How to Choose Between the Kia Telluride and Sorento

Well, holy Kia SUVs y’all. Kia has two excellent options for three-row SUVs. There is the Kia Telluride and the Kia Sorento. But which Kia SUV is the better option to buy? Let’s compare both of these models to see which one better fits your family needs and budget. 

Kia Telluride VS Kia Sorento 

First of all, the Kia Telluride can fit up to eight passengers, while the Kia Sorento can only fit seven. If you have an eight-person to carry around, then the Telluride is the clear winner. 

2021 Kia Nightfall Edition parked in dirt
2021 Kia Nightfall Edition | Kia

However, if you’re OK with only having seven seats, you can save with the Kia Sorento, which starts around $24k. Meanwhile, the Kia Telluride bumps the price up to $31k. The Kia Sorento also gets up to 28 mpg while the Telluride gets up to 26 mpg. 

Kia Telluride and Kia Sorento Power 

The Kia Telluride comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that pumps out 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. The Kia Sorento has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine that pumps out 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. But you can upgrade to the 3.3-liter V6 engine with 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque. 

Kia Sorento AWD on display at auto show
Kia Sorento AWD

Both of these Kia SUVs can tow up to 5,000 lb when properly equipped. This amount feels weak for the Telluride and is surprisingly a lot for the Sorento. The Kia Telluride can also accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds while the Kia Sorento can do so in 7.6 seconds. 

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The Kia Sorento doesn’t offer all-wheel drive on the base model trim, but it is available on every higher trim option. The Kia Telluride offers all-wheel-drive as an option available on each trim level. 

Both SUVs offer a smooth ride and have a quiet interior. However, the smaller Kia Sorento drives more like a five-passenger SUV with more nimble handling and a better turning radius than the Telluride. 

Kia Sorento and Kia Telluride Features 

The Kia Sorento is shorter than the Kia Telluride, so it does have less cargo room. It has 13 cubic feet of space behind the third row and up to 73 cubic feet of cargo space total. The Kia Telluride has 21 cubic feet behind the third row and provides up to 87 cubic feet of cargo space. 

2020 Kia Telluride parked with mountain scenery
2020 Kia Telluride | Kia

Some people dislike the Kia Sorento for having a cramped third row, but it’s perfectly fine for children. If your kids are taller, then the third row of the Telluride is better suited for them.

Also, while the Kia Telluride has a more luxurious feeling interior, the Sorento offers stain-resistant seats for families. The quality materials used in the interior of the Kia Sorento also feels like it provides more value. 

2021 Kia Sorento parked outside building
2021 Kia Sorento | Kia

The Kia Telluride comes with more standard safety features such as rear-cross traffic alert and lane-keeping assistance. But these features can be added to the Sorento. Plus, the Sorento scored higher in safety tests. The Kia Sorento got five stars in every NHTSA crash area where the Kia Telluride only scored four stars. 

Obviously, the Kia Telluride is the nicer, more luxurious option. However, if you don’t need that luxury and want a capable family SUV with three rows, then the Kia Sorento will perfectly handle your needs. It’s fun to drive with a nice interior and can even tackle a little snow.