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Kia Sorento vs. Ford Explorer

Compare repair costs, reliability, and owner reviews

Kia Sorento

$442
Average Annual
Repair Cost

Ford Explorer

$722
Average Annual
Repair Cost

Overall Reliability Rating

4
1
2
Group 4
Group 4
Excellent
The Kia Sorento Reliability Rating is 4.5 out of 5.0, which ranks it 9th out of 26 for compact SUVs. The average annual repair cost is $442 which means it has excellent ownership costs. The severity of repairs is average, and major issues are less frequent than average, so major repairs are not common for the Sorento.
3
1
2
Group 4
Group 4
Above Average
The Ford Explorer Reliability Rating is 3.5 out of 5.0, which ranks it 21st out of 26 for midsize SUVs. The average annual repair cost is $722 which means it has average ownership costs. The frequency and severity of repairs are both fairly average when compared with all other vehicles.
Cost
Average annual repairs total
$442
inexpensive
expensive
$722
inexpensive
expensive
Frequency
Average annual repair shop visits
0.32
not often
very often
0.46
not often
very often
Severity
Percentage of annual repairs that are urgent
11%
not urgent
urgent
12%
not urgent
urgent

Overall Car Ratings & Details

5
(1)
4
(36)
3
(30)
2
(20)
1
(10)
The Kia Sorento ranks highest in exhaust and ranks lowest in electrical.
“2012 KIA SORENTO ENGINE FAILURE RECALL NOT FIXED BY KIA STILL WITHOUT MY SORENTO MONTHS LATER”
“2012 KIA SORENTO ENGINE FAILURE RECALL NOT FIXED BY KIA STILL WITHOUT MY SORENTO MONTHS LATER”
5
(9)
4
(70)
3
(44)
2
(15)
1
(5)
The Ford Explorer ranks highest in exhaust and ranks lowest in drive train.
67% of reviewers would recommend this car.
“I have so much to say about this SUV. Once again, Ford outdid themselves. I too had the Eddie Bauer edition and it was so reliable, it was a workhorse. When it first came out, big SUVs weren't aro...”
“I have so much to say about this SUV. Once again, Ford outdid themselves. I too had the Eddie Bau...”

Vehicle Comparison Rundown

The Kia Sorento and the Ford Explorer are both midsize three-row SUVs. Both come with front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive.

The Sorento’s 185-horsepower standard engine lags behind the Explorer’s much more powerful 290-horsepower offering. The Sorento does have an optional engine that matches the Explorer’s with 290 horsepower, but the Explorer’s top engine puts out 365 horsepower. That’s 75 more horses. The Ford Explorer wins on power, across the board.

The Explorer also has more cargo space. The Kia Sorento has 73 cubic feet of cargo space with the second and third rows folded. The Ford Explorer comes out ahead with its 80.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats. 

One area where the Kia Sorento dominates is its powertrain warranty. The Sorento offers 10 years and 100,000 miles of coverage, while the Explorer gives you five years and 60,000 miles with its powertrain warranty. The Sorento’s warranty is excellent, especially if you plan to keep your vehicle for a long time.

The Sorento also comes in significantly ahead of the Explorer, according to our reliability rating and the annual cost of repair. 

The Ford Explorer scores here for power and cargo space, but the Kia Sorento has a great warranty and higher reliability. Take a closer look, drive them both, and decide which one will serve your needs better.

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