2020 BMW X7 vs. 2020 Kia Sorento

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/06

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.

For enhanced safety, the middle seat shoulder belts of the BMW X7 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Kia Sorento doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

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.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X7’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Sorento doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

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, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

The BMW X7 weighs 1269 to 1851 pounds more than the Kia Sorento. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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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.

Reliability

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The battery on the X7 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the X7’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Sorento’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

Engine

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The X7 has more powerful engines than the Sorento:

Horsepower

Torque

X7 xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder

335 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

X7 xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

456 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

X7 M50i 4.4 turbo V8

523 HP

553 lbs.-ft.

Sorento 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder

185 HP

178 lbs.-ft.

Sorento 3.3 DOHC V6

290 HP

252 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X7 is faster than the Kia Sorento:

X7 xDrive40i

X7 xDrive50i

Sorento 4 cyl.

Sorento V6

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

4.7 sec

9.1 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

13.2 sec

16.9 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.8 MPH

107.3 MPH

82.7 MPH

89.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the X7 xDrive40i gets better fuel mileage than the Sorento AWD V6 (20 city/25 hwy vs. 18 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.

Transmission

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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.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the X7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Sorento:

X7 xDrive40i

X7 M Sport

Sorento

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

12 inches

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.

The X7 stops shorter than the Sorento:

X7

Sorento

60 to 0 MPH

136 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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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 S/EX/SX’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 S/EX/SX.

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.

Suspension and Handling

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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 average 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.

The X7 xDrive50i handles at .79 G’s, while the Sorento LX pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X7 xDrive50i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Sorento LX (27 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

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.

Chassis

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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.

Passenger Space

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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.

Cargo Capacity

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The X7’s cargo area provides more volume than the Sorento.

X7

Sorento

Third Seat Folded

48.6 cubic feet

38 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.4 cubic feet

73 cubic feet

The X7’s cargo area is larger than the Sorento’s in almost every dimension:

X7

Sorento

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

18.5”/45”/81.5”

14.7”/44.7”/78”

Max Width

48”

53.5”

Min Width

43.5”

41.2”

Height

32”

33.1”

Both the X7 and the Sorento have standard second row automatic folding seats. The X7’s third row seats also fold up or down at the press of a button. The Sorento doesn’t offer automatic folding third row seats.

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.

Towing

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The X7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Sorento’s (5950 vs. 2000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Kia Sorento AWD is only 5000 pounds. The X7 offers up to a 7500 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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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.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Sorento SX, 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 power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Sorento’s parking brake has to released manually.

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.

If the windows are left open on the X7 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower 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.

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 manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the X7 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sorento doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the X7 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Sorento doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The X7’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.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the X7 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Sorento doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The X7’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to 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 standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Sorento, and aren’t available on the Sorento L. The X7 also offers optional heated second and third row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Neither heated second nor third row seats are available in the Sorento.

On extremely cold winter days, the X7’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Sorento doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The X7 offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Sorento.

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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW X7 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Only the Sorento SX offers wireless charging.

The X7’s optional Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Sorento doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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