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2023 Kia Sorento vs. 2023 Kia Sportage

1. Introduction

Therefore, comparing a top 2-row Sorento model to a 2-row luxury vehicle would be no different than comparing today's Sorento to the recent top 2-row Sportage model. This comparison is searchable market content and can indecisive consumers who are debating between same brand crossovers take the easier route to getting the information they need to decide what crossover provides the most value for its price.

With this being said, the Sorento and the Sportage should be heavily compared to each other in this day and age, as it is common to find buyers looking to get a top trim 2-row vehicle, whether it be a used luxury line model or its modern counterpart, allowing those buyers to decide if a new top trim 2-row model has more to offer compared to their used 2-row luxury model.

Because crossovers and small SUVs are so popular, a recent and specifically popular category of crossovers is today's small 3-row SUVs. The Kia Sorento is one of these vehicles and compared to the Kia Sportage, it is able to provide much more compared to its older relative.

In America, the spectrum of crossovers, small SUVs, to large SUVs, is 40.7% of the market, compared to traditional cars at 29.1%. Crossovers and small SUVs are now the largest class of vehicles, making up nearly 105 vehicle models in today's market, with the trend continuing to grow.

In this essay, the 2023 Kia Sorento and the 2023 Kia Sportage models will be compared against each other using a specific criteria set, using the information typically sought after by consumers during the car buying process. Currently, in today's auto market, crossovers and small SUVs are growing more popular compared to traditional cars.

The text has been split into several different areas, including: Introduction, the "Who" and "What" of the Kias, "When" and "Where" of the vehicles, "How" they perform, comparing "why" each vehicle may be more desirable and the Conclusion.

2. Exterior Design

"The design language for both the all-new 2023 Sorento and Sportage was inspired by the brand's recent successes in designing vehicles such as the Telluride, Seltos, and K5. It was important that the all-new Sorento add a layer of upscale athleticism and that all-new Sportage go for a more youthful and inspiring sporty look," said Jochen Paesen, Vice President of Overseas Marketing, Kia Corporation. This effort to focus on a specific concept for each vehicle is the first time Kia has taken such an approach. "The all-new Sorento and Sportage were designed to elevate the Kia brand to new levels by exceeding the needs and wants of the customers. By offering more innovative features and bolder designs, we are confident the new models will provide an all-new experience for our customers and therefore will drive the brand image and value to even greater heights," said Paesen. [1][2]

The Kia Sorento 2023 and Kia Sportage 2023 aren't afraid to make a strong statement. Embodying the most advanced Kia designs to date, their highly innovative form is set to distinguish them from other SUVs. The dramatically different exterior design of the two new models embodies Kia's shifting design paradigm. The Sorento boasts a more sophisticated and sporty look, taking influence from high-end luxury SUVs, while the Sportage offers an alternative sportier, more rugged appeal. This is a significant difference in exteriors from the previous models. The Kia design teams, based in Korea, Germany, and the US, collaborated to devise a unified vision for the two models that can be seen in the way they contradict each other.

2.1. Sorento's Exterior Features

Another change is the repositioning of the Sorento name from the centre of the tailgate to across the rear of the vehicle. This is not standard across all markets.

The front of the Sorento is where the most detailed design change has happened. The signature tiger-nose grille is both wider and lower, giving a more aggressive stance. This is flanked by highly detailed and technical LED headlamps set into a narrow shape. The combination of this and the hood crease gives a much more defined impression than the third generation.

This evolution is also evident in the re-profiled rear-end, with a larger roof spoiler leading to a more sculpted and symmetrical look. The rear light cluster, inspired by that of the Telluride, wraps around the side of the body, and with a continuation of the heavily creased body-line into the rear, it gives off a real sense of poise and stability. A metal-look skid plate and dual chrome tip exhaust add to the premium look.

The all-new fourth generation Sorento is based on the new SUV platform with a lower roofline than its predecessor. This is a feature that gives the Sorento a more streamlined, sporty look. It is 1.2 inches longer and 0.4 inches shorter than the third gen. The wheelbase has now been extended to 1.4 inches and the overhangs are shorter.

Exterior design is comprised of two segments. One is dedicated to the 2023 Kia Sorento and the other is dedicated to the 2023 Kia Sportage. However, while reading one section, it is very easy to compare and contrast the other model's design.

2.2. Sportage's Exterior Features

In base trims, the 2023 Kia Sportage has a unique design that flows cohesively from the body lines down to the rear bumper. Dual-element four-bulb LED headlamps reside over a similar design LED DRL bar of light for a unique headlamp design not seen on other Kia products. We have seen this trend of unique lighting setups from the previous generation K5 with some commenting that Kia's designs are getting a little too "out there," but regardless of your subjective stance on this matter, it's undeniable that no one will mistake a 2023 Kia Seltos or Sportage for anything else, which is important. The fog lamps are optional and are not available on the base trim, which means down the road, if they prove to be popular, expect to see them swapped over into the standard model as Kia has done with past product updates. The Sportage has a somewhat lengthy body profile with a near notchback lower roofline spoiler that flows into strongly angular rear quarter windows. Higher trims receive the usual abundance of brightwork, and wheels range from 17-19 inch alloys. Peering into the rear glass, a stylish single-element LED tail lamp is one of the heartthrob features of the Sportage's design and is unlike anything offered on a compact CUV. Again, LED tail lamps are only standard on the top SX trim level. An optional feature on the Sportage, which is anything but an aesthetic addition in any customer's eyes, are the roof rails. Unfortunately, roof rails are optional on all trims and a dealer-installed accessory, so if you're an active individual who plans to carry lots of sporting or outdoor recreational equipment, you'll have to mosey around to find a Sportage with these pre-installed. They're on our wish list to become standard on all trim levels. Step up from the pre-facelift 2023 Kia Sportage, the new Sportage Nightfall Edition packs a new level of sportiness and premium upgrades without breaking the bank. Set between the midtier LX and EX trims, the Nightfall Edition is the first Sportage special edition Kia has offered to the North American market. The Nightfall Edition encompasses a sleek and sporty design with exclusive 18-inch blacked-out wheels, Piano Black/Dark Chrome grille, an exclusive gorgeous Black Cherry color, and a Premium Package loaded with luxury features for an attractive price. A $1505 increase over an LX AWD with the Popular Package, it's difficult to argue against the Nightfall Edition's value. [3][4]

3. Interior Features

Both the front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models feature a convenient, fully independent rear hatch with a flip-up glass for easy access to the cargo area.

The driver's seat is eight-way adjustable and offers a good view of the road, with plenty of head, shoulder, and legroom. A height-adjustable front passenger seat is also available. The rear seat is a split-folding design that reclines for greater comfort. Its 60/40-split configuration allows various combinations of passengers and cargo, and a pull strap located in the cargo area conveniently folds the seatbacks.

Dual rear doors swing open 180 degrees for easier access to the third-row seat. The Sportage is also designed for user-friendly functionality. High-quality interior materials give the cabin a more upscale feel. Available metal-finish trim and leather appointments enhance the feeling even further. The simple, well-organized center stack puts climate and audio controls within easy reach, and the tilt steering wheel incorporates redundant controls for the sound system.

The Sorento is available with a choice of second-row captain's chairs or a second-row bench seat. The second-row chairs are ideal for adult passengers and provide ease of access to the 50/50 split third-row seat. The second-row bench seat is better suited for families with children. Both second-row seating configurations offer good comfort and support with abundant legroom. The third-row seat can be somewhat confining for adults, but it is fine for children. When it is not needed, the third-row seat can be folded easily into the floor to create a larger cargo area.

Kia's largest SUV, the Sorento, benefits from a well-built and eye-pleasing interior. The atmosphere is enhanced with high-quality materials, user-friendly controls, and a variety of convenience features. The Sorento's cabin is notably quiet, and the low step-in height makes entry and exit easier.

3.1. Sorento's Interior Features

The car has become more functional in design with 2nd row seating allowing easy access to the 3rd row. Although there has been a more spacious feel to the car, Kia has still managed to better the leg room and cargo space. When the ACE (Australian Competitor Eliminator) Sorento was used for towing, the car managed to easily fit a cage full of car tools behind the 3rd row seats, proving that Kia has not compromised the storage space in the rear. Steps of the side of the rear cargo area have also been widened by 10mm to 100mm, making them easier to stand on. The driver's cluster has also been updated with a 3.5" Mono TFT LCD, 7" Colour TFT LCD, or 12.3" Full Digital Cluster available to consumers depending on the variant of the Sorento. Right next to the driver's cluster is a new remote touch control, which reduces drivers having to take their eyes off the road to fiddle with the navigation system or audio controls. Overall, the Sorento has put on a more luxurious appearance inside without compromising its functionality, even in basic pack grades. This is something we're definitely impressed with. [5][6][7][8]

The new Sorento's interior has taken a quantum leap forward in both sophistication and spaciousness. The first thing you may appreciate about the car is the brand new gear stick and panel rising into the centre console, which not only looks neater than the current set up but opens the door for loads of extra storage space underneath. Kia has also installed mood lighting around the centre console and doors, which changes according to how the car is driven. Although your teenage son might be quick to tell you that it's not as advanced as some European rivals, as you are unable to choose the color you want, it still adds a nice touch to the overall ambience of the car. Speaking of ambience, you also have the option to open up the panoramic sunroof for a more spacious feel in the rear and front. It really does make a difference. The sunroof is actually 60% larger than that of its predecessor, great for allowing more natural light into the cabin. Other features which help boost the standard of ambience and comfort in the car include front and rear ventilation system and captain/chauffeur seats, which are available in some overseas markets.

3.2. Sportage's Interior Features

Interior highlights for the 2023 model include the 12.3-inch full digital meter cluster that is standard across all trim levels, providing greater visibility on vehicle information with a unique topography depending on drive mode select: smart, eco, comfort, and sport. There is dual infotainment and control, the first for Kia implementing capacitive touch, the second a 10.25-inch screen audiovisual navigation system. Both are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The upper core center display is tailored to emit less glare and suppress reflections to enable better visibility in various lighting conditions. This model now features the latest telematics systems with UVO Connect, providing remote connectivity to the vehicle and always-on telematics services, which are free for the first 5 years. Some other handy interior attributes include an electronic parking brake, a centered driver switch that lets you access many vehicle functions intuitively, a new wireless smartphone charging deck, and greater accommodation for modern tablets with hangers built onto the front seat headrests. A much wider third rear-hinged door opening angle is worth mentioning to facilitate easier entry and exit.

Cupholders and storage compartments are also scattered throughout, with multiple power points and USB charging ports to accommodate modern electronics. For the 2017 Sportage, the center armrest console is now available with rear vents and a high-powered USB charging outlet for rear passengers. Overhead, a panoramic sunroof with a power sunshade is available. Customers can opt for upgraded sound systems with Harman Kardon speakers for a truly immersive audio experience. Multi-adjustable seats are noted to be firm yet comfortable, providing support on long journeys. This new model includes improved cabin soundproofing for a quieter ride.

3.3. Comparison of Interior Space

In styling the interior of the Sorento, designers opted for a more organic, flowing layout in comparison to the more utilitarian, upright feel of the Sportage. Both interiors are handsomely styled and ergonomically sound, and pertaining to form and function, they are a good fit. The finish as well as the excellent materials quality within the cabin is outstanding. The Sorento comes standard with a 40/20/40 split second-row seat in comparison to a 60/40 split bench for the Sportage. This adds to greater passenger and cargo flexibility and, in turn, usefulness. Both vehicles provide a flat-folding second-row seat for help in cargo carrying. A definite advantage for the Sorento and its passengers is the availability of a third-row seat for 7-person seating. This is something that is well-rounded in the segment and not even standard with all midsize SUVs. The Sorento's 1st and 2nd-row seating feels spacious and comfortable with solid deformable to the seating position, though the third row is best left to the kids on long trips. A panoramic sunroof is an available feature for the Sorento, which helps to visually open up the cabin and creates a greater sense of interior spaciousness.

One of the first things we notice about a vehicle is the amount of living space inside, and both the Sorento and Sportage offer snug accommodations for the class. The Sorento is the greater vehicle, offering up to 72.5 cubic feet of interior space with the seat folded and a maximum of 31.7 cubic feet behind the second row. The Sportage provides up to 66.5 cubic feet of interior space with the seat folded and a maximum of 29.4 cubic feet of storage room behind the second row. Both vehicles utilize a flip/fold flat rear seat and supply storage room below a floorboard, and covered underfloor storage is accessible with all Sorento models.

4. Performance and Technology

In terms of safety features, the Kia Sorento offers a few more driver assist features than the Sportage. Both vehicles have standard features like brake assist, downhill brake control, electronic stability control, and traction control system, for a better handling driving experience. Additionally, both vehicles also come with a rear camera display. But the Sorento includes the standard features on all of its trims, while the Sportage has the rear camera display as an optional feature for the LX and is unavailable for the EX. Higher trims for the Sorento will have extra safety features, such as Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning System, and Forward Collision Warning System. These features not only come standard but are also advanced versions of the Sorento's lower trim safety features. Both vehicles uphold Kia's commitment to safety, but it is evident that the Sorento has a few more advanced features than the Sportage.

Both the 2023 Kia Sorento and 2023 Kia Sportage offer a set of reliable engine options with impressive efficiency levels. The Sorento holds a slight advantage over the Sportage in this regard, offering several different engine options. The L and LX trims come with a 2.4-liter inline 4 with 185 horsepower and 178 pounds per feet of torque. The S trim will include a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 240 horsepower and 260 pounds per feet of torque. The top trim EX will have a 3.3-liter V6 with 290 horsepower and 252 pounds per feet of torque. As for the engine in the Sportage, it has just one engine type available for all of its trims. This is a 2.4-liter inline 4 with 181 horsepower and 175 pounds per feet of torque. Between the two, the best engine option in terms of power, efficiency, and price range would be the Sorento's 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

4.1. Engine Options

This first-round win for the Kia Sorento is further amplified by fuel economy comparison. Fuel consumption is a major factor for compact SUV buyers, who, versus mid-size SUV buyers, try to stick to a budget when it comes to fuel. More larger engine offerings for the Kia Sorento come out more fuel-efficient than the lesser engine choices for the Kia Sportage. The 3.5-liter Sorento engine offers a 10.6L/100km fuel consumption rating in both city and highway driving compared to the 2.7-liter Kia Sportage engine which offers 12.1L and 8.5L in city and highway. This translates to less money spent for more power with the Sorento. A similar story rings true for the Sorento V6 and the Kia Sportage 2.7L, offering more power and better fuel economy.

Both the 2023 Kia Sorento and the 2023 Kia Sportage give buyers a few distinctive powertrain options to choose from. Engine-wise, the Kia Sorento has a considerable upper hand on the Kia Sportage. Standard in the Kia Sorento is a 3.5-liter V6 offering 192hp that is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. This may be upgraded to a 3.3-liter V6 power plant which delivers 262hp and is teamed with a six-speed automatic. On the other hand, the Kia Sportage has a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that offers 140hp, and an upgrade to a 2.7-liter V6 with 173hp is available. The Sorento V6 trumps the 2.7-liter engine in terms of power and fuel economy; the 2.0-liter is no contest for the Sorento V6. Step one is already a clear win for the Kia Sorento. Going head to head with the base level 2.0-liter Kia Sportage, the Sorento offers more power and the same economy. A no-brainer for anyone trying to choose between the two.

4.2. Advanced Safety Features

First of all, let me say that both the Kia Sorento and Kia Sportage have a range of safety features that really put them ahead of the competitors. Both have 6 airbags, ABS, seatbelt warning alarms, impact sensing door unlock, high strength bodyshell, and active head restraints. What we have here are the standard safety features that we now see in almost all new cars. It's when we move into the additional safety features the two Kias provide that we begin to see the evolution in vehicle safety. Both the Sorento and Sportage have hill start assist control, downhill brake control, cruise control, and speed limiter. Mentioned below are features that are either exclusive to the Sorento or are found in both vehicles but only in the Sorento do they come as an enhanced version. All features mentioned come as standard in the specified models. Heated/powered/folding door mirrors with LED indicators – Sorento Exclusive, Privacy glass (rear windows and tailgate) – Sorento Exclusive, driver and passengers cooled glovebox. Now we move into the truly advanced features beginning with Flex Steer. This is a function that is unique to the Sorento. Formerly only available in high-end BMWs and Audis, this is the first time we've seen something like this fall into the hands of the common man. Flex steer allows you to adjust the level of steering assistance and the amount of effort required to turn the wheel. This provides a customized driving experience and also an additional level of safety given the user can tailor the setting to suit prevailing road and driving conditions. Next, we have the Sorento's rear parking aid system. This system uses ultrasonic wave sensors to measure the distance from the vehicle to either a wall or obstacle. Upon setting the car into reverse, an image is shown in the rearview camera with a distance measurement, alarm sound, and steering guide to show the position of the vehicle. This has been improved from the Sportage's rear sensors that only emit an alarm and do not provide a precise measurement. Lastly, and most significantly, we have Kia's all-new UVO system. This is a car operating system we've never seen before and has taken almost four years to develop. It's an in-car telematics system that uses GPS and mobile phone technology. With UVO, the user can find the simple location of a business, use Google to search for a point of interest, and then send it to the car computer.

4.3. Infotainment and Connectivity

Step into the rear of the Sorento, and there is an available rear occupant reminder, which is a system that sends a notification to the driver when the vehicle is turned off if there is any indication that the rear door was opened before the vehicle started. This feature is unique and helpful for parents, especially those with small children who may have a habit of opening doors without parents knowing.

This package also offers "mood lighting," an available feature that provides soft lighting, illuminating the door panels and the dashboard in an array of colors with six themes and eight custom colors to choose from. The light is subtle yet adds a touch of sophistication and personalization to the vehicle.

The multi-connection feature on the Sorento enhances the driver calling experience with the available next-generation sound-active seat speakers. This feature uses a tiny speaker to improve voice call quality by reducing surrounding noises. Now, if several people are in the vehicle, each person can listen with added clarity. Next-generation sound speakers can rarely be seen in vehicles and are a prime example of what comes with the price of the advanced tech package.

The Sorento builds off of that feature and offers an available multi Bluetooth connection, allowing the vehicle to connect with two different phones at the same time. This can eliminate the arguing over which phone connects to the car and which phone remains inactive in the driver's pocket.

The 2023 Kia Sorento features a standard 8-inch touchscreen display (the same as the 2022 Kia Sportage), but the Sorento offers an available 10.25-inch touchscreen display. With both models lacking a CD player, both the Sorento and the Sportage offer standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. One might not think that this feature is all that special in technological advances; however, this smartphone integration now allows every driver to simply leave their phone in their pocket and connect with the vehicle, allowing voice-guided, hands-free control of most phone features. This could, in theory, reduce phone usage while driving, tremendously increasing safety on the roads.


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2023 Kia Sorento vs. 2023 Kia Sportage

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