2017 Kia Sorento vs Nissan Pathfinder
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J.D. Power: 2017 “Highest Ranked Midsize SUV in Initial Quality, 2 out of 3 Years in a Row”View Disclaimer
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The Kia Sorento received the lowest number of problems per 100 vehicles reflecting higher quality among midsize SUVs in the J.D. Power 2015 and 2017 U.S. Initial Quality Studies. 2017 study based on 77,419 total responses, evaluating 189 models, and measures the opinions of new 2017 vehicle owners after 90 days of ownership, surveyed in February-May 2017. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com/cars.
The 2017 Kia Sorento and the Nissan Pathfinder are both midsize crossovers, and both have recently been updated. This year sees the Nissan getting a fairly modest refresh after a last major redesign in 2014, while the Kia is just one year on from a full-on redesign. So, let’s see how these two compare in a head-to-head comparison.
2017 Kia Sorento vs Nissan Pathfinder
The Kia Sorento is still fresh after last year’s complete redesign, which went as far as introducing completely new sheet metal and some modest adjustments of the vehicle’s proportions. It does look like Kia’s designers took a good look at the opposition and then borrowed some of the best bits from their designs, but there’s absolutely no law against that. The styling isn’t particularly revolutionary, which could be a good or a not-so-good thing, depending on how you view such things.
Nissan has adopted a slightly more aggressive stance and a more macho appearance for the Pathfinder recently, which blends in well with the car-like long hood, raked windshield, and flowing side creases. The Nissan now looks smaller than it really is which means the true size only becomes apparent when you get up close.
Kia doesn’t try to ask luxury money for the 2017 Sorento, but you wouldn’t guess that when you experience the luxury ambiance in the cabin. The new Sorento isn’t noticeably bigger on the outside than the previous model, but some clever packaging we see more and more today has managed to make it even roomier inside. There’s a good amount of seat adjustment, especially with higher trim levels, and the second row bench seat flips forward without fuss for more cargo space or for better access to the rear. Even without expensive noise cancellation technology employed, this is still a very quiet cabin indeed.
The Pathfinder is a big, spacious, flexible crossover with overtly family-friendly intentions its interior doesn’t tryto hide in any way. There are lots and lots of bins, cubbies, and map pockets everywhere you look, but the overall feel is more utilitarian than the more luxurious feel of the Sorento’s interior. This round has to go to the Kia.
Buyers have three engines to choose between in the 2017 Kia Sorento, which are a 2.4-liter inline-four, a 2.0-liter turbo-four, and a 3.3-liter V-6. You’ll have plenty of power because even the standard 2.4 develops a healthy 185 horsepower, but the V-6 makes light work of even a full load with an impressive 290 horsepower. Sitting in between the two is a 240 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo that delivers a great balance of power and fuel efficiency.
It’s a take-it-or-leave-it approach to powertrains with the Pathfinder with just one engine available. It’s a pretty good one though–a 3.5-liter V-6 that puts 284 horsepower and 259 lb.-ft. of torque at your disposal and helps the Nissan tow as much as 6,000 pounds compared to just 5,000 pounds with the old version. Even so, the lack of options gives this section to the Sorento too.
The best fuel economy figures come from the Sorento with the base 2.4-liter, which gets EPA ratings of 21 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg combined with front-wheel drive.
It’s not entirely fair to compare the V-6 in the Nissan with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder in the Kia, but the lack of a smaller engine in the Nissan means there’s little choice. Having said that, the Nissan’s front-wheel drive versions are still rated by the EPA at 20 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg combined. You’ll get extra power with that economy, so we’ll give this one to the Nissan.
Learn More about the Kia Sorento
You get a lot of crossover for your money with the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder, but you get just as much if not more with the 2017 Kia Sorento. Despite this year’s refresh, the Pathfinder is starting to seem a little old–and if you don’t need seven seats you can get the Kia for a lot less than the Nissan costs at the entry level. With an all-wheel drive Sorento V-6 LX costing almost the same as the most basic Pathfinder, we’d say to go with the Kia all day long.