Kia Sorento vs Subaru Outback: How Do They Compare?

If you’re shopping for a new midsize SUV, then you may well be considering a Kia Sorento or Subaru Outback. Both of these vehicles are moderately priced and reliable – and each one is popular among consumers due to a variety of features and competitive pricing. A comparison between the two SUV models could help you to formulate your buying decision.

Similarities and Differences

First, let’s take a look at the similarities between the two vehicles. Both are midsize models are roomy and have four doors, so they can accommodate your needs for taking multiple passengers and cargo along with you. With all-wheel drive capability each of them a good option when driving in a wide range of conditions.

One difference is that like all Subaru SUV models, the Outback comes standard with all-wheel drive, whereas the Sorento does not. All-wheel drive (AWD) in several Sorento trim lines for an added cost.

A major contrast between the two SUVs is that the Sorento has three rows while the Outback has only two. On the other hand, the Sorento has a six-speed shiftable automatic transmission, and the Outback has an efficient six-speed shiftable CVT. This type of transmission can offer better fuel economy than a traditional automatic transmission.

2016 kia sorento

The 2016 Sorento: Main Changes and Highlights

The Kia Sorento has undergone a total redesign for 2016. The main feature changes worth noting include a better ride and better handling overall. An array of new safety tech features has also been added, including a rear cross-traffic alert feature, dynamic cruise control, surround view monitoring, a forward collision warning system, and a warning feature to alert the driver to blind spots.

One potential advantage the Sorento has it offers three different engine choices whereas the Outback offers two. The Sorento in base form comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The more popular choice is a 2.4-liter four cylinder engine that produces an ample 185 horsepower. For those wanting more power, Kia offers the Sorento with an available 3.3-liter 290 horsepower V6 engine capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds.

The 2016 Sorento has a starting manufactured suggested retail price (MSRP) of $24,900. This is an attractive entry price for a midsize SUV. However, options can quickly add up. A fully loaded Sorento can top $40,000.

2016 Outback

The Subaru Outback has also been given some changes for the new year. It now features a technology that assists drivers in staying in their intended lanes, as well as a remote vehicle locator function and remote access control of various functions. Additionally, the headlights light up upon activation of the windshield wipers, which can be a handy function in challenging weather.

The Outback is offered with a 2.5-liter 175 horsepower four-cylinder engine. This is the most popular choice but a 3.6-liter 256 horsepower V6 engine is also offered. In terms of fuel economy the Outback 2.5-liter is rated at up to 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway, whereas the Sorento with the 2.4-liter AWD is rated at 21/29. The Outback has the edge in fuel economy.

2015 subaru outback

Other Considerations

Shoppers might consider a broad assortment of differences between the two vehicles. Regarding size, the Outback is a little longer than the Sorento, while the Sorento is a bit wider and a fraction taller than the Sorento. The fuel capacity for both cars is close, but the Sorento holds a little bit more than the Outback.

The Outback has garnered more industry accolades than the Sorento winning the 2010 Motor Trend SUV of the Year award. Other competitors to consider include the Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Edge, and Nissan Murano.

You’ll find several attractive changes to the 2016 Sorento and Outback models, as well as a few major differences between the two. Overall, both of these SUVs could make great choices for families or for people who just want a spacious vehicle.

Which model do you prefer?

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