Should I buy a Kia Sorento Hybrid or a Skoda Kodiaq RS large seven-seat SUV?

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When it comes to family-friendly large SUVs, are economy and performance mutually exclusive, or can buyers have both?

Should I buy a Kia Sorento Hybrid or a Skoda Kodiaq RS large seven-seat SUV?-0
Should I buy a Kia Sorento Hybrid or a Skoda Kodiaq RS large seven-seat SUV?-0

If you’re in the market for a large SUV with seven seats under $70,000, there is plenty to choose from, such as the Toyota Kluger and the rugged Prado off-roader. Mazda has the CX-8 and the CX-9 large urban SUVs that offer seven seats. Then there’s the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Hyundai Palisade, the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, the Kia Sorento and the Skoda Kodiaq, to name a few. 

Choosing the right vehicle firstly comes down to identifying your needs. Do you want a true seven-seater or a five-seater with an occasional third row? Real off-road ability or a vehicle that can tow? An economical urban family SUV or something that puts the Sport in SUV?

Today we’re going to answer that last point, and we’ve chosen two newly arrived variants of popular players in the Kia Sorento and Skoda Kodiaq.



The Kia Sorento won our 2021 Drive Car of the Year Best Large SUV award, and the range has been further bolstered in 2022 by the arrival of two hybrid variants. One is a plug-in hybrid that can be recharged at home or on the move, and the other is a closed-loop hybrid that recharges by capturing lost kinetic energy, or topping up from the engine in low-load driving.  

The Skoda Kodiaq received a midlife update in 2022 that brought new styling outside and in and more standard equipment. Skoda also tweaked the range, deleting the Kodiaq RS diesel option and leaving the RS as a petrol-only performance option.

So, economy or performance, what are the strengths and weaknesses of each? And can you only have one or the other, or can one car give buyers a taste of both worlds? Let’s find out. 



How much does the Kia Sorento Hybrid cost in Australia? 

The 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid rounds out the Sorento range that already comprises diesel, V6 petrol, and plug-in hybrid options.

The new Kia Sorento Hybrid model is a closed-loop system, so no plug and no wall charging are required. Instead, a small battery and electric motor work with a small petrol engine to provide the kind of performance you might expect with much smaller fuel bills.

The system charges itself by using the energy you’d otherwise waste decelerating or braking or diverting excess engine power not used during cruising. That battery power runs an electric motor that can either run on its own for short stints or share the load with the petrol engine.



Because moving from a standstill is the thirstiest work your car will do, taking some of that strain off helps keep fuel bills low.

Pricing for the Sorento Hybrid range starts from $66,750 in two-wheel-drive form or $69,750 for the all-wheel-drive model tested here. The Sorento Hybrid comes in flagship GT-Line trim only, meaning it is fully equipped – only missing out on 20-inch wheels of the non-hybrid models, with 19-inch wheels instead.

There are no other tell-tale signs to separate the hybrid from a regular Sorento. You get the same bluff and chiselled styling, LED head- and tail-lights, a massive panoramic sunroof, rear privacy glass, and exterior details in gloss black and satin silver.



Should I buy a Kia Sorento Hybrid or a Skoda Kodiaq RS large seven-seat SUV?-0

How much does the Skoda Kodiaq RS cost in Australia? 

The 2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS is something of an oxymoron. As a seven-seater SUV with a powerful engine, it faces the tall order of combining space and safety with sportiness and sex appeal – not things that typically coexist. 

The entire Kodiaq range got a midlife update is early 2022 with the flagship RS receiving an under-the-bonnet overhaul, swapping its turbo-diesel powertrain for a turbo-petrol one. 

Now all Skoda Kodiaqs get the same 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, but in the RS it is tuned to produce more power and torque than the other two variants – 180kW and 370Nm to be precise. 



That means the Kodiaq RS can sprint to 100km/h almost two seconds faster than the regular Kodiaq. 

Across the range, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission drives all four wheels – although the Kodiaq operates predominantly in front-wheel drive until extra traction is required. 

At $68,390 before on-road costs, the RS is the most expensive Kodiaq money can buy – a full $10,000 and change more than the next grade down, the Kodiaq Sportline. 

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Opting for the RS adds visual intrigue to the exterior with RS badging, 20-inch alloy wheels with a bold basket-weave detail, black accents and stainless steel exhaust tips. 

Aside from the added looks and performance over and above the lower-grade Kodiaq, you’ll also receive more safety and driver assistance features as standard, plus a hands-free electric tailgate, three-zone climate control, front ventilated seats and a sunroof. 

Key details2022 Kia Sorento GT-Line Hybrid AWD2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS
Price (MSRP)$69,750 plus on-road costs$68,390 plus on-road costs
Colour of test carSnow White PearlMoon White
OptionsPearlescent Paint – $695Metallic paint – $770
Price as tested$70,445 plus on-road costs$69,160 plus on-road costs
Drive-away price$76,410 (Melbourne)$76,820 (Melbourne)
Should I buy a Kia Sorento Hybrid or a Skoda Kodiaq RS large seven-seat SUV?-0

How much space does the Kia Sorento Hybrid have inside? 

The 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid shares its interior with other members of the range, so that means this blocky centre stack, lots of metallic trim, and heaps of storage.

The seats are trimmed in quilted nappa leather, which is pretty plush, and the front seats come with heating and ventilation, plus 14-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat with two-position memory. The steering wheel is heated too.

Even with a big infotainment screen (more on that below), Kia retains physical buttons for the dual-zone climate control and other vehicle functions, with a neat and logical layout that makes it easy to use.

Up front there’s a lidded bin that houses three USB-A ports and a wireless charge pad. The centre console carries the rotary gear selector and cupholders, plus a lidded centre armrest.



There’s 64-colour ambient lighting and interesting design details throughout to lift the Sorento beyond the realms of mere family transport.

Into the second row and the first thing you’ll notice is how much space there is. The second-row seats offer fore-aft sliding adjustment, which means you can stretch out or slide forward a little to make more space for passengers in the third row.

Again, you get the same quilted nappa leather, the outboard rear seats are heated, and the windows have retractable sunblinds built in.

There are air vents in the back of the centre console and another three USB ports. One in the console, and one on the side of each front seat, making them easier to access.

The doors have cupholders built into them, there’s a fold-down armrest in the middle, and you can recline the backrest, making for a pretty comfy place to take a longer trip.

Access to the third row is via a one-touch button that slides and folds the middle-row seat.



It’s not a badly proportioned space back there, but it’s not as roomy as the first two rows. Passengers still get quilted seat trim, but no seat heating. Amenities include air vents with a separate booster fan control plus USB power.

These rear seats have ISOFIX child seat mounts to go with the two in the second row.

How big is the Kia Sorento Hybrid’s boot?

Behind the Sorento’s powered tailgate is 179L of cargo space with all three rows in use. Fold the third-row seats to unlock 608L of boot space, or with the second row stowed up to 1996L.

In each case, the Sorento Hybrid’s boot is a touch bigger than the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid, but slightly smaller than the petrol or diesel versions. Certainly not enough to make a significant impact. 

How much space does the Skoda Kodiaq RS have inside? 

While the Kodiaq’s interior space feels positively vast, it actually has a fairly modest exterior footprint – only slightly bigger than a Kia Sportage. 

While it’s technically still a large SUV, it’s more like a large SUV that’s been placed on a juice cleanse, meaning it’s an ideal car for inner-city dwellers whose extra baggage won’t squeeze into a medium SUV.  



Getting into the car is made easier thanks to the elevated ride height, but I found Skoda’s door-edge protectors – plastic devices that swing out when the door is opened to prevent it from hitting and damaging surrounding objects – make closing the heavy doors problematic. You really have to slam them to ensure they shut properly. 

The interior of the RS feels particularly spacious thanks to a massive standard-inclusion sunroof that spans almost the entire roof. 

In the front seat, the suave black and red sports seats are heated, ventilated, snug and firm – although a headrest that slopes forward may have you feeling like your neck is a little bent out of shape (particularly if you wear your hair in a bun, like me). 

Ergonomics are excellent and the layout makes everything accessible, plus it looks clean and streamlined. 

Storage options are plentiful, including a central glovebox with removable tray, umbrella holders in the doors, cupholders, and a cleverly designed split glovebox that has separate compartments that open at the top and the bottom. 

Legroom in the passenger seat is great, but with our Britax Brava child seat behind it in rear-facing mode, my husband found his legroom was minimised somewhat. 



In the back seat, space continues to be accommodating, even for taller adults. With Drive’s photographer, who is roughly 193cm tall, in the driver’s seat, I still felt like I had ample legroom. 

The rear seats are heated too, and back seat occupants get their own separate climate controls for added independence. 

Retractable sunblinds store neatly below the rear windows and reduce sun glare for kids, although they don’t remove it entirely. 

Getting into the third row isn’t the easiest task. The Kodiaq’s seats fold and slide, but it’s not the smoothest process, and they don’t flip up for maximum clearance like the ones in some Honda or Mitsubishi models, so adults will have to squeeze.

Once you’re in the back row, most grown-ups will find their heads are grazing the roof and their knees feel cramped, but large side windows and plenty of light from the sunroof counteract the sense of claustrophobia. 

Still, it’s not the most cramped third row I’ve sat in, and kids will certainly appreciate the novelty factor. Meanwhile, adults will appreciate keeping any stints in the third row nice and short. 



How big is the Skoda Kodiaq’s boot?

If you’ve got the key in your pocket, the boot is accessible with a swift kick under the centre of the hands-free power tailgate – particularly helpful when you have arms full of supermarket shopping.

Inside, there’s a whopping 765L of space with the third row flat – a bigger boot than both the Kia Sorento and Toyota Kluger. 

Even with the third row in play, there’s 270L at hand. That’s still a bigger boot that the Mazda CX-3 compact SUV and you’ll be able to squeeze a grocery shop in there if you’re strategic.

Under the floor, there’s a spot to slot in the cargo blind when the third row is in use, plus a temporary spare wheel. 

2022 Kia Sorento GT-Line Hybrid AWD2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS
SeatsSevenSeven
Boot volume179L to third row

608L to second row

1996L to first row
270L to third row

765L to second row

2005L to first row
Length4810mm4699mm
Width1900mm1882mm
Height1700mm1685mm
Wheelbase2815mm2791mm

Does the Kia Sorento Hybrid have Apple CarPlay?

The driver faces a colour head-up display and a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster, which changes depending on your drive mode.

This sits alongside a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen loaded with inbuilt satellite navigation, digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – but smartphone connection requires plugging in. There’s no wireless CarPlay or Android Auto yet.



You get 12-speaker Bose audio and Kia has incorporated an in-car intercom, so you can broadcast messages to the back seat instead of having to yell.

Kia doesn’t yet include connected infotainment on the Sorento range (but has announced a new live infotainment platform is set to start rolling out), so you can’t remotely access your car via smartphone or send info from phone to car or vice versa.

Does the Skoda Kodiaq RS have Apple CarPlay?

The Kodiaq’s infotainment system feels up-to-date and user-friendly, without being distracting or overly convoluted.

There’s a wireless phone charging pad (which accommodates larger devices), wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and two USB-C ports to connect your devices. 

In all Kodiaq grades, the infotainment control centre is a 9.2-inch touchscreen with crisp graphics and excellent positioning for use on the move. 

This screen and ‘virtual cockpit’ driver display screen aren’t huge or particularly revolutionary in their design, but they’re well-executed, responsive and functional enough to hold their own against offerings from more upmarket brands. 



Managing audio from the steering wheel is easy, but I found it frustrating that there’s no quick way to hang up phone calls when using CarPlay (when using Bluetooth or Android Auto, you can end a call by holding the volume dial down). 

If you’re so inclined, you can drop an extra $2900 on the Tech Pack, which adds a 12-speaker Canton sound system, but I really enjoyed the quality of the standard-fit system and found it more than satisfactory for playing Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush on repeat. 

Is the Kia Sorento Hybrid a safe car? 

The Kia Sorento range carries a five-star ANCAP safety rating as tested in 2020. This applies regardless of the engine type.

ANCAP gave an 82 per cent adult occupant rating, 85 per cent child occupant rating, 63 per cent vulnerable road user (pedestrians and cyclists) protection rating, and an 89 per cent score for safety systems.

All Sorento models come standard with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian, cyclist and intersection intervention, blind-spot monitoring, lane keeping and lane-centring assist, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, auto high-beam headlights, driver attention monitoring, safe exit assist, and rear occupant alert.

The GT-Line models step up further still with blind-spot cameras (displayed on the instrument cluster when you indicate), parking collision avoidance assist, and advanced rear occupant alert.



Seven airbags are standard, including a centre airbag between front occupants; however, the Sorento’s curtain airbags are only designed to cover the first and second rows. Five top tether and four ISOFIX child seat mounts are also standard. 

Is the Skoda Kodiaq RS a safe car?

The Skoda gets a five-star ANCAP rating and was last tested in 2017. That rating predates some key changes to ANCAP scoring and testing introduced in 2018 and again in 2020.

The Kodiaq range received a 92 per cent score for adult occupant protection and 77 per cent for child occupant protection, while pedestrian protection was rated at 62 per cent and safety assist received 54 per cent. 

All Kodiaqs have nine airbags, including rear curtain, side and knee airbags to protect back-seat occupants. 

Because the RS is the top-grade Kodiaq, it gets plenty of safety and driver assistance tech as standard.

This includes additions like Skoda’s park assist, which will manoeuvre into a space for you, and traffic jam assist that utilises the lane assist and cruise-control systems to start, brake and turn the car to copy the movement of surrounding vehicles in a traffic jam. 

Unfortunately, as a result of ongoing semiconductor shortages, Skoda has had to remove blind-spot detection and a rear cross-traffic alert from the Kodiaq range. Both are extremely helpful active safety features that are particularly useful on a large SUV, but neither are essential safety inclusions.  

Additionally, the car I drove had an overhead-view monitor that gives you a bird’s-eye view of your surroundings. It’s an inclusion that was temporarily dropped from the car due to semiconductor shortages, but will make its return for the 2023 model-year.

Otherwise, all Kodiaq grades receive autonomous emergency braking for the front and rear, front and rear parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control. The rear parking sensors are pretty full-on and there’s no way to lower their sensitivity, so you’ll have to settle for being something of a Nervous Nelly when parking.

Editor’s note: Due to semiconductor shortages at the time of writing, buyers may miss out on some active safety systems including Side Assist and Rear Traffic Alert. Check with your Skoda dealer before purchase.

At a glance2022 Kia Sorento GT-Line Hybrid AWD2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS
ANCAP rating & year testedFive stars (tested 2020)Five stars (tested 2017)
Safety reportANCAP reportANCAP report

Is the Kia Sorento Hybrid good value to own? 

With a list price of $69,750 before on-road costs for the Kia Sorento Hybrid with all-wheel drive, you’ll be paying a circa $4700 premium for the hybrid model compared to a Sorento GT-Line diesel.

Both are equipped with all-wheel drive, but the 2.2-litre turbo diesel provides 148kW and 440Nm compared to 169kW and 350Nm (combined petrol and electric) for the hybrid.

Outside of a Kia showroom, you might also consider the Toyota Kluger Hybrid. The Kluger Hybrid is all-wheel drive only, but the top-spec Kluger Grande Hybrid starts from $75,700, while the lower-spec GXL asks for $63,650, both before on-road costs.

That’s it for large SUV hybrids, though cars like the Hyundai Palisade (diesel) and Mazda CX-9 (turbo petrol) might also make your shopping list.

Like all other Kia models, the Sorento Hybrid comes with a seven-year warranty with no kilometre limit for private buyers. The hybrid battery and high-voltage components are covered for seven years or 150,000km.

Capped-price servicing is available for seven years at 12-month or 10,000km intervals, but each service carries its own price tag. The cheapest is just $323, but at four years or 40,000km you’ll have to stump up $1010.

Is the Skoda Kodiaq RS good value to own?

The Kodiaq RS is priced from $68,390 before on-road costs, but my test car was finished in metallic paint, which adds $770 – bringing the as-tested price to $69,160 before on-road costs.

Skoda’s current drive-away pricing for the Kodiaq RS is $74,990 – a big jump up from the drive-away price for the Sportline, which starts at $57,990. 

That $17,000 difference can be semi-justified with the inclusion of the panoramic sunroof, which is typically an additional $1900, plus interior features like seat ventilation, electric adjustment for both front seats, rear seat heating, plus the extra active driver assistance technology. 

But even if you were to add those things up, you’d struggle to get to $10,000 – and it’s hard to put a monetary value on the additional 48kW and 50Nm of torque from the engine. 

As a result, it’s worth test-driving both the RS and Sportline grades given they offer the same level of cabin space, all-wheel-drive capabilities, and the Sportline features a solid level of standard equipment. 

As for ownership costs, it costs $2000 to service the Kodiaq RS over five years, or $2900 over seven years. 

That works out to roughly $400 for each annual service visit – which is more affordable than a premium brand, but higher than a mass-market brand like Mazda, which charges $387 per year for its Mazda CX-8

Skoda offers a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty across all its cars, but opting for a pre-paid seven-year service pack boosts that warranty term to seven years. 

Is the Kia Sorento fuel-efficient?

Official fuel consumption is rated at an impressive 5.8L/100km, but on test we saw 7.1L/100km after a week of running around town and a few highway stints. A little way off the claim, sure, but I reckon anything under 10L/100km for a car of this size is still mightily impressive.

The Sorento will also happily take 91-octane regular unleaded petrol, too, helping keep costs down at the pump.

Is the Skoda Kodiaq fuel-efficient?

Where the Kodiaq RS could also prove a strain on the bank account is at the bowser. 

Interestingly, Skoda quotes a lower average combined fuel use in the RS than in the Style or Sportline grades – 7.5L/100km. Meanwhile, claimed urban consumption is 9.6L/100km. 

My week of urban driving returned an overall figure of 10.7L/100km, and I found that I burned through half a tank of fuel with a combination of short freeway stints and inner-city commuting. 

Additionally, all Kodiaqs require a minimum of 95RON, so the combination of elevated fuel usage and more expensive petrol is definitely something that’s worth weighing up over the course of ownership.

At a glance2022 Kia Sorento GT-Line Hybrid AWD2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS
WarrantySeven years, unlimited kmFive years, unlimited km
Service intervals12 months or 10,000km12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs$2841 (5 years), $4393 (7 years)$2000 (5 years), $2900 (7 years)
Fuel cons. (claimed)5.8L/100km7.5L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test)7.1L/100km10.7L/100km
Fuel type91-octane regular unleaded95-octane regular unleaded
Fuel tank size65L65L

What is the Kia Sorento Hybrid like to drive? 

Looking at hybrid cars, there are usually a lot of numbers to decipher. In this case, the Sorento Hybrid claims 44kW and 264Nm from its electric engine, and 132kW and 265Nm from the 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

That’s the same petrol engine as the Sorento PHEV, but the electric motor is a little less powerful. When combined, Kia rates maximum outputs at 169kW and 350Nm.

That’s not too far off the 184kW combined claim of a Toyota Kluger Hybrid, though Toyota doesn’t quote combined torque. It’s also down on the 200kW V6 Sorento, but beats that engine’s 332Nm.

If you’re staring blankly at a Kluger and Sorento brochure unsure what means what, Kia’s system is a little different to the hybrid tech you might be used to in a Toyota hybrid.

I won’t get bogged down in detail, but Toyota uses very frugal petrol engines in its hybrid cars, and gets a lot of legwork out of the electric assistance.

In this Sorento Hybrid, the car will always try to start on electric power, but it starts up the petrol engine early. It’s enough to take the load off, and the electric motor keeps assisting as you drive, even when speeds rise, but I think Toyota’s system manages to keep things electric a little longer.

Still, for trips around town, the Sorento doesn’t feel like it’s lacking urge – although if you’re a bit of a leadfoot, you’ll probably like the power of the V6 or the torque of the diesel more.

The Sorento isn’t shy if you sink the boot in, but it’s just not as urgent as its siblings.

It’s nice and refined, though. There are a few other differences compared to Toyota that are worth mentioning here too.

The Sorento uses a traditional six-speed auto, and the electric motor is transmission-mounted. Toyota uses a CVT auto, which works as a power-splitter between the petrol and electric power sources.

In this car you can feel the gear changes, but it’s still smooth and well behaved, just a bit more ‘traditional’ than the Toyota.

This also means the all-wheel-drive Sorento has a propeller shaft to take power from the transmission to the rear wheels. On a Kluger, the rear axle isn’t physically connected to the transmission, rather it’s powered by an electric motor of its own.

Does any of this really impact the driving experience? Not a bit.

There’s no real user input required. You just jump in, press the start button, select drive, and let the car work out what it needs to do.

I reckon the Sorento might have a slight advantage in being a little quieter when the petrol engine kicks in, but if you demand a burst of big power from either this or the Kluger, it comes with a dose of engine noise.

The ride is quite comfy. The hybrid Sorentos roll on slightly smaller 19-inch wheels compared to 20-inch wheels on the rest of the GT-Line range, so on rough surfaces it is just a touch quieter and more refined.

Kia tunes ride and handling for Australia specifically, and the changes made result in a settled ride on the open road. Given how rough some roads can get, there’s a good balance between control and comfort.

Where the Sorento is likely to spend most of its time, around town, progress is more than acceptable. Bumps and dips in the road surface are well managed, and the powertrain is competent and easy to work with.

Really, the Sorento Hybrid puts up no hard-to-live-with quirks.

The only quibble I had was that when moving at low speeds on electric-only motivation, the accelerator feels a pinch more twitchy than it does on petrol power. Not a deal-breaker, and easy enough to get the hang of once you understand how to adjust it.

While there are no specific hybrid system controls, the Sorento has three drive modes, Eco, Sport or Smart, which can monitor your driving style and adjust the steering, throttle response, and transmission shift points to suit.

It’s also possible to pick a terrain mode with snow, mud and sand settings. Don’t expect to head too far off-road, but if terrain turns soft or icy, these will help direct drive where it’s needed to maintain progress.

What is the Skoda Kodiaq RS like to drive? 

Before we get into the driving experience, we need to talk about the Kodiaq RS’s fake engine noises. At first, I found them a little cheesy, but as I spent more time in Sport mode, I realised they added a sense of fun and excitement that’s otherwise lacking from most large SUVs.

Additionally, when my son was a newborn, I wanted any car I was driving to be as silent as possible so he wouldn’t wake up, so the concept of a car that can tailor its exhaust noises to your circumstances is actually sort of genius. 

So too are the Kodiaq’s various drive modes, which enable you to customise the level of engine noise as well as the damping and steering characteristics, with the option or Normal, Comfort and Sport. 

I found that the ride with the Kodiaq in Comfort mode is ideal – it’s supple but without the wobbly, top-heavy feeling you sometimes get in larger cars. 

The steering feel is also fantastic. The Kodiaq RS gets something called progressive steering as standard, which basically means it becomes more dynamic at speed and requires less input, but is nice and light around town. 

As a result, the Kodiaq is actually a really easy car to manage around town. 

On paper, a 12.2m turning circle appears on the larger side, but somehow the combination of light steering and moderate footprint meant I was able to complete a surprising number of manoeuvres I wouldn’t normally pull off in a larger car (three-point turns in dead-end streets, or U-turns on main roads, for example). 

All Kodiaqs are all-wheel drive and can offer extra traction whenever they detect wheel slippage, which adds to the overall balanced and capable behind-the-wheel feel. 

The whole range also features a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, but the RS grade adds paddle shifters for those who really want to lean into the sporty vibe.

I found this dual-clutch transmission particularly well-executed. It moves smoothly through the gears without any lag and is punchy when you really kick down – without being jumpy at lower speeds.

Acceleration from a standstill is immediate and you have to be careful, as the car can get up to speed quickly. 

The idle-stop system incorporates well into this overall package and is virtually imperceptible, even in stop-start traffic. 

If I had one complaint it’s that the rear-vision mirror could be larger, but otherwise visibility is good and the driving position is comfortable but not so high you sacrifice driver feel.

Key details2022 Kia Sorento GT-Line Hybrid AWD2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS
Engine1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol hybrid2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power132kW @ 5500rpm petrol

44kW electric

169kW combined
180kW @ 5250–6500rpm
Torque165Nm @ 1500–4500rpm petrol

164Nm electric

350Nm combined
370Nm @ 1600–4300rpm
Drive typeAll-wheel driveAll-wheel drive
TransmissionSix-speed torque converter automaticSeven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power to weight ratio87kW/t101kW/t
Weight1948kg1790kg
Tow rating1650kg braked

750kg unbraked
2000kg braked

750kg unbraked
Turning circle11.6m12.2m

CarIcon

Doors & Seats

EngineIcon

Engine

EnginePowerIcon

Power & Torque

TransmissionIcon

Transmission

DrivetrainIcon

Drivetrain

FuelIcon

Fuel

WarrantyIcon

Warranty

AncapSafetyIcon

Safety

2022 SKODA Kodiaq RS Wagon

Doors & Seats

5 Doors, 7 Seats

Power & Torque

180 kW, 370 Nm

Transmission

7 Speed, Auto (DCT)

Fuel

Petrol (95), 7.5L/100KM

Should I buy the Kia Sorento Hybrid or the Skoda Kodiaq RS?

Does size matter? Not so much in this comparison, which is more about the realities of choosing economy over performance and vice versa. But let’s quickly compare these two large SUVs to discover which has more useable room. 

The Kia Sorento is the larger of the two, by 110mm in length, 18mm in width and 15mm in height. Despite this footprint advantage, it has a (slightly) smaller boot in all three configurations, as you can see from our dimensions table above. 

The Sorento is larger where it really counts, though, and that’s in the seats. The Sorento’s second row is generous, and its third row – while not as generous – is still more spacious horizontally and vertically than the Skoda’s. The Kia’s third row is also easier to access.

Now, let’s talk about performance. No prizes for guessing the faster car here. Skoda claims 0–100km/h in 6.6 seconds, whereas Kia’s claim for the Sorento Hybrid is a more subdued 8.9 seconds.

The Skoda’s sporty suspension makes it a more dynamically adept and agile vehicle on winding roads, but also makes it firmer around town. Not firm enough to annoy us – in fact, we found it has a great balance between sporting and supple. The Kia’s suspension, by comparison, is very much in the comfort and composure realm.

Now let’s look at ownership costs. There’s barely a restaurant dinner for two between their purchase prices, but servicing costs are another matter. The Skoda is almost $1400 cheaper to service during the first seven years, a saving of $200 per year. 

As for comprehensive car insurance, the Skoda’s quote of $1253 per year is $150 cheaper than the Kia’s quote of $1405.

So now the question becomes: does the sporty Skoda cost more than $350 per year to fuel compared to the Kia? 

Our sums are based on 15,000km driving per year and a fuel price of $1.80/L for the Kia’s regular unleaded and $2.00 for premium unleaded that the Skoda needs.  

If you trust the manufacturers’ fuel economy claims, then the Kia (5.8L/100km) is $57 a month cheaper to fuel than the Skoda (7.5L/100km). 

If you would prefer to trust the fuel economy reading we achieved during a week of urban and freeway testing, then the Kia (7.1L/100km) is $108 cheaper to feed each month than the Skoda (10.7L/100km).

Either way, the Kia’s fuel efficiency easily accounts for its more expensive servicing and insurance. But can you put up with the performance deficit? That’s the real question here. 

But first, let’s answer the question we posed off the top: can you have an economical and sporty large SUV? Not here with these two. 

But how much does that extra performance really cost? The Skoda is $950 a year dearer to run once you subtract its servicing and insurance advantage from the fuel bill. That’s less than $20 a week, or four takeaway coffees. 

And if you have to cut back on caffeine to afford it, then the Skoda’s acceleration will get your blood pumping just as effectively. 

Of course, that’s not to say the Kia loses. For some, the lower fuel bills will make the difference, and that’s fine too. 

That’s why Australia is the Lucky Country. We have choices.  

Overall Ratings

Drive’s Pick

2022 Kia Sorento HEV GT-Line Wagon

8.3/ 10

8.3/ 10

2022 SKODA Kodiaq RS Wagon

8.3/ 10

8.3/ 10

Ratings Breakdown

Performance
2022 Kia Sorento HEV GT-Line Wagon
2022 SKODA Kodiaq RS Wagon
Ride Quality
2022 Kia Sorento HEV GT-Line Wagon
2022 SKODA Kodiaq RS Wagon
Handling & Dynamics
2022 Kia Sorento HEV GT-Line Wagon
2022 SKODA Kodiaq RS Wagon
Driver Technology
2022 Kia Sorento HEV GT-Line Wagon
2022 SKODA Kodiaq RS Wagon
Interior Comfort + Packaging
2022 Kia Sorento HEV GT-Line Wagon
2022 SKODA Kodiaq RS Wagon
Safety
2022 Kia Sorento HEV GT-Line Wagon
2022 SKODA Kodiaq RS Wagon
Infotainment & Connectivity
2022 Kia Sorento HEV GT-Line Wagon
2022 SKODA Kodiaq RS Wagon
Fuel Efficiency
2022 Kia Sorento HEV GT-Line Wagon
2022 SKODA Kodiaq RS Wagon
Value
2022 Kia Sorento HEV GT-Line Wagon
2022 SKODA Kodiaq RS Wagon
Fit for Purpose
2022 Kia Sorento HEV GT-Line Wagon
2022 SKODA Kodiaq RS Wagon

Kez Casey

Kez Casey migrated from behind spare parts counters to writing about cars over ten years ago. Raised by a family of automotive workers, Kez grew up in workshops and panel shops before making the switch to reviews and road tests for The Motor Report, Drive and CarAdvice.

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