Red 2023 Kia Sorento hybrid
Justin Hart's picture

Kia Eliminates Lowest Priced Electrified Sorento Trims In Favor Of Upper Tier

Yesterday, Kia announced that for the 2023 model year, they would no longer offer the lowest priced electrified Sorento model, the S trim Hybrid version. Instead, the new Sorento Hybrid trim line starts with the more expensive EX option and now includes the top of the line SX Prestige (or SX-P) option, too.
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Kia’s announcement may be good news for those who wanted all the features that come with the top trim model in the non-plug in hybrid version of the Sorento as in the 2022 model year one could only get the SX-P trim in the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Sorento. However, this is certainly bad news for any shoppers that were looking for the lowest price point version. Now the lowest priced Sorento HEV model is the EX FWD, and it starts at about $2,500 more than the outgoing S trim, at $36,590 (excluding $1,295 in destination charges and any other additional fees).

The revisions to available trims do come with some, or even many, new or repackaged features for the price, at least. In the EX trim, an 8-way power front passenger seat and a frameless rear view mirror have been added for 2023, which might help some feel better about the $500 increase over last year’s model. The SX-P trim, being the top of the line, of course has many additional features that last year’s HEV options lacked. Kia highlighted that the SX-P standard features include AWD with a center locking differential and Drive Mode Select with Snow Mode, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED foglamps, Smart Power Liftgate, 12.3-inch digital cluster, perforated leather seats, Bose premium audio system, Navigation Smart Cruise Control-Curve, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Surround View Monitor, Blind View Monitor, Parking Distance Warning-Front and Rear, and Second Row Captain's Chairs. Whew, there’s a lot more in that SX-P trim, but it starts at $42,390 (not including destination charges or any additional fees).

Since Kia also discontinued the lower SX trim option for the Sorento PHEV, and it only comes in the top SX-P trim for 2023 which also increased in price to $49,890 (not including destination or other fees), this means that the price of entry for all the electrified Sorento models has gotten more expensive for the 2023 model year. Perhaps of some small consolation is the availability of the 2023 Sportage PHEV and HEV at much lower price points than the Sorento. While the Sportage lacks a 3rd row, it is only slightly smaller than the Sorento so at least for anyone that doesn’t really want or need the third row, there is a more affordable option from Kia, this model year.

In a previous article I reached out to Kia to ask about lengthy delivery timeframes and possible production delays, specifically for the Canadian market. Kia confirmed that the global chip shortage continues to impact their production too, so not only do shoppers of new, electrified Kia Sorentos have to contend with higher prices (or consider alternate models), they may often still face long wait times to get their vehicles. It seems like the auto industry can’t catch a break, lately. One small gesture that Kia might consider: give its prospective customers something to hope for, or to take into consideration when making buying decisions, by providing more detailed updates on its media site about production figures for all its electrified vehicles (not just their EVs and electrified only models), and break those numbers down by country.

How do you feel about the price increases and scarcity/long waits for electrified Kias? How could Kia make things better, besides making more product available, sooner? Please leave your questions and comments below.

Image courtesy of Kia.

Justin Hart has owned and driven electric vehicles for over 14 years, including a first generation Nissan LEAF, second generation Chevy Volt, Tesla Model 3, an electric bicycle and most recently a Kia Sorento PHEV. He is also an avid SUP rider, poet, photographer and wine lover. He enjoys taking long EV and PHEV road trips to beautiful and serene places with the people he loves. Follow Justin on Twitter for daily KIA EV news coverage.


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