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One major purchase that most people will make will come when they need to purchase a new car. As you are looking for a new car, getting one that is safe, reliable and fun and comfortable to drive is very important. One car company that consistently provides a great fleet of new models each year is Kia. For the 2021 model year, two of the most popular vehicles will be the 2021 Kia Sportage, which is a compact SUV, and the 2021 Kia Sorento, which is a mid-size SUV. It is important to consider the advantages and features of each SUV option when you are looking for your next vehicle.
Size and Styling
2021 Kia Sorento Size and Styling
The 2021 Kia Sorento continues to be well known for being a comfortable and spacious midsize SUV. The base trim of the Sorento has seating for seven, including two passengers in the second row. This will decline to six when upgrading to a second row with captain’s chairs. Legroom and shoulder room is considered ample in either option, although there will be more back row space when you upgrade to the captains chairs in the second row.
With the base trim of the 2021 Sorento, you will receive cloth upholstery and manual seats, but there are a number of style upgrades available to choose from. With the higher trims, you will receive heated and ventilated seats, power adjustable seats and a heated steering wheel. Overall cargo space in the 2021 Sorento is also more than sufficient. Behind the third row, you will have around 13 cubic feet of space. This can increase to 45 feet when the third row is folded down and 75 cubic feet when the second row is folded down. There are also a few different storage compartments located throughout the cabin, which will give you some additional space.
Visibility with the Sorento continues to be good. The large windshield helps you to reduce blind spots and is advantageous when driving in any weather condition.
2021 Kia Sportage Size and Styling
While most drivers are not expecting too much space and comfort with a compact SUV, the 2021 Sportage offers a variety of features that will help to maximize your overall driving experience. The 2021 Sportage will be able to fit five passengers, including three in the back row. This SUV will also offer sufficient shoulder and headroom space throughout the back row, even for taller adults. The cargo space within the Sportage is comparable to what you would receive with other compact SUVs. Behind the second row, you will have around 31 cubic feet of space. If you fold down the second row, you will have over 60 cubic feet of space.
The interior features of the 2021 Sportage also help to ensure that you will be comfortable when behind the wheel. The 2021 Sportage comes standard with cloth upholstery and manual seats, but there are many different features to choose from with the higher trims. Some of these upgradeable features include leather upholstery, power seats, heated and ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
Size and Styling Comparison
The styling and interior features for both SUVs is impressive and provides a comfortable overall driving experience. For those that are looking for more cabin space, the midsize Sorento is a better option as it offers more cargo space and room for passengers. However, the Sportage does offer ample space compared to other compact SUVs.
2021 Kia Sorento Drivability
When looking for a midsize SUV, a buyer will want to have a couple of different engine options to chose from. The 2021 Sorento has two different engine options. The base engine option is a four-cylinder engine that will provide around 190 horsepower, which is comparable to base engines provided to other vehicles in the same class. Those that would like to have more engine performance can upgrade trims to select the turbocharged four-cylinder, which will provide around 280 horsepower of engine performance and 311 pound-feet of torque.
With either engine options, you will receive a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. All trims also come standard with front-wheel drive. Those that would like to have a vehicle that has more traction in difficult driving conditions should consider upgrading to the available all-wheel drive. Overall handling for the Sorento is considered a positive. Those that are looking for a sportier option should upgrade to the higher engine option.
The 2021 Sorento has good fuel efficiency that is favorable compared to other vehicles in the same class. When paired with the base engine option, you can expect to receive around 26 MPG. This will decline to around 24 MPG when upgrading to the turbocharged engine. Drivers will also lose around 10% in fuel efficiency when they choose the AWD option over the standard front-wheel drive.
2021 Kia Sportage Drivability
While most drivers of a compact SUV would not expect to receive a very powerful engine, they may be very impressed with what comes with the 2021 Sportage. The base trim with the 2021 Sportage comes with a standard four-cylinder engine that provides more than 180 horsepower. This is more powerful that the engine performance that comes with most over compact SUVs. Those that would like even more engine performance can choose the upgradeable four-cylinder that will provide around 240 horsepower.
All trims of the 2021 Sportage will provide standard front wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available. The SUV will also come standard with a six speed automatic transmission. Overall, the handling and performance of the 2021 Sportage is considered an advantage of the SUV. Those that would like the most zip possible will want to upgrade to the higher engine option.
Similar to other compact SUVs, the Sportage has good fuel efficiency ratings. It provides a blended fuel efficiency of around 26 MPG with the base engine. This will decline to around 24 MPG when upgrading to the strong engine. You should expect to lose around 5 to 10 percent fuel efficiency when choosing AWD versus the standard front-wheel drive.
Overall, both he Sportage and the Sorento have good drivability ratings. As would be expected, the Sorento has strong engine options, but both have good acceleration compared to other SUVs in the same class. Despite being a larger vehicle, the Sorento has favorable fuel efficiency ratings when compared to the Sportage.
Comfort Options and Performance
2021 Kia Sorento Comfort Options and Performance
The 2021 Sorento is considered to be a comfortable and fun vehicle to drive. The interior features are typical for other vehicles in the same class and the upgrades will rival any luxury SUV. The standard engine performance and upgradeable turbocharged engine will also provide ample performance.
The 2021 Sorento comes with a well-equipped package of standard features that can make it fun to drive. These features are comparable to what you would expect to receive in other midsize SUVs. Some of the standard features include a 8-inch touchscreen that will control the Kia UVO infotainment system, HD radio, Bluetooth, USB ports, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and a strong audio system. Those that would like to have even more features available have plenty of additional upgrades to choose from. Some of these features include a large 10-inch touchscreen, wireless device charging, additional USB ports and an enhanced audio system.
2021 Kia Sportage Comfort Options and Performance
The 2021 Sportage is considered spacious and comfortable. The standard interior finishes are comparable to other compact SUVs in this class and can help create a nice overall driving experience. There are two different engine options, the more powerful of which is quite strong given the size of the SUV.
The overall package of interior driving features is similar to the Sorento. The 2021 Sportage comes standard with an eight-inch touchscreen, access to the UVO infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and a USB port. Some additional interior features include an HK audio and speaker system, wireless device charging and a navigation system.
Comfort Options and Performance Comparison
Both the 2021 Sorento and Sportage come with a good package of interior features and are comfortable to drive and ride in. The standard features received with the base trim are quite similar. However, the Sorento does offer some enhanced tech features as upgrades that are not available with the Sportage, including more USB ports and a larger touchscreen.
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Kia continues to have a reputation for producing vehicles that are safe and will receive good overall safety ratings. The 2021 Sorento continues this tradition as the IIHS has provided it with its top overall safety rating. It also received good safety ratings in all sub-classes, except for its headlights that were considered average in some trim levels.
The 2021 Kia Sorento does comes with a range of different safety features that have helped it to receive these higher ratings. Some of the standard safety features that will be received with the standard trims include a variety of airbags, a rearview camera, traffic sign recognition, lake keep assist and lane departure warning. Some additional safety features to consider getting with the higher trims and technology package include reverse auto braking, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.
2021 Kia Sportage Safety
The 2021 Kia Sportage also has had some positive safety ratings. Similar to the Sorento, the IIHS has provided the Sportage with a Good overall rating, except for headlights which were also considered poor in some trim levels. The NHTSA has also provided it with a five-star overall rating and five star ratings for side crash resistance. Frontal crash and rollover resistance each received a four star rating.
For a compact SUV, the Sportage has a good suite of standard safety features. Some of the standard safety features received include various airbags throughout the cabin, a rearview camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking. The additional safety features that you can receive with upgraded trims include blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
Both the 2021 Sorento and the Sportage will provide a safe mode of transportation. They received identical scores from the IIHS. The Sportage also received positive ratings from the NHTSA, which had not yet provided ratings for the 2021 Sorento. The SUVs also have similar trim packages, although the Sorento has a couple features that are available with the base trim that are available as upgrades with the Sportage.
Which Model to Choose?
When you are in the market for a new SUV, both the 2021 Kia Sorento and 2021 Kia Sportage will offer a good driving experience. The choice that a consumer will make will vary based on their preferences. As both offer similar interior features and engine performance, the size of the vehicle will be a contributing factor. The Sorento's larger frame, cargo space and passenger capacity is ideal for those that are looking for a larger SUV.
While the Sorento offers more space and size, a budget conscious buyer may still be better off with the Sportage if space is not a concern. The 2021 Sportage has a starting MSRP of around $24,000 compared to the Sorento's $30,000. The Sportage also offers lease deals for as low as $170 per month, which is lower than the Sorento's starting lease rate of around $250 per month. Ultimately, both offer great financing options as the Sorento will be a great option if you are looking for more space but the Sportage is better if you would like to spend less.