Kia’s Forgotten 3-Row SUV Still Beats Hyundai’s 3-Row SUV
Kia’s Sorento model is plagued with at least one dismal reliability rating but still manages to beat out Hyundai’s Palisade when it comes to sales. What do sales figures look like for the Kia 3-row SUV, what does it offer compared to the Palisade, and which model should you choose?
Comparing sales figures of the Hyundai and the Kia 3-row SUV
Looking at year-to-date sales, the 2023 Kia Sorento is the more popular of the two vehicles. With 59,543 units sold this year, the SUV increased in sales by 2.68% over what was sold in 2022.
The Hyundai Palisade sold 51,306 vehicles, which is actually down almost 5,000 units from what the brand was able to sell in 2022, according to GoodCarBadCar. When you break down the figures, you see that in July alone, the Sorento sold 8,147 units, while the Palisade sold 6,107 vehicles.
In the last quarter (Q2), the Sorento outsold Hyundai’s 3-row SUV by about 3,000 more sales, with a figure of 22,641 units. In 2022, though, the Palisade outsold the Kia by almost 1,500 models.
What do the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Sorento offer?
With the Hyundai Palisade, you get a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Paired with it is an eight-speed automatic transmission. This combination enables the SUV to go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds. It also allows you to tow up to 5,000 lbs, according to Edmunds.
Front-wheel drive is standard, but there are available all-wheel drivetrain options for each trim. You get a decent number of standard features, like tire pressure monitoring, emergency braking assist, stability control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot warning, and driver attention alert.
With the 2023 Kia Sorento, you get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque for some of the lower trims. There’s also a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that generates 281 hp and 311 lb-ft. Paired with both engines is an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This combination allows the turbocharged model to go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. As for towing, it can handle up to 3,500 lbs of weight (on the turbocharged models).
Front-wheel drive is also standard on the Kia, but you can still opt for an all-wheel drive version if you choose. Standard features of this model include rear cross-traffic alert, driver attention alert, lane-keeping assist, stability control, traction control, and engine immobilizer.
Which model should you choose?
It’s tough to decide on two perfectly good 3-row SUVs, so basing your choice on your needs will be key. For those who put fuel economy as a number one trait of their future vehicle, the Kia Sorento would be the best selection you can make. The main reason for this is because the Kia offers hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, whereas the Palisade does not, at least not yet.
Kia’s SUV offers 39/35 mpg (city/highway) for the FWD version and 36/33 mpg (city/highway) for the AWD hybrid model. The plug-in variant gets 35 mpg in the city and 33 mpg when traveling on the highway.
For the gas-only models, the base engine offers 24/29 mpg (city/highway), and the turbocharged variant gets two less mpg on city roads but offers the same on the highway as the base engine. Hyundai’s Palisade gets 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway on the FWD version, while the AWD model gives you 19/25 mpg (city/highway).
If roominess is more important, the Palisade would be your best option. For headroom, you get 40.7 inches in the front and 40.1 inches in the back. When it comes to legroom, you get 44.1 inches with the front seats and 42.4 inches with the rear seats.
It also offers 18 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats and 86.4 cubic feet of space if you fold down the second and third rows. On the Kia, you get 40.3/39.1 inches of headroom (front/rear) and 41.4/41.7 inches of legroom (front/rear). Cargo space on the Sorento is only 12.6 cubic feet of storage with all the seats up and 75.5 cubic feet of space with the two rear rows of seats down.
Both the Kia Sorento and the 2023 Hyundai Palisade are decent 3-row family vehicles. But, the Sorento, the 3-row option you don’t hear as much about, seems to be more popular among consumers, possibly because of the hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants it offers, whereas Hyundai’s SUV doesn’t.