New 2020 Kia Sorento to get plug-in hybrid variant

Kia will complete the refresh of its European line-up with an all-new Sorento, which has been seen testing for the first time ahead of its unveiling next year.

The new large SUV, which will rival the Skoda Kodiaq, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Nissan X-Trail, shares much of its platform, mechanicals and technology with the latest Hyundai Santa Fe.

Although it’s heavily disguised, we can see that it has a more square-edged design than its curvy predecessor, with the brand’s tiger nose grille visible within a new front-end profile. Kia also appears to be benchmarking the new SUV alongside the pricier BMW X5, showing the Korean firm’s ambition for the model.


 

The latest Santa Fe is actually slightly smaller than today’s Sorento, at 4.77m long and 1.89m wide. Whether Kia has slightly shortened the Sorento or extended the existing platform to suit remains to be seen. Either way, it should remain one of the more spacious seven-seat SUVs. 

The new Sorento is expected to initially use a 2.2-litre diesel engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and, on higher-end models, four-wheel drive. But Kia has confirmed that, as part of its electrification plans, there will be a plug-in hybrid version in due course.

That will make use of a four-cylinder petrol engine – likely a turbocharged version of the Kia Niro’s 1.6-litre unit – and an electric motor mounted on the rear axle to give electric all-wheel drive. Details of that, and the rest of the range, won’t be made public until next year.