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Kia unleashes hybrids on NZ

Two new SUV models aim to make range more environmentally friendly.
Posted on 10 March, 2021
Kia unleashes hybrids on NZ

Kia has taken another step towards a more electrified future with the arrival of two more fuel-efficient versions of its Sorento in New Zealand.

The Hybrid (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) models join the diesel-powered variants of the vehicle and increase the marque’s line-up of seven-seat SUVs. 

Todd McDonald, managing director of Kia New Zealand, says the latest Sorento models come as the marque aims for electric vehicles (EVs), hybrids and plug-in hybrids to make up 40 per cent of all sales by 2030.

“The new Sorento PHEV has a CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions figure of just 36g/km, compared to an average of 171g/km for new vehicles currently sold in New Zealand – an extraordinary achievement for a large SUV that can transport seven people in luxurious comfort, plus all their luggage,” he explains.

The new Sorento PHEV boasts an all-electric range of up to 57 kilometres and has combined fuel consumption of just 1.6L/100km.

It is being offered to New Zealand customers in Premium specification only, but in a choice of front-drive or all-wheel-drive.

Under the bonnet of the HEV and PHEV models is a 1.6-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine, producing up to 132kW and 265Nm torque. This is supplemented by an electric motor, with the one in the PHEV producing 67kW and 304Nm torque, while the HEV version delivers 44kW and 264Nm. 

The combined power of the turbo petrol engine and electric motors is 195kW and 350Nm torque in the PHEV, and 169kW and 350Nm torque for the HEV. The powertrains are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. 

Each plug-in version comes with two charging cables, one for emergency charging from a normal household socket and another that paired with a dedicated charge port will fully charge the battery in about three hours and 25 minutes.

The HEV’s 2WD model boasts a combined fuel economy of 5.42L/100km and  CO2 emissions of 124g/km, and the AWD model offers 6.16L/100km and 141g/km.

A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster displays powertrain information for drivers, and the battery pack sits beneath the driver and front passenger seats in both models to limit any intrusion on cabin or cargo space. 

Premium grade specification includes leather upholstery, a Head-up Display (HUD) that projects information on the lower windscreen, a wireless phone charger, heated and ventilated seats and a BOSE 12-speaker surround-sound system.

Among the safety features are blind spot view monitor, forward collision avoidance assist technology, with pedestrian, cyclist and vehicle detection, and seven airbags.

Prices start from $80,990.