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Kia Sorento vs. Toyota Highlander

Compare repair costs, reliability, and owner reviews

Kia Sorento

$442
Average Annual
Repair Cost

Toyota Highlander

$460
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.
4
1
2
Group 4
Group 4
Excellent
The Toyota Highlander Reliability Rating is 4.5 out of 5.0, which ranks it 8th out of 26 for midsize SUVs. The average annual repair cost is $460 which means it has lower than 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
$460
inexpensive
expensive
Frequency
Average annual repair shop visits
0.32
not often
very often
0.41
not often
very often
Severity
Percentage of annual repairs that are urgent
11%
not urgent
urgent
11%
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
(12)
4
(15)
3
(3)
2
(1)
1
(0)
The Toyota Highlander ranks highest in engine and ranks lowest in body.
“I bought the 2002 Highlander Limited used with 52,000 miles. The best vehicle that I have ever owned. I had the transmission rebuilt at 212,000 and just replaced both knock sensors at 223,500 mil...”
“I bought the 2002 Highlander Limited used with 52,000 miles. The best vehicle that I have ever o...”

Vehicle Comparison Rundown

The Kia Sorento and the Toyota Highlander are both midsize three-row SUVs. Both of them come with front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive.

The engines in these two vehicles are closely matched. Both the Sorento and the Highlander offer a standard engine with 185 horsepower. Upgrading to their optional engines, the Sorento provides 290 horsepower, while the Highlander has 295 horsepower. The Highlander also offers a hybrid version, for those who want a lighter carbon footprint. 

The Highlander is a bit roomier. The Kia Sorento has 73 cubic feet of cargo space when the second and third rows are folded down. The Toyota Highlander comes out way ahead, with 83.2 cubic feet of space behind the front seats. That’s a significant difference.

Each of these SUVs offers something that could make the difference for you. The Sorento has Kia’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, a great advantage if you plan to keep your vehicle a long time.

The Highlander has the Toyota Safety Sense precollision system as standard equipment. It includes pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control.

The Sorento’s got the warranty, and the Highlander has the latest advanced safety equipment, plus more space. Which is more important to you?

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