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The X7’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Sorento doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The X7 has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Sorento doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X7. But it costs extra on the Sorento.
The X7 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Sorento doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the X7 and the Sorento have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.
The BMW X7 weighs 1027 to 1807 pounds more than the Kia Sorento. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
The X7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Sorento’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X7 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Sorento.
The X7 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 150 more horsepower (335 vs. 185) and 152 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 178) than the Sorento’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The X7 xDrive40i’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 45 more horsepower (335 vs. 290) and 78 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 252) than the Sorento’s optional 3.3 DOHC V6. The X7 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 166 more horsepower (456 vs. 290) and 227 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 252) than the Sorento’s optional 3.3 DOHC V6.
On the EPA test cycle the X7 xDrive40i gets better fuel mileage than the Sorento AWD V6 (20 city/25 hwy vs. 19 city/24 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the X7’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Sorento doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X7’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Sorento doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The X7 has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sorento (21.9 vs. 18.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The X7’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Sorento doesn’t offer launch control.
The X7’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Sorento are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the X7 has larger standard tires than the Sorento (F:275/40R22 & R:315/35R22 vs. 235/65R17). The X7’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sorento (285/45R21 vs. 235/65R17).
The X7’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sorento L/LX’s standard 65 series tires. The X7’s optional 275/40R22 front and 315/35R22 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Sorento SX/SXL’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X7 has standard 21-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Sorento L/LX. The X7’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Sorento SX/SXL.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Sorento doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The front and rear suspension of the X7 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Sorento, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.
The X7 has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Sorento’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The X7 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The X7’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Sorento doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X7’s wheelbase is 12.8 inches longer than on the Sorento (122.2 inches vs. 109.4 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X7 is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Sorento.
For greater off-road capability the X7 has a 1.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Sorento (8.7 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the X7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The front grille of the X7 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Sorento doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The X7 has 2.4 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear shoulder room, .7 inches more third row headroom and 1.6 inches more third row legroom than the Sorento.
The X7’s cargo area provides more volume than the Sorento.
Third Seat Folded
48.6 cubic feet
38 cubic feet
Second Seat Folded
90.4 cubic feet
73 cubic feet
The X7’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Sorento’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.
The X7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Sorento’s (7500 vs. 2000 pounds).
The engine in the X7 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Sorento. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 31% lower rating, Kia is ranked 18th.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Sorento SX/SXL, the X7 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The X7 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Sorento doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The X7’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sorento’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.
The X7’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Sorento’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
The X7 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Sorento offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The X7 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Sorento and isn’t available on the Sorento L.
The X7’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Sorento L doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.
The X7’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Sorento’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.
The X7’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Sorento doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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