2019 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2019 Kia Sorento

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Equinox’s rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Kia Sorento doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Equinox are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Sorento doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Equinox has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, 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 Equinox and the Sorento have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Equinox’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Sorento’s (6/100,000 vs. 5/100,000).

Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Equinox. Chevrolet will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Sorento.

There are almost 4 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Equinox’s warranty.

Engine

The Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 178) than the Sorento’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 252) than the Sorento’s optional 3.3 DOHC V6.

The Equinox’s 1.6 turbo diesel produces 62 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 178) than the Sorento’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Kia Sorento V6:

 

Equinox

Sorento

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.1 MPH

89.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Equinox diesel gets better fuel mileage than the Sorento:

 

 

Equinox

Sorento

 

FWD

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

28 city/39 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

AWD

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

28 city/38 hwy

21 city/26 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

On the EPA test cycle the Equinox gets better fuel mileage than the Sorento:

 

 

Equinox

Sorento

 

2WD

 

n/a

22 city/29 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

26 city/32 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

3.3 V6/Auto

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

22 city/29 hwy

n/a

 

4WD

 

n/a

21 city/26 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

25 city/30 hwy

19 city/24 hwy

3.3 V6/Auto

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

22 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Equinox’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 Equinox has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Sorento doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4 cyl., for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Sorento.

Brakes and Stopping

The Equinox stops much shorter than the Sorento:

 

Equinox

Sorento

 

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Equinox Premier’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sorento SX/SXL’s 55 series tires.

The Equinox has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Sorento doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Equinox Premier handles at .83 G’s, while the Sorento LX pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Equinox Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure-Eight” maneuver quicker than the Sorento LX (27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Equinox may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 650 pounds less than the Kia Sorento.

The Equinox is 5.9 inches shorter than the Sorento, making the Equinox easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Equinox 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 Equinox uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Sorento doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Equinox has .5 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more rear legroom than the Sorento.

Cargo Capacity

The Equinox has a much larger cargo area than the Sorento with its rear seat up (29.9 vs. 11.3 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Equinox easier. The Equinox’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.6 inches, while the Sorento’s liftover is 29.9 inches.

Ergonomics

The Equinox’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Sorento does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Equinox’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Sorento’s power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically.

On a hot day the Equinox’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Sorento can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Equinox LS/LT/Premier’s available exterior keypad. The Sorento doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Equinox’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Sorento doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

The Equinox Premier 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 Equinox LT/Premier’s available 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.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Equinox is less expensive to operate than the Sorento because typical repairs cost much less on the Equinox than the Sorento, including $54 less for front struts and $208 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Kia Sorento by almost three to one during 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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