2022 Kia Sorento vs Sportage
As you browse the market for a shiny new, high quality SUV, you might feel overwhelmed with options - there are so many of them out there. The 2022 Kia Sorento and Kia Sportage are two siblings that stack up against each other quite impressively. In fact, you might have a hard time choosing between these two Kia models. After all, both are backed by Kia's outstanding warranty coverage.
If you want the bigger option, then check out the 2022 Kia Sorento. The 2022 Kia Sorento is hot off of the 2021 redesign, which gifted the Sorento with a more Telluride-like style. You get four powertrain options to choose from, including a regular hybrid and an all-new plug-in hybrid. You also get the 10.25-inch infotainment display on every trim level save for the base trim. You can also now choose to add the X-Line appearance package to the S, EX and SX Prestige trim levels.
The downside of this being a fresh new generation for the Sorento is that it is more expensive than the previous generation. It also isn't quite as compact as that Sorento was. But, overall, this new Sorento is likable enough and feels quite contemporary.
The 2022 Kia Sportage is gifted with a well-tuned suspension that offers a cozy, stress-free ride quality. Inside of this vehicle, things are more spacious than you might expect. On the city streets or on the highway, the Sportage is able to remain composed in its handling. And no matter where you are seated, there is room for your head and knees alike - yes, even you, people who are 6 feet tall. The dash isn't cluttered with a ton of confusing controls, so you should be able to get in and get used to everything in almost no time at all.
The Sportage isn't all sunshine and daisies though; this vehicle, like every other one out there, has a few things holding it back. First of all, the vehicle's cargo space isn't nearly as generous as what you get in other vehicles its size. It also isn't exactly the easiest to use in terms of loading cargo. Fuel economy could also stand to see some improvements, and we think that some much-needed tweaks to the underpowered engine options could help balance that out a bit more. With gas prices surging, some buyers might find themselves looking to other SUVs for better fuel economy.
Will the Sorento be more your speed, or is the Sportage right up your alley? Which one has the most advantages, the most value behind it? Read on to find out so that you will end up buying precisely the right vehicle for you when the time comes.
Size and Styling
The 2022 Kia Sorento is a mid-size third-row SUV that is slightly larger than the outgoing generation of Sorentos had been. Stylistically, it echoes a lot of what you find on the popular Telluride. The undulating lines on the hood make the front look pretty athletic. There are standard LED headlights shaped aggressively into narrowed slits, heated side mirrors, and 17-inch wheels done in alloy. You can opt up for 18-inch wheels, a hands-free power liftgate, power-folding on the side mirrors, and second-row captain's chairs (which reduces the seating capacity by one).
Sitting above the Kia Seltos but below the Sorento, the Sportage is a small SUV that seats five and has a set of 17-inch wheels that it rides around on. Most of the trim levels look pretty average, but the Nightfall Edition equips fog lights on the front fascia, 18-inch dark gray alloy wheels, black roof rails, and piano black exterior accents. The Sportage has a small window in the rear and thick roof pillars surrounding it.
Powertrains can make or break how a person feels about their vehicle. A great powertrain makes for one heck of an enjoyable experience that you'll remember years after you've sold that vehicle. But a bad powertrain is just as memorable - and for all the wrong reasons. How do these two Kia models fare? Let's talk.
The 2022 Kia Sorento is powered by a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder that delivers a power output of 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. It gets matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, but you can swap in all-wheel drive (AWD) on any trim level. Of course, you can also choose from the Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid powertrains if you're trying to go more eco-friendly. The EX's 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is definitely more powerful, putting forth 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Performance-wise, the Sorento puts in a good showing. When you equip the optional turbo engine, the Sorento feels snappy as can be. It only needs 6.7 seconds to cruise up to 60 mph, and the power remains present even during long stretches on the highway. The newly designed eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is also adept, showing seamless transitions between gears. The brakes inspire confidence with there 121-foot panic stopping distance from 60 mph, and you will probably not notice much nosedive as you press on the brakes. The steering could do with a bit more precision, but the handling feels totally secure, not giving much body roll while rounding through turns.
The turbo engine has an EPA estimated return of 24 mpg in combined city/highway driving, and real-world tests actually place it about 1 mpg higher than this. You can also pump regular unleaded fuel into the turbo Sorento, thereby saving you money on premium fuel.
Okay, now it is time to switch over to the 2022 Kia Sportage and its powertrain options. There are two that you can choose from: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (on the LX, Nightfall, and EX trims) or a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (which comes on the SX Turbo models). Either way, the engine you select will be matched to a six-speed automatic transmission, and power will be delivered via front-wheel drive (FWD). You do have the option of getting AWD instead - on any trim level.
The base engine's pitiful 181 horsepower is less than engaging for the driver. Sure, the turbo engine's 240 hp power output is stronger and will likely feel more in line with what you expect. Unfortunately, this turbo engine gasses out quickly on the highway, but it at least serves up a nice amount of low-end torque while you have it chugging around on slow city roads. For an upgraded engine, though, this thing feels slow, needing a full 9 seconds to make it up to 60 miles per hour. With a sometimes-soft brake pedal and a suspension that isn't great at handling winding roadways, you might not feel too confident in this vehicle's driving. Its steering feels too vague, and the power delivery is so hit-and-miss.
The measly fuel economy makes things even worse. The AWD-equipped turbo engine only gets an EPA estimated 21 mpg in combined city and highway driving. The Sportage FW with a 2.4-L engine does a bit better, nabbing an EPA estimated 26 mpg combined. This still doesn't match up with what the Sportage's competitors achieve, and real-world tests seem to confirm that you will meet - but not exceed - these estimates.
Comfort, Options and Performance
When it comes to comfort, the 2022 Kia Sorento gives you a fair amount of it. Every row of seats provides better-than-expected comfort - even the third row. Despite being firm, the optional second-row captain's chairs are still cozy enough for longer rides. There is a dual-zone automatic climate control that does a thorough job of maintaining set temperatures, but the touch-sensitive buttons don't respond quite as well as regular ol' physical buttons.
The ride comfort you get from the Sorento could be better, but it could also be worse. The optional 20-inch wheels seem to let a lot of jitters into the cabin, so you might want to stick with a smaller wheel size. The ride feels fine on the highway, staying nice and secure.
This SUV has a lot of space thanks to its redesign in 2021. Even those in the third row have plenty of room, allowing adults to sit back there without feeling too cramped. Outward visibility is clear enough, and there is an available surround-view camera to help you get in and out of tight spots.
There are plenty of standard tech features available, including smartphone app integration, a six-speaker sound system, and an 8-inch touchscreen display. Going up just one trim to the S adds a super chic 10.25-inch infotainment display and built-in navigation. A wireless phone charger gets tacked onto the EX, and the line-topping SX Prestige upgrades to you a downright epic 12-speaker Bose premium sound system.
You only get 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats left upright. Depending on how far you can slide the second row forward, dropping the third row down yields somewhere between 38.5 and 45 cubes. You can fold the second row down for 75.5 cubes, max. This places the Sorento right up there with the Honda CR-V.
Comfort is something that Kia mostly does well at achieving on the Sportage. Up front, you get some superbly cozy heated and ventilated (but optional - sorry) front seats that ooze support and structure. While most noise is kept to a bare minimum, while you're on the highway, you will notice some tire noise making its way into the cabin. But you won't feel any bumps reverberating inside of the cabin, as the suspension quickly dispatches all sizes of bumps. The right might border on the firmer side, but it is nothing uncomfortable. You will get a sense of the Sportage feeling bigger than it is, though, as handling gives a boat-like vibe on winding roads.
Quality is not lacking inside of the Kia Sportage. Far from it. Panels show no gaps, and you shouldn't hear any bizarre rattles while you roll around town. Unfortunately, that sloping roofline cuts down your rear visibility too much, and you will need to rely on the standard wide-angle rear-view camera and optional blind-spot monitoring system to 'see' better. That also means there is a lot less head room in the rear seats than what there could be. Even drivers over 6 feet tall will find themselves wishing the seat went a little bit lower. At least the controls along the dash are clearly labeled; otherwise, they'd be really confusing since they all look alike.
Kia sure knows how to do technology. The standard infotainment system is incredibly straightforward and user-oriented, creating an immersive experience. Of course, the smartphone app integration you get from Android Auto and Apple CarPlay really simplifies things for those of us who aren't even remotely tech-savvy. Some of the higher trim levels have a couple of charge-only USB outlets in the rear. Voice controls will not work when you have smartphone projection engaged, and they aren't all that great at understanding natural speech patterns anyway. Kia's Uvo services subscription offers a couple of tweaks to improve voice controls, but since this is a paid subscription, it might not really be worth your while.
Utility is a mixed bag. You can fold the rear seats down for 60.1 cubic feet of cargo space or leave the seats upright for 30.7 cubes. Regardless, this is smaller than what is offered in similarly sized SUVs. The wheel wells gobble up a ton of floor space, rendering the flat load floor kind of worthless. There are some cubbies and cupholders, but the center console's bin is much smaller than you might like.
We all care a lot about staying safe on the road, and automakers like Kia know how high the demand is for functional driver aids to keep us safe. The 2022 Kia Sorento is given a slew of standard driver aids, such as lane keeping assist, forward collision mitigation, and a driver attention warning. Upgrading to the S adds a blind spot monitoring system that includes a rear cross-traffic alert, rear automatic braking, and parking sensors for the rear. A lane keeping system, adaptive cruise control, and an advanced forward collision mitigation system accompany the EX trim. The SX Prestige gets the blind spot camera, front parking sensors, and a 360-degree camera system.
It goes without saying that the Sportage also gets a bevvy of driver aids. You get treated to standard lane departure warning, forward collision mitigation, a driver attention monitor, and lane keep assist. If you get the Nightfall Edition or higher, a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert gets tacked on. Opting for the EX Technology will give you adaptive cruise control and parking sensors for the front and rear. While most of these features work well, lane keep assist doesn't always read the lane markers as it is supposed to.
Which Model to Choose?
There are good reasons as to why each of these Kia models is a strong contender. But, truly, with its recent redesign, the 2022 Kia Sorento is the better pick. It has a more spirited driving performance, better creature comforts etched into its design, and an extremely generous smattering of well-functioning technological gadgetry.