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Kia Sportage vs. Sorento 2023

1. Design and Exterior Features

The Sorento is known for its bold and rugged appearance. Currently, it has undergone a change with the concept of "The Elegant X Modern Rebel," or it can be said that Kia wants to combine the strong and sturdy form of an SUV but still look luxurious. This new concept can be seen in the Sorento, where it looks more modern and luxurious than the previous generation. The front fascia is not much different from the previous model, which is still equipped with a tiger nose grille, and for the first time, the Sorento gets a cool Tiger Eye Line DRL. Kia says it takes inspiration from the K5 DRL, a.k.a Heart Beat Line, which has now become Kia's new identity in automotive lighting and has implemented the unique DRL to all of its newest models. Although not much change is seen here, the presence of DRL makes the Sorento look more aggressive and modern. (FRITSCH et al.)(Fritsch et al.2022) Please visit our Comprehensive Guide to Kia Model Comparisons to learn more about Kia Sportage vs Sorento 2023.

A new look for the 2023 model is very noticeable on the Kia Sportage, a redesign made to make this 5th gen more appealing to potential buyers. A design shift that makes this popular crossover versatile to compete with its new competitors. Kia calls their Sportage design "Opposites United," which means its design combines the power of an SUV with the agility of a sport sedan. It gives the impression of a modern and minimalist design. As seen in the Kia Sportage 2023, which has a lower, longer, and wider body, it makes this 5th gen Sportage look more like a sport sedan but still maintains an 8.3-inch ground clearance and with an upright C-pillar to give it an SUV look. But Kia's main priority is to strengthen the Sportage as a sport sedan-like SUV and also reduce drag coefficient to be the best in its class. The redesigned front fascia features a clamshell hood and the recognizable Tiger Nose Grille that blends into the headlamp, giving the impression of a strong stance. The headlamps are shaped like hammerhead sharks, and for the first time, there is an L-shaped DRL on the side to serve as a side marker.

1.1. Sportage's sleek design

Contrastingly, Kia puts forth that this Sorento is a "rediscovery" and an "escape"...a rough escapade among the CUV mass. The design is intended to attract those who enthusiasm a modernized SUV with its own distinct image over the conventional crossover. To attain this image, the Sorento pursues an edgier, more forceful design featuring an extended bonnet and short overhangs, an elongated roof line and an elongated rump panel with stretched SUV ratios to lend a more mature and rugged persona. Under the philosophy of uniting the past with modernism, this Sorento also represents an upright SUV in a movement where most midsized CUVs tend towards the rounded, wagon manner look. Its rugged image is enforced by a 10mm glass height increase over the old generation and. In the words of Kia's EVP and head of worldwide design, Luc Donkerwolke, "anybody who wants to escape corporate blandness and drive something more individual, be it in the city or the wilderness, can be attracted to our new Sorento."

This Sportage's sculptural plan starts with an extended hood that flows into a more level roof line. A distinctly broad front grille encloses striking boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lamps which pierce into the front rump panels. The statement is only enhanced by the intricate parabolic shapes at the mug to produce a solid base for the A pillar and a more sophisticated look from behind the wheel. The rear rump panel is also a stand out with a built-in luggage board and LED disco light tail lights. The tail lights enhanced by a thin horizontal reflector create a visual mimic of the front end and provide a compact yet broader stance. Though its midsize dimensions remain the same, its longer, redesigned platform and shorter front overhangs contribute to a longer wheelbase and shorter rear overhangs with appear better proportioning than previous generations. Overall, Kia contends that this Sportage is "a turn for the sophisticated" with aggressive styling and elegant design touches that will resonate with those who are tired of the "same boring SUV."

The Kia Sportage's design aesthetic can best be described as "less is more." Its sleek, elegant new lines and modern, angular architecture know how to make an entrance without shouting. It's indicative of Kia's shift to a more refined and sophisticated SUV lineup punctuated with supplementary design details, both inside and out, that draw inspiration from high-end luxury SUVs.

1.2. Sorento's bold and rugged appearance

Kia has wisely avoided available "off-road" extras that very few customers would utilize to avoid having a car that looks out of place in an urban environment. Nevertheless, the Sorento does look like it would be capable off-road, and it is available in all-wheel drive, essential for some climates. 17", 18", and 19" wheels are available, allowing customers to tailor the look accordingly. At the back, the more prominent use of the Kia badge across the tailgate replaces a company logo and is reminiscent of premium European manufacturers. The rear lights are more distinctive and mounted higher up than before. Overall, it's a look befitting a car costing up to 45,000 EUR. (Hindam, 2020)(Sadeq)(Town et al., 2022)(Stepanov et al., 2020)

The previous design of the Sorento was somewhat anonymous and unremarkable. This new model provides a forceful design that is more distinctive than before. The headlights are at once slimmer and more aggressive-looking, mirroring the direction taken by the Sportage. The grille is larger and more pronounced, and the bodywork has creases and shapes to create shadows and highlights across the body, conveying a tougher, more rugged look than before.

2. Interior Comfort and Technology

2.1. Sportage's spacious cabin and advanced infotainment system offer a superior mix of creature comforts and leading-edge connectivity. The cabin provides Sorento buyers with a truly luxurious environment. The more progressive interpretation of Kia's interior design language represents a departure from its more conservative appearance in the past. The wide, horizontal layout is dominated by a high-tech digital display and instrument panel that creates a unique cockpit. For the first time in a Kia SUV, the Sorento comes equipped with a 12.3-inch high-resolution meter cluster that can be customized to deliver various information to the driver. Four color themes for the mood lighting help establish the right cabin ambiance. Buyers can select between three interior packages. The top-of-the-line X-Line SX-Prestige package represents the most sophisticated Sorento interior with distinctive (embossed and quilted) Nappa leather seating surfaces in black or mahogany, a premium headliner, and an open-pore wood-look trim. Kia's new midsize SUV allows families to make every outing a special occasion that creates lasting memories. The bold design of the fourth-generation Sorento elevates the visual character of the interior and the mood for every trip. From the feel of the switchgear to the mix of materials adorning every surface, Kia's designers set out to impart a sense of luxury in the new Sorento. By borrowing elements typically associated with high-end luxury vehicles, the Sorento is able to create a class-above experience. This is the most premium Sorento ever, inside and out.

2.1. Sportage's spacious cabin and advanced infotainment system

Additional features will include Sirius XM satellite radio and available premium navigation that features enhanced lane guidance and junction view, as well as the ability to record custom drive routes. This system has been designed to receive further upgrades to keep the vehicle up to date with the latest in-car technology.

The Sportage's spacious interior was designed with the tech-savvy crowd in mind, making it the perfect platform for the advanced UVO multimedia system. Available options of an 8-inch or 10.25-inch high-resolution color touchscreen display provide safe and easy navigation of audio controls. The advanced split-screen functionality allows for multiple Bluetooth connections, making it easier to switch between a large music library and phone functionality. The UVO system also features multi-connection, enabling two phones to be connected simultaneously and can read a large number of text message notifications.

In addition to this, Kia has put great emphasis on small item storage in the new Sportage. It features a dual-compartment glove box, a center console storage area, a roll-top cover on the center cup holder, and an under tray in the boot space to keep small items organized.

Kia Sportage 2023 has a more spacious interior than its predecessor, breaking into the league with other compact SUVs in terms of interior room. The Sportage's cargo space has increased as well. Kia claims that with the rear seat folded, the Sportage can hold up to ten golf bags. Another exciting feature is that the rear hatch window can be opened independently of the rear hatch for easy addition or removal of groceries or other articles.

2.2. Sorento's luxurious interior and cutting-edge features

Top available technology is another highlight for the Sorento. A 10.25-inch high-resolution color touchscreen looks impressive and elegant. It uses the latest UVO connectivity and telematics system, which enables native navigation and connects to the Kia Connect app. UVO is standard on all models, and a one-year free app subscription is included, offering premium connectivity features including remote start with climate control, tuning the driver's settings, and over-the-air map updates. The Sorento now offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and is one of a few to offer dual Bluetooth connectivity, which allows connecting two phones simultaneously. An industry-leading 12-speaker Bose audio system is available on SX and standard on SX-Prestige models. Last but not least, the instrument cluster has gone full digital with a 12.3-inch wide display and offers various screen modes and unique features for each trim level. Overall, it has everything you need and even more.

The 2021 KIA Sorento seats six or seven people depending on whether there are second-row captain's chairs available. Headroom and legroom are almost the same in any row, but the seats themselves vary a lot in terms of comfort. The available Nappa leather now features a 7-level massage for the driver's seat and heat/ventilation for the first two rows. There's a large dual-panel sunroof to brighten the interior, and the available Bose audio system features 12 high-performance speakers. Furthermore, a Surround View Monitor has been added to help the driver with parking and low-speed maneuvers. All these creature comfort features, combined with Sorento's utility, make the Sorento a comfort machine for short or long trips.

Uniformly, the cabin is more spacious, comfortable, and user-friendly than ever. Rich material quality is pervasive, all surface interfaces are smooth and consistent, and the latest connected car features are available. The front and second row now offer more legroom thanks to the increased wheelbase, which also does favor the third-row space if equipped. The second-row captain's chairs may be intended for seven-passenger models, but they offer genuine comfort rivaling the first row.

The state-of-the-art automobile comes with extreme comfort, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary utility. The all-new fourth-generation Sorento offers a premium look, feel, and feature content that is in the class-above category. It starts with an exterior profile that is a modern and more sophisticated look compared to the outgoing model. Longer wheelbase, lower roof and ground clearance, longer hood, short overhangs, and bolt-upright D-pillars help give the Sorento an athletic stance.

2.3. Comparison of seating capacity and cargo space

Once you move past the exterior appearance and step into the vehicle, the apparent changes aren't as major as you'd think. The 2023 Sportage still offers an excellent, driver-oriented cockpit, but the change from the more upright SUV-style seating position to a lower, carlike position on an extended platform means there's more room. The wheelbase has grown about three inches, the wider track contributes to more passenger space. Kia claims class-leading front-seat headroom and legroom, as well as an additional 26mm of legroom for the rear seat, and the rear seat also reclines for more long-trip comfort. In all, the Sorento - as a longer vehicle, with a third row and seating for up to seven - GL, GLS, and EX versions will have a second-row bench seat. Step up to the top-of-the-line SX and you'll get second-row captain's chairs, which might limit total seating capacity, but will make access to the third row easier and make those positions more comfortable. All Sorentos come with a second row that slides 60mm for and aft, while SX versions get a remote fold feature for the second row.

3. Performance and Engine Options

One of the reasons for the Sportage's dynamic driving experience is the fact that it was engineered in Europe and has been developed to offer a sportier drive than is traditionally associated with an SUV. This is most evident in the 1.6-litre GDi petrol engine, which is available on 2WD models. This engine offers 133bhp and replaces the old 2.0-litre petrol engine. The 1.6 GDi engine comes with a six-speed manual transmission and two-wheel drive only and is the cheapest engine to run with a fuel economy of 44.1mpg and 149g/km CO2. All petrol and diesel engines are available with Kia's Intelligent Stop and Go (ISG) engine, which further increases fuel efficiency and lowers CO2 emissions.

Sportage buyers can choose from a range of petrol and diesel engines with a choice of 2WD or AWD. The 2.0-litre CRDi diesel engine is the most powerful in the range and can be mated to a six-speed manual or automatic. As well as offering strong performance, it is surprisingly efficient with a combined fuel economy of 46.3mpg in manual guise in two-wheel drive format. The most efficient option is the 2WD 1.7-litre CRDi engine with CO2 emissions of just 119g/km.

Kia offers two different driving experiences with the Sportage and Sorento. The Sportage has focused on creating a dynamic driving experience with its vehicle, whereas the Sorento has a more powerful acceleration.

3.1. Sportage's efficient engine choices and dynamic driving experience

The 2023 Sportage will offer two different engines in the United States, which may change the driving experience vastly for potential buyers. The first is a 2.4-liter direct-injected 4-cylinder, which produces 181 horsepower and 175 lb-ft. The second offering is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. The base FWD Sportage LX comes with the 2.4L engine that is shared with the Sonata, producing similar power while getting better fuel economy at 23/31/26. A definite improvement over the current Sportage with the same power output. For those looking for some extra power, the 2.0L Turbo will be available on the FWD EX or SX and all-wheel drive for an extra dynamic experience. The engine choices are yet another improvement over the current platform, as it addresses the power/fuel economy issues that hinder the current Sportage. The extra power offered by the turbocharged engine will give the Sportage some real excitement compared to the current model, which seems to have no more than adequate acceleration. Kia claims that the 2.0L Turbo will be one of the most powerful offerings in its class and will give the Sportage a spirited driving experience. This combination of power, fuel economy, and Kia's build quality will certainly make the new Sportage an attractive option in the compact SUV market.

3.2. Sorento's powerful performance and versatile engine lineup

The Kia Sorento has a 2.5L turbocharged engine with 281 horsepower and an eight-speed dual clutch transmission. The LX, S, EX, and SX trims have a 191 horsepower, 2.5L four-cylinder engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This provides a wealth of options for buyers, depending on their needs. The V6 provides plenty of power with 311 lb.-ft of torque and can tow up to 3,500 pounds. The front-wheel drive is standard with all-wheel drive available. The LX and S trims get an estimated 24 mpg combined city and highway, with 25 mpg combined with the front-wheel drive V6. The FWD EX, SX, and SX-Prestige get an estimated 22 mpg combined and 23 mpg combined with the V6. Finally, Sorentos equipped with all-wheel drive get 22 mpg combined with the four-cylinder, or 21 mpg combined with the V6. What makes the Sorento truly stand out in terms of performance is its all-wheel, off-road, and snow mode switch. This takes torque to the specific wheels depending on what traction is needed, with the regular front-wheel drive providing efficient and lighter performance. The new Sorento is the first vehicle to be built on the new-generation N3 platform and for the first time, will also offer a luxurious SX-Prestige X-Line model with a 2.5T AWD, dual shift modes, and an increased ride height for superior capability. This is the perfect vehicle for anyone interested in some light off-roading.

4. Safety and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

Both the Kia Sorento and Kia Sportage are considered safe cars for the journey. This is proven by both of them already achieving the top safety pick from IIHS. But there are differences in the safety features of these two cars. Kia Sorento offers higher safety features than the average midsize SUV. This is proven by the crashworthiness and avoidance feature tests of the Kia Sorento, which have already achieved a good rating in the tests. For the crashworthiness test, they have already achieved a good rating in six different tests, starting with the small overlap front test on the driver's side and also the passenger side, moderate overlap front test, side test, roof strength test, and the head restraint and seat test. All tests have proven to have a good rating. For the avoidance feature and mitigation, the Sorento has already achieved a superior rating from IIHS. This is because the Sorento has a lot of new safety features that enhance the safety of the car, starting from the standard safety features to the advanced features.

Between these two cars, the car that has more advanced technology for safety features is the Sorento. The Sorento has a technology called Kia Drive Wise technology. This is level 2 autonomous technology which includes highway driving assist (HDA), which helps the driver to control acceleration, braking, and steering depending on the vehicles in front of them. Highway driving assist works together with navigation-based smart cruise control to use the highway information system to control the speed limit on the highway and adjust itself with the vehicle in front. Besides that, HDA also has machine learning ability to adapt to the driver's preferences for acceleration, braking, and following the speed limit. This feature of HDA is going to make it easier for the driver to have a comfortable drive on the highway or long distances. HDA also has merge assist, which helps the driver who wants to change lanes on the highway by giving an alert and haptic assistance, and lastly, it reminds the driver to use the control of HDA and also the LKA feature every 15 seconds. This HDA feature and the others are very comfortable to use for a long trip and very useful in countries like America or Europe that have highways with complicated routes. In narrow spots, the Sorento also has a surround view monitor to help the driver see the car's surroundings when parking in a narrow spot.

Kia always made significant amendments to its vehicles. This time, Kia is coming up with a new concept for the 2024 car. The car will be revealed at the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show and will be available for sale in 2024. Two cars from Kia, the good-looking Sportage and the big SUV Sorento, have undergone significant amendments including style, performance, efficiency, and this time they have the same concept for safety. Both of them offer a full pack of safety features that are very suitable for family use. What is the difference in the safety features of these two cars? Let's break it down.

4.1. Sportage's comprehensive safety features and driver aids

As the antithesis to the Sportage’s driver focus, the Sorento is all about protecting its occupants no matter what. The large SUV was recently awarded a 2021 Top Safety Pick from the IIHS and a 5-star ANCAP safety rating. It’s worth noting that ANCAP tests are now harder than ever to excel in with criteria such as a 65% performance benchmark for active safety systems, meaning that a 5-star rating should be considered as a nearly perfect result. The Sorento’s comprehensive safety package is standard across all models and includes features such as lane keep assist, lane follow assist, lane departure warning, a driver attention warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, junction turning accident avoidance, safe exit assist, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring. That lengthy list of features is bolstered even further on higher-grade models with additional equipment such as a blind view monitor, forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian, cyclist, and junction turning functionality, navigation-based smart cruise control (utilizing the navigation system to lower the speed of the vehicle for upcoming bends, junctions, or roundabouts), and the most advanced feature of all: Highway driving assist. Step up to a Sport+ or GT-line, and the Sorento gains the ability to control steering, acceleration, and braking to keep the vehicle centered within its lane and a safe distance from surrounding vehicles, effectively allowing level 2 autonomous driving on highways.

A barrage of safety equipment is standard across the Sportage line-up, including an autonomous emergency braking system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, driver attention warning, a speed limit sign recognition system, and high beam assist. That’s a pretty decent haul for a base model! Moving up to higher-grade models such as the Sportage SX adds features such as front parking sensors, a 360-degree camera, and a more advanced 10.25-inch version of the digital dash cluster. Headlining the safety package is the Sportage’s level 2 autonomous driving ability, made possible by a combination of new hardware and software. Kia claims that the Sportage has the ability to automatically adjust its cruise control speed in line with speed limits and the flow of traffic, ensuring that it stays within legal boundaries at all times. Additionally, the Sportage can now automatically steer itself into a lane ‘proactively’ if it detects that the lane is coming to an end, while keeping an appropriate distance from passing vehicles.

4.2. Sorento's advanced safety technologies and crash test ratings

When it comes to safety, both the Sorento and Sportage have plenty to offer, although the Sorento has a more impressive array of active and passive safety features. Passive features found in the Sorento include front, side, and 3-row side curtain airbags, anti-whiplash head restraints, front and rear crumple zones, and height-adjustable front seatbelts with pretensioners. Available active safety features include an electronic stability control system, downhill brake control, hill-start assist, and a roll-over prevention system. More impressively, the Sorento can be optioned with blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, a surround view monitor, parking distance warning, and forward collision avoidance technology. The Sorento promises to keep you safe in a crash, taking advantage of a strong body structure and utilizing an impressive high-strength steel content. The end result is a stellar crash test performance, and an ANCAP safety rating is expected to be 5 stars when tested/rated later in the year. While the Sorento offers great safety, it's worth mentioning that Kia has come out saying the new Sportage will be the 'safest car in its class' and will aim to achieve the full 5 stars in the latest and most stringent testing conducted by ANCAP. This application of extra focus on safety in the Sportage could lead to it outclassing the Sorento in this area.


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