Seven-seat plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) are few and far between. Normally, when a manufacturer adds a battery to its petrol SUV to turn it into a PHEV, it is located beneath the boot floor – right where the extra row of seats would usually fold down. So, more often than not, SUV PHEVs tend to be five-seat affairs. Indeed, until now, there was only one option if you wanted a seven-seat PHEV, and it was an expensive one: the Volvo XC90 Recharge. Happily, there’s now another, in the form of this Kia Sorento PHEV – and it comes at a more attainable price. We already like the latest iteration of Kia’s big, friendly giant. We’ve already tried the self-charging hybrid and diesel versions last year, and we found them to be pretty accomplished. So we have high hopes for the plug-in model Kia has just added to the range. Time to find out whether it lives up to them. Pros Full seven-seater with plenty of space for all Bristling with equipment Long warranty Cons No proper electric-only mode Clunky to drive Thumpy ride quality Hybrid theory The petrol engine in the plug-in Sorento is the same as you’ll find in the standard car; a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo that, on its own, produces a healthy 178bhp. But while in the non-plug-in hybrid, this is allied to a 1.49kWh battery and a 59bhp electric motor, the plug-in gets a 90bhp electric motor that’s fed by a 13.8kWh battery. The result is a combined maximum output of 261bhp, a surfeit of 35bhp and 62bhp over the hybrid and diesel versions respectively.