2018 Kia Sorento vs Hyundai Tucson

Some buyers may be surprised at how similar the size can be between two- and three-row crossovers. Sometimes there’s not even a huge difference in price either, which is the case with the 2018 Kia Sorento and the Hyundai Tucson. So, let’s compare the two to see which represents the better buy.

2018 Kia Sorento vs Hyundai Tucson

Interior Space: Kia Sorento

One of the main priorities for crossover buyers is the interior. It’s all well and good to look sleek and sporty, but that’s not much use when you have to put mom, dad, and a bunch of kids (and all their stuff) inside. Although turbo-four versions of the Sorento are not available with third-row seating, the rest of the range is.

What might be a shock is that, despite the fact the Sorento has a massive 146.4 cu.-ft. of passenger volume and the Tucson only has a modest 102.2 cu.-ft., the Kia only beats the Hyundai for rear leg room by less than an inch. It’s a different matter in the front, though and, of course, the Kia offers a third row and the Tucson doesn’t. If you go for a five-seat Sorento option, you get the additional benefit of a cargo capacity the Hyundai can’t hope to compete with.

Interior Comfort and Quality: Kia Sorento

The Sorento obviously has an advantage over the Tucson as far as comfort is concerned because there’s so much additional space inside. But the Kia doesn’t prioritize quantity over quality, which we can see from all that there is to admire inside the Kia beyond the use of space. A solid, well-made, almost premium feel extends throughout the Sorento that you might not expect from a Kia, especially considering the extremely reasonable price. The seats are sculptured and supportive, and the materials are mostly excellent.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with the quality inside the Hyundai either, but there perhaps isn’t the consistency through the trim levels there is with the Kia. While top trim levels of the Tucson are pretty superb, there’s a big difference at the other end of the spectrum. A base Sorento looks and feels higher quality inside than an entry level Hyundai Tucson.

Features and Equipment: Kia Sorento

Family vehicles like these two need to come with plenty of bells and whistles these days, so basic and utilitarian just won’t cut it. An entry level Sorento comes standard with AM/FM/XM/CD audio, Bluetooth with audio streaming, and a rearview camera, while stepping up a level to LX adds the likes of USB ports, an acoustic-glass windshield, automatic headlights, and a roof rack.

You won’t find much difference between the two when it comes to standard equipment, but optional upgrades are somewhat limited with the Tucson while there’s plenty of scope for personalization with the Sorento. You’ll also notice an extra degree of opulence with Kia when it comes to the SXL model, with its surround-view cameras and chrome wheels.

Safety Credentials: Hyundai Tucson

The Sorento and the Tucson both get a full five star rating from the NHTSA, but there is a slight difference when it comes to the IIHS ratings. To get one rated a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS means going for an SX or SXL Sorento with a V-6 engine.

In contrast, all versions of the Tucson get a Top Safety Pick designation and that gives a slight advantage to the Hyundai.

Learn More about the Kia Sorento

At first glance, the Hyundai Tucson is possibly the sportier and more exciting-looking of these two models, but for family buyers especially, the rest of the odds stack up very much in favor of the 2018 Kia Sorento. For not a lot more money you get a lot more vehicle with the Kia, which is why we recommend it.