Crossover & Midsize

Why Buy a 2021 Kia Telluride When You Can Buy a 2021 Sorento Instead?

Kia is crushing it lately. The Telluride is one of the most praised and popular up and coming SUVs on the market. The 2021 Kia Telluride offers new features like the Nightfall Edition appearance package. Additionally, the recent unveiling of the redesigned 2021 Kia Sorento has people pretty hyped up. But they are both three-row crossover SUVs so how are we supposed to choose between these two Kia SUVs?

Kia SUVs

Of the entire lineup of Kia SUVs, the Sorento and the Telluride are two of the more desired crossovers the Korean car brand has to offer. American families could easily find themselves choosing between these two three-row crossover SUVs. So how do they compare?

Price is a selling point for pretty much everyone. So how do the 2021 Kia Sorento and the 2021 Kia Telluride differ in price? U.S. News and World Report shows a starting price between $31,990 – $44,090 for the 2021 Kia Telluride. So far, Kia hasn’t released pricing for the all-new Sorento crossover SUV.

Kia Sorento driving down highway
2021 Kia Sorento | Kia

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“The current model starts at $26,990 and tops out at around $42,000. With its additional standard equipment, you can expect the new Sorento to have a bit of a price bump.” 

2021 Kia Sorento | U.S. News and World Report

So while the 2021 Kia Sorento will probably start slightly cheaper than the 2021 Kia Telluride crossover SUV, they’ll top out in the same range. In terms of price, there isn’t really enough difference to strongly sway buyers toward one or the other.

Kia Telluride Nightfall Edition

While the all-new Kia Sorento will have four new powertrains to choose from including a hybrid system, the 2021 Kia Telluride now boasts a bold Nightfall Edition. If you want a sharp appearance package that makes your modern rugged SUV look even more beastly, you can add the black appearance package. But it’s only available for the Telluride.

The 2021 Kia Sorento may have an impressive X-Line trim on the horizon, but it doesn’t have a Nightfall Edition option. There’s a good chance this three-row crossover SUV will see it as an option down the road. But for now, if you want a Kia SUV with three rows and a blacked-out appearance package you’ll need to turn to the Telluride.

2021 Kia Telluride Nightfall Edition from the back
2021 Kia Telluride Nightfall Edition | Kia

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How many people does the Kia Sorento seat?

The 2021 Kia Sorento seats either 6 or 7 people. New captain seats will compare directly to those offered in the 2021 Kia Telluride. However, if you need seating for more the Telluride will rise to the top in this debate. The 2021 Kia Telluride has standard seating for 8. Captain chairs bring this down to 7. However, with its larger stature and longer wheelbase, the Telluride will offer more space in terms of both cargo and seating.

Sorento or Telluride?

In terms of safety features and technology, each model will share generally the same Kia offerings. Both Kia SUVs have a standard 8-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Plus––while they are both standard front-wheel drive three-row crossover SUVs––each one offers an available all-wheel-drive system.

2020 Kia Telluride driving down a dirt road
2020 Kia Telluride in action | Photo via Kia

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One of the biggest differences is in the powertrains. The 2021 Kia Telluride has a V6 engine, but it only generates a bit more horsepower than the 2021 Kia Sorento’s turbo 4. Additionally, the new Sorento offers a hybrid powertrain. A plug-in hybrid system will also be available for the Sorento next year.

The Kia Telluride, however, only offers one powertrain option. If you want a slightly smaller three-row crossover SUV, the Sorento offers tempting powertrain options. But if you need more space and seating for 8, you’ll want to go with the Telluride.