Kia Sportage vs. Kia Sorento

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - January 5, 2017

When visiting your Kia dealer, you'll find two highly competitive crossovers vying for your attention, the compact Sportage and midsize Sorento. The Sportage is stylish, athletic, and affordable, but the Sorento counters with more cargo space and room for seven.

In the end, which Kia crossover is a better fit for family life? Let's find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Sorento & Sportage»

What the Sportage Gets Right

The five-passenger Sportage has always been one of the more stylish options in its class. Its overall appearance is sporty and capable, if not everyone's cup of tea. Even in base trim, the cabin is well-equipped and surprisingly quiet. You can load up the inside with plenty of premium goodies if your budget allows.

The standard 181-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder feels lively enough, but the optional 2-liter turbo takes performance to a whole different level. With 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque on tap, the turbo can outrun far more expensive crossovers. Handling is a cut above what we've come to expect from a compact crossover.

The Sportage offers 30.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in place, and 60.1 cubes with them folded. These are average figures for this class.

What the Sorento Gets Right

The handsome Sorento starts out with a 191-horsepower four-cylinder engine. We prefer the optional 290-horsepower 3.3-liter V6, which provides strong acceleration and allows the Sorento to tow up to 5,000 pounds.

The Sorento’s seven-passenger interior is attractive and fit and finish are top-notch. You also get a relaxing ride, precise steering, and 73 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded.

What Are Your Priorities?

The Sportage is surprisingly athletic for a family vehicle, especially when equipped with the turbocharged engine. If you don't need seven-passenger capacity or class-leading cargo space, the Sportage is probably for you.

The Sorento is a more typical family crossover, and we don't mean that in a bad way. You get more room, a versatile interior, and V6 power if you need it.

Our Verdict: Kia Sorento

The Sportage might be more fun to drive, but the Sorento delivers more of what most people buy a crossover for.

Take a closer look at the Kia Sportage »

Take a closer look at the Kia Sorento »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


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