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2021 Kia Telluride vs Sorento

2021 Kia Telluride vs Sorento

2021 Telluride vs Sorento - How do they stack up? What are the differences?

The 2021 Kia Telluride and Sorento make an outstanding pair of mid-size SUVs, with their sporty build and attractive design. Perfect for large families, both boast three rows of comfortable seating and modern stylings inside and out that are sure to turn heads - though the larger Telluride takes this up another notch. These two models offer a great choice between size or style – but which one is best for you? This overview will let you find out.

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Size and Styling

As jus mentioned, the Telluride is the larger of the two SUVs. It has a length of 196.9 inches, compared with the Sorento's length of 189.4 inches. Seven inches might not seem like a significant difference, but it does impact how much cargo can fit and how comfortable passengers can be. When all the rear seats have been folded down, maximum cargo capacity in the Telluride is 87 cubic feet. It's 75.5 cubic feet in the Sorento.

In the two SUVs, there is a somewhat small cargo area behind the seats. In the Telluride, the cargo hold has a volume of 21 cubic feet. The back cargo area in the Sorento has just more than half that space, having a volume of only 12.6 cubic feet. However, when the third row is folded down, things are more comparable. Cargo space becomes 45 cubic feet in the Sorento and 46 cubic feet in the Telluride.

The Telluride is a few inches wider and taller than the Sorento is. This means that passengers will have some more room in the Telluride. Shoulder, hip, and head room isn't often talked about, but more is usually better. First, second, and third row leg room in the Telluride is 41.4, 42.4, and 31.4 inches, respectively. The Sorento does have a nice amount of space, with 41.4 and 41.7 inches of leg room in its first and second rows. Its third row is limited to having 29.6 inches of leg room. This would likely make taller passengers a little uncomfortable.

Customers are presented with the ultimate choice between spaciousness and seating capacity when they pick either a Telluride or Sorento. The former allows up to eight passengers in its three-row setup, while the latter can fit only seven at most - despite also having third row seats. However, those looking for more legroom may opt for two captain's chairs instead of a bench seat on both models; but be aware that this means sacrificing another valuable seat. Ultimately, it'll come down to personal preference and your family’s size.

With the Telluride and Sorento, both have a selectable range of wheel sizes from 17 to 20 inches. However, for those who want an extra bit of sleek sophistication, you can opt for features like dual chrome exhaust tips or chromed-out door moldings with the Telluride – offering visual refinement not seen in its counterpart.

The 2021 Kia Sorento and Telluride are luxury vehicles with desirable features. The Sorento boasts heated side mirrors, an elegant black rear spoiler, LED headlights and fog lights for clear nighttime vision, a smart power tailgate that opens easily at the press of a button, plus added sunshine from its optional panoramic sunroof. Meanwhile the Telluride offers double your pleasure with two roof options - either traditional or dual sunroofs - to bring in more natural light into the cabin.


The Sorento stands out from its SUV peers with an impressive powertrain. Under the hood is a 2.5-liter engine capable of producing 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque - more than enough to get you moving quickly. That force pairs perfectly with the eight-speed automatic transmission, allowing up tow up to 2000 pounds behind you on your next adventure.

The Kia Sorento is a real powerhouse. Three trims boast turbo-charged engines, with the top trim offering specialty paddle shifters for manual shifting. Its 2.5 liter engine provides an astonishing 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque - enough to tow up to 3,500 pounds. With impressive features like these offered across its five models, it's easy why this car has become so popular.

With a powerful V6 engine boasting 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, the Telluride is an SUV with serious muscle. This powerplant has been paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission for exceptional control on all terrain, plus there's a Sportmatic sports shifter that allows you to take command when needed. And if it comes down hauling cargo or heavy toys between trips? The Telluride can manage up to 5,000 pounds - more than double what its sibling Sorento can handle.

With the Telluride and Sorento, customers can select between front- or all-wheel drive. The AWD systems are well equipped for any conditions with options like an "AWD Lock" in the Telluride, Snow Mode to tackle challenging weather plus 4 additional regular driving modes -- Comfort, Eco, Sport & Smart - that let you tailor your style of cruising on demand! If a driver desires even more control they should look no further than the Sorento's All Wheel Drive system which comes complete with its own Center Locking Differential.

Drivers looking to tackle tough terrain will appreciate the extra inches of clearance available with Kia's Sorento and Telluride SUVs. A front-wheel drive Sorento can clear 6.9 inches while an all-wheel version jumps up even more to 8.2 - a height comparable to its bigger sibling, the imposingly tall Telluride whose ground clearance is set at eight full inches.

These days, fuel economy matters to a lot of customers. From an efficiency standpoint, the Sorento would be the smarter pick. With its standard engine, it can earn an estimated 24/29 (city/highway) miles per gallon, and with the turbo engine, those numbers are 22 and 29 miles per gallon. In comparison, the Telluride has an estimated fuel economy of 20/26 miles per gallon. With both models, having all-wheel drive leads to using slightly more fuel.

Comfort, Options and Performance

The Kia Telluride is the ideal SUV for those wanting to experience luxury - starting with its plush synthetic leather upholstery and culminating in Nappa leather seating available on higher trims. Experience it today as your ultimate ride.

The Telluride's upper trims boast luxurious amenities like heated and ventilated front seats plus the option for a heating steering wheel. With its top trim, you can also treat your passengers to their own comfort with optional heated and ventilated second-row seating! Plus, this sporty model offers stainless steel styling that includes chic pedals and scuff plates on door sills - perfect for setting yourself apart from the crowd.

With the Sorento, the base model starts out with cloth seats. Mid-level trims have synthetic leather, and the highest trim, which is the SX Prestige, has perforated and embossed leather seats. That SX Prestige is the only Sorento trim to have heated and ventilated front seats, and it does come standard with a heated steering wheel. There's no option to have heated or heated and ventilated second-row Sorento seats.

Another thing that the Telluride can have is an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink technology. This allows the buttons on the rearview mirror to communicate with garage door and security systems. The Sorento can have an auto-dimming rearview mirror, but it doesn't have that same level of technology.

In terms of other pieces of technology, things are similar in the two Kias. Their lower trims have eight-inch touchscreens, with the higher trims having 10.25-inch touchscreens. Across the lineups of the Telluride and Sorento, there are numerous components that come standard, such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and six speakers.

If the models are enhanced with the larger touchscreens, they would have navigation as well. The top trim of the Sorento gets to have 12 speakers, and that of the Telluride has ten speakers.

Charging is always important these days since it seems like everyone has at least one device with them at all times. The Telluride can come with either five or six USB ports, in addition to the USB input jack. The Sorento has a minimum of six USB ports, and there could be one for each seating position. Wireless charging is standard in higher trims of both models.

Modern consumers are all about convenience, too. They'll appreciate that the Telluride has a smart entry system with push-button start in every one of its trims. This feature is found in the Sorento also. However, the entry-level Sorento doesn't have this system.


With its Sorento and Telluride, Kia has gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of drivers. Loaded with driver-assist technologies that can detect potential dangers before they happen, it's no wonder these vehicles are so popular! What better way for passengers to race confidently down the roads than knowing their car is looking out for them?

The Telluride comes out on top when it comes to safety features. Every driver of this SUV can enjoy the peace-of-mind that blind spot detection and rear cross traffic monitoring bring, included as standard even in its lowest trim level. In comparison, Sorento drivers must choose a higher trim option if they want similar protections while behind the wheel.

Both SUVs are able to detect frontal collisions, know when they're veering out of position, and driving on particularly dark roads. If potential issues are detected, they will alert drivers to those situations, and they could help by hitting the brakes or adjusting steering, if appropriate. When driving on dark roads, the high beams can automatically turn on. Plus, the two models have a driver attention warning system that can actually sense when people aren't focusing their eyes on the road as much as they should be.

The Telluride comes standard with smart cruise control. This allows the vehicle to adjust its speed if the leading vehicle has slowed down. If that leading vehicle then speeds up, the Telluride would be able to do so, too, in a safe manner. Smart cruise control is only part of the package on the top three trims of the Sorento.

The Sorento is truly a vehicle of the future. It has an available surround view monitor, giving drivers 360-degree visibility for easy navigation around obstacles and tight parking spots. Want to take it one step further? Opt for its blind view monitor which provides a live feed straight from the car's blind spot - perfect when changing lanes on busy roads.

Buying Tip: To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals,   Edmunds,   CarsDirect,   NADAguides  &  Motortrend. These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Model to Choose?

When it comes to choosing between the Kia Telluride and Sorento, you're faced with two exceptional options. Both models offer a powerful drive experience combined with plenty of passenger room and cutting-edge features - perfect for those who enjoy unique style coupled with convenience. No matter which one you choose, your journey is sure to be memorable.

If you're torn between the two models, it might be best to consider your budget. The Telluride offers three trims - starting with a reasonable $32,190 for its base model and going up in price from there at S ($34,590) and EX ($37,590). Its top trim of SX is more pricey than most however; coming in at an eye-watering 42k.

The Sorento offers great value for the money, with five trim levels ranging from affordable to upscale. Starting at $29,390 and topping out at just under 41K, there's a perfect fit no matter how much you are looking to spend. Whether it’s an LX model or an SX Prestige that screams luxury - everyone can find their dream car in this lineup.

The Kia Sorento proves to be a great vehicle for those strapped for cash, offering dependable performance and features suited to multiple situations. If you have the funds available though, it's worth considering upgrading to the Telluride - boasting more size and power beyond what its smaller counterpart can offer.

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