, wireless phone charger, heated and ventilated seats and a Bose 12-speaker surround-sound system.
The driver can monitor how the electric power is being delivered on a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, which has been reconfigured to display pertinent information on the new powertrain.
The addition of the electric drive components and battery pack does not affect the Sorento's passenger and luggage space.
The battery pack is located beneath the driver and front passenger seats in both models, sandwiched between the cabin floor and the Sorento’s underfloor.
In the all-wheel drive configuration, the "saddle-shaped" battery pack lays over the top of the prop shaft. On Sorento PHEV, the battery pack has an independent water-cooling system.
Kia's goal is that by 2030, EVs, hybrids and plug-in hybrids will make up 40 per cent of all sales globally, with a target of 1.6 million vehicles worldwide.