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According to Statista, in 2021, the most popular type of passenger vehicle in the US was the crossover SUV, accounting for 45.9% of all vehicle sales for that year. These affordable SUVs have taken over the American market due to their easy drivability, affordability, and interior space for passengers and cargo. While there are many of these SUVs to choose from, the 2022 Kia Sorento and Volkswagen Tiguan are two popular smaller SUVs that offer three-row seating. But which of these is the best for you? Here is how the Kia Sorento and Volkswagen Tiguan stack up against each other.

2022 Kia Sorento – Trim levels, specs, and features

A blue 2022 Kia Sorento SX driving on a highway
2022 Kia Sorento SX | Kia

The 2022 Kia Sorento comes in a staggering eight different trim levels, and according to Kia, they are all priced as follows:

  • LX – $29,590 MSRP
  • S – $32,390 MSRP
  • X-Line S AWD – $34,390 MSRP
  • EX – $35,490 MSRP
  • X-Line EX AWD – $39,190 MSRP
  • SX – $38,290 MSRP
  • SX Prestige – $41,190 MSRP
  • X-Line SX Prestige AWD – $43,190 MSRP

While this long list of trim levels might be jarring and intimidating to dig through to find the features you are looking for, many of these trims are very similar. No matter what trim level you choose, Kia keeps it simple by offering a naturally aspirated or turbocharged 2.5L 4-cylinder engine, making 191 horsepower or 281 horsepower.

Additionally, no matter what trim you get, the Kia Sorento comes with a large list of standard safety features, including forward collision avoidance assist, rearview monitor with dynamic parking assist, and lane departure warning. 

And when it comes to fuel efficiency? The Sorento offers excellent fuel economy ratings at 24 city/29 highway. Even more impressive numbers are found with the hybrid engine in the SX and SX Prestige trims. This particular trim offers 35 city/33 highway and 79MPGe, with a hybrid battery that can power this SUV up to 31 miles on electric charge alone. Overall, this seven-seater Kia is an excellent option for any family that needs some extra space and wonderful fuel efficiency at an affordable price.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan – Trim levels, specs, and features

The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan comes in four separate trim levels with varying levels of features. These trim levels can be viewed below:

  • S – $26,490 MSRP
  • SE – $30,120 MSRP
  • SE R-Line Black – $32,950 MSRP
  • SEL R-Line – $37,320 MSRP

Compared to the 2022 Kia Sorento, the Tiguan SUV is notably cheaper. The Tiguan has received near-perfect reviews from many automotive critics, too, including Car and Driver. It also offers comfort and luxury features typically found in more expensive SUVs.

Regardless of which Tiguan you find yourself behind the wheel of, you will have the same powerplant under the hood. All Tiguan models are standard wtih a 184 horsepower turbo four-cylinder engine. Every trim is also standard in front-wheel drive. Except for the SEL R-Line top trim, which comes in four-wheel drive. 

The Tiguan is slightly smaller than the Kia Sorento, and this can be felt in the back row of seats, which can feel cramped, according to Consumer Reports. However, the interior is classy and full of technology to keep passengers connected and entertained.

In the fuel economy category, the Tiguan falls just short of the Sorento at 23 city/30 highway for the front-wheel drive models and 21 city/28 highway for the four-wheel drive model. This disparity in fuel economy stems from the Kia Sorento being offered with a hybrid engine option. The Tiguan may be cheaper across the board, but how much will you save in fuel costs if you invest in a hybrid Sorento?

Which three-row SUV should you choose?

Both of these award-winning SUVs are affordable, quality vehicles that are capable of seating seven. One of these competitors may stand above the other with your priorities, but you really can’t go wrong with either of these two SUV contenders.


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