2023 Toyota Highlander vs. 2023 Kia Sorento: Midsize SUV Showdown!

Are you considering buying either the Toyota Highlander or the Kia Sorento? To help you understand the differences between the two midsize SUVs, we created this 2023 Toyota Highlander vs. 2023 Kia Sorento comparison.

2023 Toyota Highlander vs. 2023 Kia Sorento: What are the differences?

Front angle view of Wind Chill Pearl 2023 Toyota Highlander midsize SUV
Wind Chill Pearl 2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

In this 2023 Toyota Highlander vs. 2023 Kia Sorento midsize SUV comparison, we evaluated multiple areas. This includes performance, gas mileage, towing, off-road capabilities, safety, passenger and cargo space, warranty coverage, reliability, and price.

Highlander vs. Sorento: Performance

Front angle view of Sapphire Blue 2023 Kia Sorento midsize SUV
Sapphire Blue 2023 Kia Sorento | Kia

On the performance front, the 2023 Toyota Highlander has a higher base engine horsepower output, but the 2023 Kia Sorento has a higher maximum horsepower output. The Highlander offers two engine options: a turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four engine (265 horsepower) and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid (243 horsepower). 

In comparison, the engines offered for the 2023 Kia Sorento include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder (191 horsepower), a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder (281 horsepower), a hybrid (227 horsepower), and a plug-in hybrid (261 horsepower).

Highlander vs. Sorento: Gas mileage

For efficiency, the Sorento has the advantage. The fully gas-powered Sorento gets an estimated fuel economy of up to 26 combined mpg, and the Sorento Hybrid gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 37 combined mpg. Also, the Sorento Plug-In Hybrid has an estimated fuel efficiency of 79 combined mpg MPGe in electric-only mode and 34 combined mpg in hybrid mode. 

In comparison, the fully gas-powered Highlander gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 25 combined mpg, while the Highlander Hybrid has a fuel economy of up to 36 combined mpg.

Highlander vs. Sorento: Towing

The 2023 Highlander can tow more than the 2023 Sorento. It has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, compared to 3,500 pounds for the Sorento.

Highlander vs. Sorento: Off-road capabilities

Both midsize SUVs offer an all-wheel drive system for extra traction, but the Sorento is better than the Highlander for off-road use. For one, it has higher ground clearance than the Highlander (up to 8.2 vs. 8.0 inches). Also, unlike the Highlander, the Sorento has an off-road-focused model with the rugged X-Line trim.

Highlander vs. Sorento: Safety

The Highlander has the edge for safety. For the previous model year, it earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which is the highest possible IIHS rating. However, the Sorento received the second-tier IIHS Top Safety Pick award. 

Highlander vs. Sorento: Passenger and cargo space

The 2023 Highlander is bigger than the 2023 Sorento, resulting in more interior space. It can seat up to eight people and has a total passenger volume of 141.3 cu-ft, compared to seven people and 105.3 cu-ft for the Sorento. The Highlander also provides more storage space, with a maximum cargo capacity of 84.3 cu-ft, compared to 75.5 cu-ft for the Sorento.

Highlander vs. Sorento: Warranty coverage and reliability

The Sorento has more generous warranty coverage than the Highlander. It’s backed by a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. In comparison, the Highlander has a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. 

However, unlike the Sorento, the Highlander offers a free maintenance plan, with two years or 25,000 miles of coverage. Also, the Highlander is more reliable than the Sorento. It earned a J.D. Power reliability rating of 82/100, compared to 77/100 for the Sorento.

Highlander vs. Sorento: Price

Which midsize SUV costs more: the 2023 Highlander or the 2023 Sorento? The starting price of the 2023 Highlander is $36,420 MSRP, compared to $29,990 MSRP for the 2023 Sorento.

2023 Toyota Highlander vs. 2023 Kia Sorento: Which midsize SUV is better?

In this 2023 Toyota Highlander vs. 2023 Kia Sorento comparison, each midsize SUV has various advantages. For the 2023 Highlander, advantages include base engine horsepower output, towing, safety, passenger and cargo space, a free maintenance plan, and reliability. Conversely, advantages for the 2023 Sorento include maximum horsepower output, gas mileage, off-road capabilities, warranty coverage, and a lower price. 

RELATED: 2023 Toyota Highlander: Features, Price, Specs, & Overview