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When it comes to SUVs, Kia and Toyota know a thing or two about building popular vehicles. When it comes down to it, the 2023 Toyota Highlander inches ahead of the 2023 Kia Sorento in a few areas. Even though these midsize sport utility vehicles are pretty evenly matched, check out what Toyota gets right below.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander beats the Kia Sorento in safety

Kelley Blue Book broke down the specs of the 2023 Toyota Highlander and the 2023 Kia Sorento. While both SUVs have plenty of standard safety tech, the Highlander gets Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+. This comes with most of the safety systems drivers might be looking for, such as forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, daytime cyclist detection, and adaptive cruise control. Lane-tracing assistance, lane-departure alert with steering assistance, and automatic high beams are also included standard.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2023 Toyota Highlander a five-star overall safety rating. It earned high marks on the performed tests like the frontal, side, and rollover crashworthiness tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety made the Highlander a Top Safety Pick Plus winner for 2023.

The 2023 Kia Sorento has plenty of systems included, like Highway Driving Assist and Smart Cruise Control. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert also come standard. The Sorento wasn’t far behind in safety but received a four-star safety rating from the NHTSA. This Kia SUV also received the Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS.

Kia’s Sorento also can’t match the 2023 Toyota Highlander’s engine power

For 2023, the Toyota Highlander is powered by a 2.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Kia’s 2023 Sorento is powered by a 2.5L four-cylinder as well, but it only gets 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. Toyota’s engine makes 265 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque.

While Kia has more engine choices to choose from, the more powerful option starts at around $39,000. That is a big jump up from the base Sorento LX cost of $30,090. Pricing starts at $36,420 for the 2023 Highlander, and it gets the turbo four-cylinder across the board.

While the 2023 Toyota Highlander Beats the Kia Sorento on power, the Highlander only comes in a Hybrid trim. Kia offers the Sorento in both a Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid powertrain. Also, Kia has an industry-leading warranty of 10 years or 1000,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage, but Toyota’s three-year or 36,000-mile warranty is good enough.

The Highlander has a long history of reliability

Rolling daytime shots of the 2023 Toyota Highlander and the 2023 Kia Sorento
A 2023 Toyota Highlander, 2023 Kia Sorento | Toyota, Kia

A recent iSeeCars study found that the Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid are some vehicles with the longest-potential lifespan on the market. This study found that the Highlander Hybrid has the potential to last 244,994 miles, and the regular gasoline version has the potential to last 218,075 miles. While this study looked at vehicles that have been on the market for at least 10 of the last 20 years, the Kia Sorento cannot compete in that category. Kia has to potential to be a reliable and long-lasting SUV, but it doesn’t beat the Highlanders’ long history on the market.

Kia has a formidable opponent in the 2023 Kia Sorento, but the 2023 Toyota Highlander comes out on top in a few categories. Toyota found a winning formula with the reliable Highlander, and there wasn’t much reason to stray from that for this year.


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