Toyota Highlander vs. Kia Sorento

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Automotive Editor

Jerimy’s had a love/hate relationship with cars since he procured his first vehicle – a 1981 baby blue Ford Fairmont.  It had an oil leak.  He promptly blew the engine.  After a lengthy non-auto related career he established and ran a service repairing interior blemishes in cars and trucks for automobile dealers.  He learned firsthand from dealers about a wide variety of vehicles ranging from high-end luxury cars to ten-year old gas guzzlers – and everything in between.  Eventually he moved on to writing.  Now he works as a writer and editor during the day and moonlights as a freelance writer at night – he's hoping not to blow any more cars up.

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, Automotive Editor - November 14, 2013

The Kia Sorento -- once a truck-based SUV short on features and quality -- has become a viable competitor in the tough midsize crossover market.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Highlander & Sorento >>

But how does the Sorento compare against one of the segment's leaders: the Toyota Highlander?

What the Toyota Highlander Gets Right

The Highlander's interior is one of the best in its class, roomy, refined and filled with lots of technology. Second-row seating is especially luxurious; its split 40/20/40 design and storage capabilities are particularly innovative. With all seat folded, the Highlander offers a cavernous 95.4 cubic feet of storage.

The Highlander is agile for a midsize SUV, and the V6 upgrade is particularly nice. Options on its four trim levels are plentiful, but even the base model is well-equipped. Versatile and quiet, the Highlander is well-rounded and an ideal choice in a competitive market.

What the Kia Sorento Gets Right

It's hard not to love the fact that Kia's top-of-the-line Sorento is fairly affordable. But even the less expensive base model includes a good selection of standard features.

Buyers choose between a trio of four-cylinder and V6 engines, and may also opt for all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is good for a midsize SUV with all three power plants. The Kia rides with an unexpected quietness -- when equipped with the V6, it also handles large loads with ease.

Interior design is a bit dull, but controls have a smart layout. There's optional third-row seating, and folding all the seats produces 72.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

How does the Sorento Stack-Up Against the Highlander?

Despite appreciating standard equipment levels on the affordable Kia and its superior fuel economy, the Highlander offers a far superior interior, more space and a more versatile and adaptable interior.

Our Verdict: Toyota Highlander

While we like the Sorento's price and ride, we prefer the interior appointments and overall performance of the Highlander.

Take a closer look at the Toyota Highlander >>

Take a closer look at the Kia Sorento >>

, Automotive Editor

Jerimy’s had a love/hate relationship with cars since he procured his first vehicle – a 1981 baby blue Ford Fairmont.  It had an oil leak.  He promptly blew the engine.  After a lengthy non-auto related career he established and ran a service repairing interior blemishes in cars and trucks for automobile dealers.  He learned firsthand from dealers about a wide variety of vehicles ranging from high-end luxury cars to ten-year old gas guzzlers – and everything in between.  Eventually he moved on to writing.  Now he works as a writer and editor during the day and moonlights as a freelance writer at night – he's hoping not to blow any more cars up.

Follow On: Google+ | Website

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