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South Korean automakers Kia and Hyundai work closely together but also compete. The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe is a good midsize SUV for families, but the 2022 Kia Sorento offers stiff competition. Here are three ways the Sorento LX FWD outshines its cousin, the Santa Fe SE FWD.  

1. The 2022 Kia Sorento seats more people than the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe

2022 Kia Sorento 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe
2022 Kia Sorento SX seating | Kia

One of the 2022 Kia Sorento’s biggest advantages over the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe is third-row seating. The Sorento’s third row comes standard. Though it seats only two people, the third row is large enough for adults

On top of that, Kia offers an option to turn the second-row seats into captain’s chairs, U.S. News reports. That makes the second row even more comfortable, though they’re spacious and comfortable as standard.

But one drawback to the 2022 Sorento’s third-row seating is access. “Getting in and out of the third row is one of the three main problems that current owners complained about during the first 90 days of ownership,” MotorBiscuit says of a J.D. Power survey.

Meanwhile, 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe is a two-row SUV, so it sits only five instead of seven like the Sorento. However, the Santa Fe’s seats are spacious and comfortable. 

2. The 2022 Kia Sorento has more overall cargo space than the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe

Both crossover SUVs have similar body dimensions. The 2022 Kia Sorento is less than an inch longer than the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe. However, the Sorento can carry more stuff as long as you don’t have passengers in the third row.

The Santa Fe has 36.4 cubic feet of storage space with the third row folded flat. And the Sorento has 38.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the second row. The Sorento’s maximum cargo capacity is 75.5 cubic feet, while the Santa Fe’s tops out at 72.1. cubic feet. 

However, the 2022 Kia Sorento has only 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, so you’ll have to sacrifice passenger seating to fit more belongings.

3. The Kia has a more dynamic driving experience than the Hyundai

Kia and Hyundai’s relationship becomes apparent when you compare the 2022 Kia Sorento’s engines to the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe’s. Both SUVs start with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque, and both SUVs can be equipped with an optional 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. Both standard engines pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the optional turbo engine gets a dual-clutch eight-speed automatic. 

Despite the similar powertrains, the Kia SUV exhibits better driving dynamics than the Hyundai. U.S. News says the 2022 Santa Fe’s turbocharged 2.5-liter has an issue with its dual-clutch transmission, but the problem doesn’t seem to extend to the Sorento. Additionally, despite the fact that the Kia is the heavier SUV, the standard engine seems to provide enough power for it, while the same isn’t true for the Santa Fe. 

Both midsize crossover SUVs handle similarly, but the Kia provides better ride quality. The Santa Fe has an “unusually firm” ride quality that “can become tiresome on longer trips,” U.S. News reports. In comparison, the Sorento provides a more comfortable, smoother ride, though riders will still feel bumps at slower speeds. 


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