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Kia Sorento hybrids set to be removed from sale in Australia due to supply shortage


Severe shortages due to a production bottleneck see Sorento hybrid wait times blow out to two years – now the company is considering stopping new orders

Kia Australia is carefully considering removing both hybrid versions of the Sorento large SUV from sale in Australia because of chronic supply shortages that are not improving.

Speaking with Chasing Cars at the launch of the EV6 GT electric sports SUV, Kia Australia general manager of product planning Roland Rivero said that the existing order bank for the Sorento hybrid models was enormous.

“We’ve got enough back-orders to see us to the end of 2024, which means we might have to tell dealers to stop taking orders because the order bank is up the wazoo. … I think we might have to stop selling [the] Sorento hybrid.

Both Sorento hybrid powertrains are offered solely in GT-Line trim (pictured)

“The difficulty with the Sorento hybrid is that there is only one factory currently building the hybrids for the world. Even though our Georgia factory produces the Sorento, they don’t produce a hybrid – so Korea is still supplying the hybrid Sorento needs of North America and Europe, and themselves.”

Kia Australia offers two different hybrid powertrains for the Sorento in Australia: a series-parallel hybrid (similar to a Toyota Kluger) introduced in 2022, which produces 169kW of power and consumes 5.8L/100km in AWD form.

However, it also launched the segment’s first plug-in hybrid, in the form of a 195kW Sorento PHEV with a 14 kWh battery that offers 60 km-as tested pure-electric range for urban running.

Kia Sorento hybrid 2022 review pictures-4
The Sorento hybrid is offered in FWD or AWD, while the PHEV is AWD only

Both Sorento hybrid iterations were brought to Australia in range-topping GT-Line spec only, priced from $66,750 before on-road costs for the series-parallel hybrid, and $81,080 for the PHEV.

Supply of both versions has been exceedingly weak since the hybrid powertrains were introduced to the Sorento line, in direct comparison to improving supply of the optional diesel engine that starts at $56,790 driveaway, or $68,990 driveaway in GT-Line trim.

Rivero was candid about the disappointment felt by Kia Australia regarding its allocation of Sorento hybrid supply, as decided by global headquarters.

Kia Australia’s frustrations about Sorento hybrid supply have become clear

“We are getting token [supply] at best,” Rivero told Chasing Cars. “We just can’t get cars. We can get diesels … but we can’t get a hybrid. It’s just crap, I’m sorry.

“At the end of it is a customer that doesn’t always understand the machinations of supply. They are just thinking, ‘are you kidding me? Why can’t I get my Sorento hybrid? I can get a Kluger hybrid, but I didn’t want one of those. What is wrong with you guys at Kia?’ And it’s frustrating.”

However, the Kia planning boss had better news for buyers who didn’t need the three-row size of the Sorento and could instead consider the midsize Sportage, which will gain a long-rumoured hybrid engine for Australia in January 2024.

2022 Kia Sportage on a beach
There is better news for Sportage customers, with hybrid supply locked in from early 2024

“Sportage hybrid is a green light out of Korea, and luckily for us, we don’t have to share it with Europe,” he told Chasing Cars.

The 2024 Sportage hybrid uses a similar powertrain to the Sorento, combining a xxx kW 1.6-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder engine with a 44kW electric motor.

When it arrives in Australia it will compete directly with the Toyota RAV4 hybrid – the most popular new vehicle in the country.