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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2022 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid EX

Vehicle Type: SUV/Minivan Hybrid
 overall score
Category Ranking: 16

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $36,590
Price as Tested: $38,205

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 17.7
EPA City mpg39
EPA Highway mpg35
EPA Combined mpg37
with specific headlights

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [O]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [S]
  • Driver Monitoring [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [S]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

The Kia Sorento, a handsome midsize crossover, was redesigned for 2021. In addition to its bolder exterior, it received new powertrains, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. Our hybrid test vehicle was equipped with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine (177 hp) mated to an electric motor (60 hp), for a total of 227 hp. This powertrain combo delivers plenty of low-end torque and high EPA fuel-economy estimates - up to 37 mpg combined, although the gas-electric transitions lack smoothness. Ride quality is decent on smooth roads but turns bumpy on rough pavement. Our tester was equipped with FWD; all wheel drive is an option with most trim levels. Inside, the Sorento Hybrid offers a spacious, quiet passenger cabin with seating for up to 6 passengers in 3 rows. Seating comfort is good in both the first and second rows, but some materials could use upgrading. The Sorento’s interior space is greater than the 2020 version’s, but the third-row seat is suitable only for small kids. Using it also shrinks the available cargo space dramatically. Added-value benefits include Kia’s usual long list of standard equipment, LED headlights, a copious number of advanced safety features, and lengthy bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties.
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Good-looking exteriorstyling
  • Spacious interior
  • Quiet passenger cabin
  • Good overall value

Weak Points

  • Hybrid drivetrain lackssmoothness
  • Cheap interior fit andfinish
  • Tight cabin/cargo spacewhen using the third-rowseat
  • Unimpressive centerstackstyling and layout

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/4
Curb weight (lbs): 4100.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 189.4 / 74.8 / 66.7
Wheelbase (in): 110.8
Number of air bags: 7
Warranty (months/miles): 60/60,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Nexen Roadian GTX
Front and rear tire size: 235/65 R17
Max towing capacity (lbs): 1654
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: Front wheel
Engine/motor: 1.6L 4-Cyl. turbo GDI
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 177 @ 5500
Electric motor horsepower: 60
Combined system horsepower: 227

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:








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