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2019 Kia Sorento

Starting Price: $26,980 | Price Yours

Above Average: Cheaper than many in its size class; optional V6; automatic braking with pedestrian detection; seven-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 at higher elevations or with full loads, we recommend the optional V6.
 

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2019 GMC Terrain

Starting Price: $25,995 | Price Yours

Above Average: Elegant Denali trim level, chassis favors ride over comfort, stylish and well equipped, cargo area is relatively small but very flexible, diesel engine is fuel-efficient and makes good torque

Below Average: Some rivals have more passenger and cargo space, 1.5-liter engine’s a little weak, button-activated transmission takes getting used to

Consensus: A stylish, well-equipped compact crossover SUV with useful power (with the 2.0 liter or diesel engine) that’s comfortable around town and nimble enough on mountain roads. Despite some hard plastics, the interior is comfortable and quiet.
 

The 2019 Kia Sorento and GMC Terrain are actually in slightly different classes, with the Kia being one of the smaller midsize SUVs and the GMC considered a compact. That said, they’re fairly close in size, with the Sorento being a mere 7 inches longer and less than an inch taller.

In that relatively small space the Sorento has squeezed in a third row of seating, which is good for small children or short rides but not much else. The Terrain gets by with a more comfortable and spacious second row only, seating five passengers rather than seven.

That said, both offer a relatively smooth ride and decent fuel economy, but we feel that the base engine on each is a little weak. The Sorento’s V6 is a much better option, particularly for drivers at higher elevations, and the Terrain offers a fuel-efficient turbodiesel and a 2.0-liter turbo.

Each comes relatively well equipped, with good driver-assistance and safety features as well as the latest tech, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and neither offers the best resale value in its class.

Similarities

Comparable power: Kia has more horsepower but Terrain has more torque; entry-level engines for both are a bit weak, however; neither has the best resale value in its class; both offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.

Kia Sorento Advantages

Better warranty; higher seating capacity

GMC Terrain Advantages

Better gas mileage; less expensive, particularly in the higher trim levels; optional diesel engine that makes 32 mpg

Final Recommendation

The one glaring difference between the 2019 Kia Sorento and 2019 GMC Terrain regards seating capacity, so if you require three rows of seats (although the Sorento’s third row is pretty tight), then the Kia is the obvious choice here.

If you can live with two rows, however, the decision becomes a bit more complicated. The GMC starts nearly $1,500 lower, and at the top end in the top trims, the price difference between the two becomes even more stark at nearly $7,000.

Even with the Kia’s famously long warranty, the GMC’s combination of handsome looks, range of engines, and comfortable and usable interior give it the nod in this comparison. Just make sure to upgrade to either the 2.0-liter turbo or the 1.6-liter turbodiesel.

Ready to buy one of these SUVs? Find one on sale at a dealer near you!

  2019 Kia Sorento 2019 GMC Terrain
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.4-liter I4 1.5-liter turbo I4
Horsepower 185 hp @ 6,000 rpm 170 hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque 178 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 203 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 6-Spd Automatic, 9-Spd
Fuel Economy 25 mpg (22 city/29 hwy) 28 mpg (26 city/30 hwy)
Also Available 3.3-liter V6; Automatic, 8-Spd 2.0-liter I4, turbo; 1.6-liter I4, turbodiesel; AWD, 6-speed auto with diesel
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 182.3 inches
Width 74.4 inches (w/mirrors) 72.4 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 55.6 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 154.2 cu. ft. n/a
EPA Cargo Volume 73.0 cu. ft. 63.3 cu. ft.
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