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Get ready to rumble as the Kia Sorento steps into the ring against the Toyota Highlander. The Sorento may feel like an underdog compared to the incredibly popular Highlander, but it actually packs a serious punch. The 2023 Kia Sorento has three advantages over the 2023 Toyota Highlander. 

2023 Kia Sorento vs. 2023 Toyota Highlander 

The 2023 Kia Sorento and 2023 Toyota Highlander are both excellent three-row SUVs to consider. But it feels like the Highlander is the more popular option. This makes sense because it has a reliable reputation and a high resale value. 

But that doesn’t mean the Sorento isn’t a worthy competitor. With a refreshing redesign and modern features, it punches above its weight. Check out the potential 2023 Sorento benefits to consider. 

1. The 2023 Kia Sorento is more affordable 

2023 Sorento SX in blue driving down the road
2023 Sorento SX | Kia

You can get started in the 2023 Kia Sorento for about $29,990, while the top-spec X-Line SX Prestige model takes the price up to $43,590. There are eight Kia Sorento rims available to meet various buyer needs. 

The 2023 Toyota Highlander kicks off at $36,420, while the range-topping Highlander Platinum trim increases the price to $49,275. There are six configurations available, but you can still save thousands which each Sorento option. 

Both SUVs have standard wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, LED headlights, keyless entry, an 8.0-inch infotainment system, heated mirrors, forward collision mitigation, and lane-keeping assist. 

But the Highlander also has tri-zone climate control, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, keyless ignition, and a Wi-fi hotspot. 

2. The 2023 Sorento has more engine options 

The 2023 Kia Sorento starts with a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. 

You can upgrade to the Kia Sorento Hybrid, which combines a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four engine with an electric motor to crank out 227 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. 

Also, the Sorento PHEV adds a battery pack to the 1.6-liter engine and electric motor to generate 261 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. 

The 2023 Toyota Highlander kicks things off with a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 265 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque. The Highlander Hybrid uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors for 243 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. 

It doesn’t have a plug-in hybrid powertrain yet. The Sorento Hybrid is slightly more fuel efficient, and the Sorento has a faster acceleration

3. The Sorento has more passenger space 

2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid off-roading
2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

Both the 2023 Kia Sorento and the 2023 Toyota Highlander have a tight third row. However, the Sorento’s third row provides a bit more passenger space, while the Highlander is reserved for smaller children. 

However, the Highlander has more cargo space overall. Both SUVs have flat folding seats with plenty of space for child seats. The Highlander doesn’t have anchors for child seats in the third row, though. 

Also, both SUVs have an abundance of cubbies and trays for storing personal items. The Sorento and Highlander can both tow up to 5,000 lbs too. 

The Highlander may be more popular with a higher reliability ranking, but the Sorento holds its own by being more affordable, having more configurations, being greener, and having more passenger space.