2020 Mazda CX-9 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 2020/08/10

The CX-9 has standard E911 Automatic Emergency Notification, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 CX-9 and the Sorento have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Mazda CX-9 is safer than the Kia Sorento:

CX-9

Sorento

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.4 inches

.7 inches

Abdominal Force

98 G’s

108 G’s

Hip Force

195 lbs.

309 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

54 G’s

58 G’s

Hip Force

582 lbs.

818 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

249

261

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

45 G’s

Hip Force

553 lbs.

689 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-9 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 31 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Sorento is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2020.

Warranty

© 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 2020/08/10

The CX-9’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Sorento runs out after 100,000 miles.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the CX-9’s reliability 23 points higher than the Sorento.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda second in reliability. Kia is ranked 9th.

Engine

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The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 65 more horsepower (250 vs. 185) and 142 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 178) than the Sorento’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 68 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 252) than the Sorento’s optional 3.3 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mazda CX-9 is faster than the Kia Sorento:

CX-9

Sorento 4-cyl.

Sorento V6

Zero to 60 MPH

7.1 sec

9.1 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.5 sec

16.9 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.7 MPH

82.7 MPH

89.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/08/10

On the EPA test cycle the CX-9 gets better fuel mileage than the Sorento:

MPG

CX-9

FWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Sorento

FWD

3.3 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

AWD

33 DOHC V6

18 city/24 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/08/10

The CX-9 stops shorter than the Sorento:

CX-9

Sorento

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the CX-9 has larger tires than the Sorento (255/60R18 vs. 235/65R17).

The CX-9 Sport/Touring’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sorento L/LX’s standard 65 series tires. The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Sorento S/EX/SX’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-9 Sport/Touring has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Sorento L/LX. The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Sorento S/EX/SX.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-9’s wheelbase is 5.9 inches longer than on the Sorento (115.3 inches vs. 109.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CX-9 is 1.1 inches wider in the front and .6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Sorento.

The CX-9 Signature AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Sorento LX pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CX-9 Signature AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Sorento LX (26.7 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the CX-9 has a 1.5 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Sorento (8.8 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the CX-9 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The CX-9 has 1 inch more rear hip room, .1 inches more rear shoulder room and .3 inches more third row shoulder room than the Sorento.

Cargo Capacity

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The CX-9’s cargo area provides more volume than the Sorento.

CX-9

Sorento

Behind Third Seat

14.4 cubic feet

11.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

38.2 cubic feet

38 cubic feet

The CX-9’s cargo area is larger than the Sorento’s in almost every dimension:

CX-9

Sorento

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

21.4”/49.7”/84.5”

14.7”/44.7”/78”

Max Width

57.2”

53.5”

Min Width

40”

41.2”

Height

30.3”

33.1”

Towing

© 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 2020/08/10

The CX-9’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Sorento’s (3500 vs. 2000 pounds).

Ergonomics

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The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature has a standard 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 CX-9’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch. The Sorento

The CX-9’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 CX-9’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 CX-9 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 CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature 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 CX-9’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 CX-9 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Sorento doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The CX-9 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Sorento, and aren’t available on the Sorento L. The CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Sorento.

On extremely cold winter days, the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’s standard 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 CX-9 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 CX-9’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 CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’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.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-9 is less expensive to operate than the Sorento because it costs $145 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the CX-9 than the Sorento, including $41 less for fuel injection and $122 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/08/10

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda CX-9 and the Kia Sorento, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The CX-9 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 4 of the last 13 years. The Sorento has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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