2022 Kia Sorento vs. 2022 Subaru Ascent: Choosing Between These Midsize SUVs Depends on 4 Things

Are you shopping for a new three-row midsize SUV? If so, consider the 2022 Kia Sorento and 2022 Subaru Ascent. Both crossovers are solid picks, but each has pros and cons. Consider the following comparison to help make your decision.

2022 Kia Sorento vs. Subaru Ascent: 4 key areas to consider

2022 Kia Sorento vs 2022 Subaru Ascent, midsize SUVs
2022 Kia Sorento (top) and 2022 Subaru Ascent | Kia; Subaru of America, Inc.

Powertrain options

If choosing a powertrain that fits your needs is essential, the Kia Sorento is the better of the two contenders. And though the Sorento gets better fuel economy than the Subaru Ascent regardless of the powertrain, fuel-conscious buyers will enjoy the Kia SUV’s available hybrid options.

Size and interior space

If size matters, the smaller Sorento navigates tight parking areas easier, but the Ascent’s roomier interior and greater cargo capacity are factors for some buyers. But, of course, if you need to fit eight people or just seven comfortably, the Subaru Ascent is the obvious choice over the smaller Kia Sorento. 

Safety ratings

Car safety ratings from the Insurance Insititute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) favor the larger Subaru Ascent, although both midsize SUVs offer advanced safety features. 

Warranties

If you’re still undecided, a bonus consideration is a difference in manufacturer warranties. The 2022 Kia Sorento holds the clear advantage with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. On the other hand, the 2022 Subaru Ascent has a basic warranty that lasts only three years or 36,000 miles and a powertrain warranty for five years or 60,000 miles.

A closer look at the 2022 Kia Sorento

The 2022 Kia Sorento offers three rows of seating in a “smaller and more affordable” package than the Subaru Ascent, Kelley Blue Book reports. Kia shows that the $29,590 Sorento LX comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 191 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque. Upgrading to the EX trim or higher brings a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine, increasing horsepower to 281 and torque to 311 lb-ft. And adding the X-line option to any model above the base LX includes all-wheel drive with a center locking differential. 

The Sorento’s base powertrain gets an estimated 26 mpg combined, compared to the Ascent’s 23 mpg. But for even better fuel economy, consider one of the Sorento’s two hybrid options. The turbocharged hybrid powertrain produces 227 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque for an EPA-estimated 37 mpg combined. And the turbocharged plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model makes 261 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque for a combined 79 MPGe. 

Overview of the 2022 Subaru Ascent

The 2022 Subaru Ascent starts at $32,795. Its only powertrain comprises a turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four-cylinder engine, making 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque, paired with an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT). With more interior space, the Ascent seats eight people, compared with the Sorento’s capacity for seven. Also, Kelley Blue Book reports that back-row passengers will appreciate the extra room afforded by the “more minivan-like” Ascent.

In addition, the 2022 Subaru Ascent boasts a five-star NHTSA safety rating and an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ designation. On the other hand, the 2022 Kia Sorento received slightly lower ratings: four stars from the NHTSA and Top Safety Pick from the IIHS.

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