Clash of the Korean Crossovers – Kia Sorento vs. Hyundai Santa Fe

It’s time for the showdown between two of Korea’s fiercest crossover competitors – the Kia Sorento vs. Hyundai Santa Fe. These titans of technology have been crossing swords in a heated battle for automotive supremacy for years, but which one will reign supreme? Whether you’re an avid car enthusiast or just a casual driver looking to invest in a reliable vehicle, this matchup will surely be packed with excitement that’ll leave you wheeling toward your next purchase decision.

The Ultimate Korean SUV Battle – Hyundai Santa Fe vs. Kia Sorento

The Korean auto industry has come a long way since its early days of producing cheap, low-quality cars. Today, South Korea is home to two of the world’s largest car manufacturers: Hyundai and Kia. Both companies have been producing high-quality SUVs that have gained popularity in recent years and are some of the most popular imported vehicles in the USA.  

But if you’re having a hard time choosing which option is better, I’ll help you and compare these two most popular Korean models. From their design and performance to their features and pricing, I’ll analyze every aspect of these two SUVs to help you make an informed decision on which one is right for you.

driving car on highway, close up of hands on steering wheel
Korean car manufacturers are known for producing high-quality vehicles

What’s the Main Feature of the Kia Sorento?

With a 20-year run, the Sorento has proven itself as a reliable SUV, earning a top spot on the list of trustworthy vehicles. The latest 2023 model promises even more advancements and improvements. Unlike many other small-scale commercial SUVs, the Sorento boasts a third row, providing ample space for families and groups. It perfectly balances a spacious interior and easy parking and maneuverability. 

The luxurious exterior features LED lights, 18-inch machined-finish alloy wheels, and changing winter or summer tires on this vehicle is an adventure in itself. Inside, the Sorento is packed with top-of-the-line technology that enhances safe driving, monitoring both internal and external factors with precision. With multiple driving assistance options, drivers can feel confident and safe, especially when carrying their loved ones. 

The driver’s seat even has lumbar support, making longer drives comfortable. If you’re all about technology, don’t worry, this SUV includes USB and charging ports in every row, including the cargo area, making it perfect for families and friend groups on the go.

Check Technical Specifications

With its impressive array of features, the Sorento appears to have everything one could want. However, given that it falls into the small-scale SUV category, one may question whether its size is suitable for a regular car or if it is too small for a vehicle of this type. 

I found myself extremely interested in both models, so I did some research and will provide you with all the technical specifications of the 2023 KIA Sorento. That way, you can be completely informed and make a good decision about whether it’s the right ride for you.

Comfort and CapabilitiesInnovation and ConvenienceDrive Wise Driver Assist Technology
2.5L 4-Cylinder Engine w/ 191hp & 182 lb-ft. of torqueApple CarPlay® & Android Auto™Auto Emergency Braking Technology w/ Pedestrian Detection
Drive Mode Select (Snow Mode w/AWD)8-inch Touchscreen Display, Rear View Monitor w/ Dynamic Parking GuidanceLane Keeping & Following Assist Technology
8-Speed Auto TransmissionOne-Touch Sliding & Folding 2nd-Row SeatsBlind Spot Detection Technology
7-Passenger SeatingBluetooth® Wireless Technology w/ Hands-Free ConnectivityDriver Attention Warning w/ Leading Vehicle Departure Alert
LED HeadlightsRemote Keyless EntryRear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
Available Torque-vectoring All-Wheel Drive (AWD) w/ Center-Locking DifferentialUSB Charging Ports, 6Safe Exit and High Beam Assist
17-inch Alloy WheelsRear Occupant Alert w/ Ultrasonic Sensors

What Maintenance and Overall Cost Can You Expect from This Model?

The KIA Sorento stands out in the SUV market for its affordability, a rarity in today’s market. The S-trim is a popular choice among buyers and is priced between $32,500 and $33,900, depending on the seller. If you’re looking for a hybrid option, the EX Hybrid is a better choice than the regular EX trim, priced at around $38,000, which is a reasonable increase for a lasting improvement. 

Other trim types come at a significantly higher price, with maintenance costs also increasing. KIA offers a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, making it a reliable choice. For a 5-year ownership plan, the average cost per mile is $0.73, with fuel at $12,500, insurance at $4,500, maintenance at $5,190, and repairs at $540. Don’t forget to count on winter tires for SUVs, which can also be quite expensive. However, safety comes first, and it has no price. 

Mechanic checking the muffler
Regular car maintenance can help prevent breakdowns

Why Is Hyundai Santa Fe One of the Best-Selling Hyundai Models?

With its impressive fuel efficiency and excellent safety ratings, the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe crossover SUV is a top choice for practical drivers. However, for those who seek true luxury and opulence rather than just near-luxury, the Calligraphy edition is the perfect option to indulge in.

Hyundai has continued to update and improve Santa Fe over the years, adding new features and design updates to keep it competitive in the crowded SUV market. With a spacious and comfortable interior, a range of engine options, including a hybrid powertrain that offers a good balance of performance and fuel efficiency, and a reputation for reliability and durability, it’s easy to assume why it’s the most wanted model. 

Check Technical Specifications 

Comfort and CapabilitiesInnovation and ConvenienceDrive Wise Driver Assist Technology
Fuel tank capacity (gal.)17.7Black roof cross railsRear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
Inline 4-cylinder w/hp 191 and 181 lb-ft. of torqueHyundai Digital KeyRemote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA)
8-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC®Proximity Key entry with push-button startParking Distance Warning – Forward and Reverse
5-passenger crossoverHands-free smart liftgate with auto open and adjustable height settingRear Occupant Alert (ROA)
MacPherson struts with gas-filled damper and stabilizer barSide stepsSafe Exit Assist (SEA)
4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)Rear View Monitor (RVM) with parking guidance

What Maintenance and Overall Costs Can You Expect?

The cost of maintaining a Hyundai Santa Fe can vary depending on several factors, such as the age of the vehicle, the model year, the condition of the car, and where you live. However, in general, the Hyundai Santa Fe has not considered an expensive car to maintain compared to other vehicles in its class. 

Hyundai is known for building reliable and affordable cars, and Santa Fe is no exception. Routine maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake service should be expected with any car and are typically affordable – around $500 a year. If you’re considering buying a Santa Fe, it’s a good idea to research the specific model year and any known issues to get an idea of potential maintenance costs.

Professional Mechanic Performing Car Undercarriage Inspection
Count on regular yearly maintenance costs

Kia Sorento vs. Hyundai Santa Fe Sport – Design and Exterior Features

First thing first – it’s important to mention that as of 2019 Santa Fe Sport became a regular Santa Fe. It’s important to have this info because many people were actually looking for a Sport model but couldn’t find it.

Not that this is clear, but let’s check the design and exterior features these models offer. Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe both offer sleek and modern looks that are sure to turn heads on the road. However, there are some key differences between the two crossovers that may appeal to different buyers. This being said, let’s take a closer look at what both models have to offer in the table below.

Kia SorentoHyundai Santa Fe Sport
Length189 in.188.4 in.
Wheelbase110.8 in.108.9 in.
Height: All-Wheel Drive (AWD)67.7 in.66.3 in.
Width74.8 in.74.8 in.

Kia Sorento Hybrid vs. Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

The Korean auto industry has a strong presence in motorsports, with Hyundai and Kia both competing in the World Rally Championship. Hyundai, the largest car manufacturer in South Korea, was founded in 1967 and is now the third-largest automaker in the world. Kia Motors, the second largest car manufacturer in South Korea, was founded in 1944 as a bicycle parts manufacturer and began producing cars in the 1970s.

Did you know that Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation merged in 1998? The group’s brands are known for their quality, affordability, and innovative designs. In recent years, Hyundai and Kia have been focused on developing environmentally friendly vehicles, including hybrid and electric cars. The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group is the world’s fifth-largest automaker, producing over 7 million vehicles annually. So, no wonder why you can find both hybrid models on the market. But which model to choose? Let’s compare some of their most popular features.

FeaturesSorento Hybrid EX2023 Santa Fe Hybrid
LED fog lightsxx
Wireless device chargingxx
Blind-Spot View Monitorxx
Digital Keyxx

Compare Both Models and Their Warranty Options

When it comes to comparing vehicles, one of the important factors to include in a warranty. Both models come with impressive warranty packages that offer peace of mind and protection for buyers. Let’s compare each warranty program of these two models. 

Coverage 2023 Sorento2023 Santa Fe 
Limited Powertrain Warranty10 years and 100,000 miles10 years and 100,000 miles
Limited Basic Warranty5 years and 60,000 miles5 years and 60,000 miles
Anti-Perforation Warranty5 years and 100,000 miles 7 years and unlimited miles
Roadside Assistance5 years and 60,000 miles24/7, 5 years, and unlimited miles

Both the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport offer impressive warranty packages that provide buyers with extensive coverage and protection. However, the Santa Fe Sport’s additional roadside assistance and longer anti-perforation warranty may give it an edge over the Sorento in terms of overall warranty options.

Car insurance papers
Compare warranty packages both models have and decide which one is more suitable for your needs

The Final Verdict – Kia Sorento Is the One But It’s All Up to You 

With the evolution of cars, you notice it’s harder and harder to choose the right four-wheeler. After all, every manufacturer aims to create a vehicle with the best performance. That’s how you’ve probably wondered what’s better – KIA Sorento vs. Telluride. But in the end, it all comes down to your personal preferences – if you’re looking for a more stylish four-wheeler, go ahead with the Kia Sorento. Whatever your decision is when it comes to buying a car (or any other big purchase), always make sure to prioritize health and safety first!