Third-row crossover SUVs combine the capabilities of a utility vehicle with the comfort of a family car, but also with the added attractions of compact size and great fuel economy. The Kia Sorento has long been a leader in this section of the market, but it certainly doesn't have the field to itself. How does the 2019 model compare when put up against its close rival, the 2019 Honda Pilot?
A capable engine is at the heart of a good compact SUV, and the Kia Sorento offers two choices. The standard trim provides everyday efficiency through a 2.4L, 4 cylinder engine delivering 185hp. If you need more performance, there's also a meaty 3.3L V6 which delivers plenty of raw power for an SUV of this size.
This flexibility compares well with the Honda Pilot, which sticks rigidly to a higher power, lower fuel economy 3.5L V6 engine as standard.
Both cars deliver their power through a 6-speed automatic transmission.
As you'd expect from the engine sizes, the Honda is by far the thirstier of the two cars. Typical fuel consumption for the Pilot is 13.0L/100km for city driving and 9.3L/100km on the highway.
In comparison, the Sorento offers up clear savings on running costs, with its typical figures of 10.7L/100km in the city and 8.2L/100km on the highway.
The 2019 Kia Sorento upholds the standards of interior comfort that the Kia brand is known for. Seating up to seven adults, it offers as standard modern conveniences such as smart-device integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The in-car entertainment system is operated through a 7-inch touchscreen on the console, and there are two additional LCD monitors for the first row passengers.
Although the slightly larger Pilot can seat an extra adult, the overall comfort level is a little less impressive. Smartphone integration is missing. The entertainment system's console-mounted screen is smaller at only 5 inches, and it also lacks touch sensitivity.
Safety is a major concern for any family-oriented SUV, and both vehicles score highly with a 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The standard safety features of the Kia include:
Both cars offer a selection of more advanced active safety features as you move up through the trim levels.
The Sorento is supplied with Kia's market-leading standard warranty of 60 months or 100,000km, with full bumper-to-bumper coverage. This is significantly more attractive than Honda's standard manufacturer's warranty of 36 months or 60,000km.
To make the Kia warranty even more desirable, it also includes 24-hour roadside assistance as standard.
Honda is a well-respected brand across most smaller car markets, and the Pilot is an attractive vehicle. However, if you're looking for a combination of upmarket comfort, fuel economy and value to go along with crossover SUV performance, the 2019 Kia Sorento is hard to beat.
Please contact us to book a test drive of the 2019 Kia Sorento in Calgary and experience the winning combination of features for yourself.