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2019 Kia Sorento

Starting Price: $26,980 | Price Yours

Above Average: More inexpensive than many in its size class; optional V6; automatic braking with pedestrian detection; 7-passenger capacity

Below Average: Smaller than average for its class; 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity; third row is somewhat cramped

Consensus: In the midsize crossover class, the Kia Sorento differentiates itself by being a bit smaller than competitors, but also less expensive. It’s no longer offered with a 2-row configuration, and the third row is only good for kids or shorter trips. The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder is respectable, but if you’re doing any driving in higher elevations or with full loads, the optional V6 is recommended.
 

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2019 Chevrolet Equinox

Starting Price: $24,795 | Price Yours

Above Average: Available diesel engine makes 39 mpg. 2.0-liter turbo engine also packs some nice performance and towing capacity

Below Average: Active safety features require you to step up to higher trim levels, ride quality favors comfort over athleticism

Consensus: Chevrolet’s answer to the RAV4 and CR-V class, the Equinox holds its own in the category, with an available fuel-efficient and torquey diesel engine that sets it apart in its class. Our recommendation: Get the LT trim (which allows you to upgrade features) and the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.
 

The compact-to-midsize SUV category is flooded with class stalwarts such as the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4 joined by the Subaru Forester and these two, the 2019 Kia Sorento and Chevrolet Equinox. The midsize Sorento is only a couple inches longer than the compact Chevy, but offers three rows of seating for seven passengers; beware, however, that the third row is really best for short trips or kids. Chevy goes with the more traditional 2-row/5-passenger layout for the Equinox. The both offer good quality 4-cylinder base engines, with the Chevy’s being turbocharged. The Sorento also has an optional 290-horsepower V6, while the Equinox offers a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder or a fuel-efficient diesel. The Kia is a bit more expensive, but packs a lot of features in, including a premium interior and loads of creature comforts.

Similarities

Both offer powerful optional engines; standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration

Kia Sorento Advantages

Seats seven instead of five; unbeatable warranty; optional V6 engine

Chevrolet Equinox Advantages

Slightly better fuel economy; optional 39 mpg diesel engine; optional sub-floor for additional storage; cheaper on both the low and high ends

Final Recommendation

The 2019 Kia Sorento and Chevy Equinox are two sides of the same coin. The Sorento is on the smaller end of the midsize segment, while the Equinox is more of a compact. If price is a consideration, the Chevy is the value leader, starting nearly $3,000 lower than the Kia, but bear in mind that the Kia comes with a number of features at the lower end, some of which you’ll have to pay to get in the Chevy. The Kia can also climb close to the $50K range, fully equipped. If you’re willing to spend, we think the Sorento’s the more versatile choice, with its optional third row, luxury touches, and outstanding warranty. If the focus is on value, however, and you can do without some of the extras and the third row, the Chevy’s the choice.

  2019 Kia Sorento 2019 Chevrolet Equinox
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.4-liter I4 1.5-liter I4, turbo
Horsepower 185 hp @ 6,000 rpm 170 hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque 178 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 170 hp @ 5,600 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 6-Spd Automatic, 6-Spd
Fuel Economy 25 mpg (22 city/29 hwy) 28 mpg (26 city/32 hwy)
Also Available 3.3-liter V6; Automatic, 8-Spd 2.0-liter I4, turbo, 9-Spd auto; 1.6-liter I4, turbodiesel
Specs    
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 7 5
Wheelbase 109.4 inches 107.3 inches
Overall Length 189.0 inches 183.1 inches
Width 74.4 inches (w/mirrors) 72.6 inches (w/o mirrors)
Height 66.3 inches 65.4 inches
Turning Diameter 37.2 feet 37.4 feet
Headroom, Front 39.5 inches 40.0 inches
Headroom, Rear 36.3 inches 38.5 inches
Legroom, Front 44.1 inches 40.9 inches
Legroom, Rear 31.7 inches 39.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 59.1 inches 57.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 52.8 inches 55.5 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 154.2 cu. ft. n/a
Cargo Volume 73.0 cu. ft.  63.5 cu. ft.
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