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Subaru Outback vs Kia Sorento

Subaru Outback on the street

There are plenty of great crossover SUVs that are available on the market today. In the last two decades, two crossovers have remained popular: Subaru’s Outback and Kia’s Sorento. Due to the many similarities between these vehicles, many consumers struggle to compare them!

The Subaru Outback and Kia Sorento are both crossover SUVs with similar starting prices, safety features, and warranties. 2022 Outback models can seat five people across two rows, while the Sorento can seat up to seven people in three rows. Sorento models offer more trim levels and engine choices.

In this article, we’ll be doing a comparison of the Kia Sorento and Subaru Outback. To do this, we’ll be comparing them using certain criteria, including pricing, trim levels, engine, fuel efficiency, safety features, connectivity, and more. By considering these aspects, you’ll be able to choose the right crossover for your needs!

Comparing the Subaru Outback and Kia Sorento

Kia Sorento on the mountain road

For several decades, Subaru’s Outback has remained a popular SUV crossover with consumers for more than two decades. While the Outback has undergone many facelifts and updates since it was first unveiled in 1994, it has remained a reliable all-wheel drive. Since 2010, more than 1.5 million Subaru Outback’s were sold in the United States.

Kia’s Sorento, which is classed as a mid-size SUV crossover, is another popular choice amongst buyers. This five-door crossover has been in production since 2002 and has also seen many changes and updates over the last two decades. Since 2010, more than 1.2 million Sorento’s have been sold in the US, making this crossover the perfect competitor for Subaru’s Outback.

Subaru Outback vs Kia Sorento

To adequately compare these vehicles, we’ll be using details regarding the latest year models for each. For Subaru’s Outback, the 2022 models will be discussed; for Kia’s Sorento, the 2022 models will also be discussed. Let’s see how these vehicles compare to one another!

Trim Levels and Pricing

For the 2022 Outback, Subaru offers eight different trim levels, starting with Base and Premium. The remaining six trims are Limited, Onyx Edition XT, Wilderness, Touring, Limited XT, and Touring XT. Depending on the chosen trim level, the Outback’s price ranges from $28,000 to $41,000.

For the 2022 Sorento, Kia offers ten trim levels: LX, S, S Hybrid, EX, EX Hybrid, SX, SX Plug-In Hybrid, SX-P Plug-In Hybrid, SX, and SX Prestige. Depending on the trim level, the prices range from $30,000 to $50,000. While they have similar starting prices for the base models, Kia’s Sorento offers more trim levels – as well as hybrid options.

Engine and Transmission

Red Subaru Outback on the street

For 2022 Outback models, which come standard with all-wheel drive, there are two engine choices for buyers. Firstly, there’s the standard four-cylinder 2.5L engine with 182 horsepower. However, there’s also a turbocharged 2.4L engine for buyers to upgrade to, which boasts 260hp.

For the 2022 Sorento models, both front-wheel and all-wheel drive are available. There are four different engine choices, beating the Outback. The base engine is a 2.5L four-cylinder engine that delivers 191 horsepower.

The Turbocharged 2.5L delivers 281 horsepower. There are also hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines to choose from. Overall, the Kia Sorento comes out on top here.

Fuel Efficiency

A 2022 Outback with the base 2.5L engine will achieve a combined highway and city MPG of 29.5. For the turbocharged 2.4L Outback models, the combined MPG is slightly lower, coming in at 26.5. For the Kia Sorento, combined MPG ratings will vary depending on your choice of drivetrain.

However, for models with the base 2.5L engine, the combined MPG is 26.5. For the turbocharged 2.5L models, this drops to 25.5. The hybrid Sorento models are the most fuel-efficient, with a combined MPG of 37, while plug-in hybrid models come in at 34.

Subaru’s Outback is more fuel-efficient when compared to the corresponding base and turbo engine choices for the Sorento. However, Kia’s Sorento hybrid models are the most fuel-efficient of both vehicles.


Kia Sorento on winter street during snowfall

For the 2022 Outback, all trim levels feature a standard two-row design in the cabin that can seat up to five passengers. The 2022 Sorento, however, features a three-row design. Depending on the trim level chosen, Kia’s Sorento can seat between 6 and 7 people.

In terms of seating capacity, the Sorento comes out on top here.

Safety Features

Subaru Outback on the road

All current Outback models include adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking. Subaru also offers rear cross-traffic alerts and blind-spot monitoring as extras that can be added, much like Kia’s Sorento. For current Sorento models, automated emergency braking, forward-collision warnings, lane-keeping assist, and standard lane-departure warnings are standard safety features.

Blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alerts are optional. Overall, the safety features are on par between these vehicles.


Red Kia Sorento on the road

For the Outback’s base trim level, two horizontally mounted 7-inch infotainment displays are included. In all other trim models, this is replaced by one vertically mounted 11.6-inch display. Subaru offers many extra connectivity features, such as wireless charging and internet hotspots.

2022 Kia Sorento models come standard with an 8-inch infotainment system, which can be upgraded to a 10.3-inch display. Rear-seat infotainment systems are also optional, as is a 12-speaker Bose sound system. Wireless charging is also available.

Overall, Kia offers more comprehensive connectivity features for the 2022 Sorento models.


Brown Subaru Outback on the road

Under Subaru’s limited warranty, 2022 Outback models will be covered by the warranty for 36 months or 36,000 miles. For the Outback’s powertrain, however, there is a 5 years/60,000 miles powertrain warranty. Kia’s warranty for the 2022 Sorento models is almost identical.

The limited warranty covers the vehicle for 36 months/36,000 miles, while the powertrain warranty covers the Sorento for 5 years/60,000 miles.


Subaru Outback in sunset

Subaru’s Outback and Kia’s Sorento are both crossover SUVs with similar starting prices. These vehicles also feature highly similar safety features and warranties. Ultimately, there are a few aspects that set these two SUVs apart.

While Subaru’s Outback has a two-row design that can seat up to five people, Kia’s Sorento has three rows that can seat up to seven people. Not only does Kia offer both hybrid and plug-in hybrid Sorento models, but there are more trim levels and connectivity features overall. While hybrid Sorento’s are the most fuel-efficient of all the 2022 Outback and Sorento models, the Outback has better mileage when considering base and turbo engine choices for both vehicles.

Ultimately, the car you choose depends on how you value these aspects! If you’re looking for a cutting-edge sound system, Kia’s Sorento might be the perfect fit for you. However, if you don’t need all the additional space of a three-row SUV, you might prefer Subaru’s Outback!