The 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid is getting a price hike now that Kia has discontinued the outgoing base model and added a new top trim. The SUV’s lineup used to start with the front-wheel drive Sorento Hybrid S, and move up to the Sorento Hybrid EX with all-wheel drive. Now, the new Sorento Hybrid SX-P trim has bumped the EX down, making it the new entry-level model and raising the starting price of the hybrid SUV by $2,500.
Kia hasn’t specified whether the same Sorento lineup changes will apply to non-hybrid models. For now, these new prices apply to the Sorento HEV only.
Kia is pitching the shakeup as two repackaged trims, but it essentially nixed two out of four previous hybrid models and added a new one for a simpler lineup. The Sorento HEV took one step forward and two steps backward, raising its price by a significant amount.
As part of last year’s lineup, the base 2022 Sorento Hybrid S started at $35,345 including delivery; the more upscale 2022 Sorento Hybrid EX started at $37,145. But that same EX model will now cost $740 more, with the 2o23 Sorento Hybrid EX FWD coming in at $37,885 with delivery.
Kia says that $740 markup gets you new power seats up front and a frameless rear-view mirror. Otherwise, the Sorento HEV, or Hybrid, is mostly the same, powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and 44kW electric motor. Power output stays flat, at 227 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is the same too, 39 mpg city and 35 highway in a front-wheel drive model, per the EPA. The all-wheel drive Sorento Hybrid gets slightly lower mpg.
The new top model will be the 2023 Sorento Hybrid SX-P, which will cost $43,685, including delivery. That model comes standard with second row captain’s chairs, AWD with center locking differential, and selectable drive modes, including one for snow. This will be the halo hybrid model, before stepping up to the Sorento plug-in hybrid.
I guess the extra power seat and frameless rear view mirror in the latest Sorento Hybrid EX are fine as a consolation prize. But the change isn’t great for those who wanted the cheapest possible Sorento hybrid, and were perfectly okay without a few nonessential amenities.