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If you’re interested in buying an SUV, Kia has plenty of incredible options. One of the most prominent is the midsize three-row 2022 Kia Telluride. However, a slightly smaller version, the Kia Sorento, is in the lineup. Does one overshadow the other? You might be surprised by which Kia midsize SUV customers are buying more often. Why is the 2022 Kia Sorento midsize SUV more popular?

The 2022 Kia Sorento outsold the Kia Telluride

2023 Kia Sorento PHEV in blue parked outside. It outsold the Telluride in Q3 2022.
2023 Kia Sorento PHEV | Kia

According to GoodCarBadCar, the 2022 Kia Sorento outsold the 2022 Kia Telluride during Q3 of 2022. Out of all midsize SUV sales, it’s surprising how few models ranked ahead of the Sorento. Kia managed to get 26,296 Sorentos out the door during the third quarter. Comparatively, the ultra-hyped Telluride only sold 25,076 units during the same time period. At first glance, we’d almost instantly assume the Telluride is more popular, but that isn’t the case.

For many reviewers, like Consumer Reports and Edmunds, the Telluride is a top-ranking model. Edmunds scored it an 8.4 out of 10, citing many highlights of the vehicle. For example, the long list of standard features makes it an excellent value pick at $34,725. However, the publication highlights the Sorento for the same reason. In addition, it’s even cheaper, starting at $30,885 for the LX base model.

Sorento vs. Telluride: Fuel economy is king

A 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid driving down a dirt road in a wooded area.
2023 Kia Sorento PHEV | Kia Media

The engine lineup is one significant reason why the 2022 Kia Sorento might be outselling the Telluride. For the Telluride, one of its only downsides is its single engine choice. There is nothing wrong with the smooth and punchy 3.8-liter V6. It makes 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, perfectly viable for a sub-$45,000 three-row midsize SUV. However, there’s, unfortunately, no hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrain option available.

Alternatively, the 2022 Kia Sorento offers both of those options. The LX base model uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine capable of 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft. In addition, its EPA-estimated 22 city/27 highway mpg beats the Telluride standard 19 city/24 highway mpg. Furthermore, drivers interested in maximizing fuel savings can opt for the hybrid or plug-in hybrid version of the Sorento.

The Sorento provides just as much value

2022 Kia Telluride off-roading
2022 Kia Telluride off-roading | Kia

During the third quarter of 2022, the cheaper Kia SUV outsold the more expensive model. Regardless of quality or value, are consumers buying whatever saves them more money? That’s probably the case, as the Sorento is slightly cheaper in all its forms and provides nearly identical value. In addition, it’s more spacious than the Sportage but not as extensive as the Telluride. Is the Sorento enough if it comes for $4,000 less?

A base model Sorento LX has 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, heated mirrors, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, an eight-inch touchscreen, a six-speaker audio system, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Next, forward collision mitigation, driver attention warning, and lane-keeping assist are standard.

Comparatively, the 2022 Kia Telluride has nearly identical standard features: 18-inch wheels, keyless push-button entry/ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, and adaptive cruise control are the only differences.

In conclusion, it’s surprising that the 2022 Kia Sorento outsold the Telluride during the third quarter of 2022. While the Sorento is undoubtedly value-filled, it’s not as talked about as the Telluride. Moreover, the larger of the two is well-reviewed and provides ample space for a family vehicle. However, we think the Sorento’s more affordable price and hybrid powertrain availability could be why it’s currently outselling its sibling.


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