Kia Sorento vs Toyota Highlander

2019 Kia SorentoKia Sorento for Sale Kia Sorento LX Titanium Silver

Jenkintown, Rydal, and Glenside drivers have no shortage of three-row SUVs to choose from when they need something that can carry their whole family. The Kia Sorento and Toyota Highlander both stand out as top options, but which one should you drive home?

Sussman Kia can’t make that decision for you, but we can present you with the facts about each SUV. Read on to see how these two options match up in our Kia Sorento vs. Toyota Highlander comparison.

Shop the new 2019 Kia Sorento here!

Performance Specs: Details are Important

Kia Sorento Performance At first glance, these two SUVs seem to have the same performance specs. Each one comes standard with a 4-cylinder engine offering 185 horsepower. You can upgrade both the Kia Sorento and the Toyota Highlander to a V6 for nearly 300 horsepower. In addition, both vehicles team up with 6- and 8-speed automatic transmissions to get the job done.

Take a closer look, and you’ll see the Sorento start to pull ahead from its competition. For starters, its standard engine can go farther on a single tank of gas thanks to an EPA-estimated 22 MPG city/29 MPG highway on FWD models.* The 185-horsepower engine in the Highlander, meanwhile, only gets an EPA-estimated 20 MPG city/24 MPG highway.

Both SUVs can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped, offering more capability for your weekend adventures. What about standard towing capacity, though? The Sorento base model can tow 2,000 pounds—compared to a 1,500-pound towing capacity in the base Highlander model.

Read the full 2019 Kia Sorento review here!

Space and Tech: The Convenience Factor

Kia Sorento Interior

When you’re choosing a three-row SUV, you want to make sure there’s enough room for everybody. Unfortunately, the 2019 Highlander doesn’t offer much room for its third-row passengers: There’s only 35.6 inches of headroom and 27.7 inches of legroom in the rear seats.

Your passengers will be more comfortable in the 2019 Sorento, which offers 36.3 inches of headroom and 31.7 inches of legroom in the third row. This isn’t at the expense of passenger room elsewhere in the vehicle; the Sorento just has more passenger space overall.

As for how that space is used, the Highlander lags behind in offering high-tech amenities. You won’t find Apple CarPlay™ or Android Auto™ in any 2019 Highlander, but these popular connectivity options both come standard on every 2019 Sorento.

Both SUVs offer a variety of options throughout the cabin to power your devices. However, the Sorento options include a wireless charging pad, leaving you with fewer cords to get tangled. This is yet another feature that’s not available in the Highlander.

Safety Ratings: Because You Matter

Kia Sorento SafetyFinally, some good news for the Toyota Highlander: The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded it the title of 2019 TOP SAFETY PICK in recognition of its crash mitigation and protection capabilities.

But wait—the Kia Sorento earned the title of 2019 TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the IIHS, once again making it the better option. It performed better than the Highlander in small overlap front crash tests on the passenger’s side. Plus, its available LED projector headlights provide better night vision than the halogen bulbs in the Highlander.

Kia Sorento vs Toyota Highlander: What Do You Think?

With each area we looked at—performance, convenience, and safety—the Sorento and Highlander seem evenly matched at first. However, upon closer look, the Kia Sorento offers some important benefits for Jenkintown, Rydal, and Glenside drivers.

Want to see these benefits for yourself? Take the 2019 Sorento for a test drive at Sussman Kia. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!


* EPA fuel economy estimates. Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits, and your vehicle’s condition. These estimates reflect EPA’s revised coefficients beginning with some 2017 models.

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