2021 Volkswagen Atlas 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 2020/08/12

The Atlas has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Sorento doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Atlas 4Motion’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Sorento doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Atlas has standard Car-Net, 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 Atlas and the Sorento have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Volkswagen Atlas is safer than the Kia Sorento:

Atlas

Sorento

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

138

245

Neck Injury Risk

33%

43%

Neck Compression

46 lbs.

124 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

156/231 lbs.

227/253 lbs.

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

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, results indicate that the Volkswagen Atlas is safer than the Kia Sorento:

Atlas

Sorento

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

57

71

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.7 inches

Abdominal Force

48 G’s

108 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

58 G’s

Hip Force

527 lbs.

818 lbs.

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

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 2020/08/12

The Atlas’ corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Sorento’s (7/100,000 vs. 5/100,000).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Atlas for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Sorento.

Reliability

© 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 2020/08/12

The Volkswagen Atlas’ engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Sorento’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Engine

© 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 2020/08/12

The Atlas’ standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 50 more horsepower (235 vs. 185) and 80 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 178) than the Sorento’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Atlas’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 252) than the Sorento’s optional 3.3 DOHC V6. The Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 252) than the Sorento’s optional 3.3 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Volkswagen Atlas V6 is faster than the Kia Sorento 4 cyl.:

Atlas

Sorento

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

9.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.8 MPH

82.7 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 2020/08/12

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Atlas’ 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.

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 2020/08/12

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

Atlas

Sorento

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

12 inches

The Atlas’ 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.

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/08/12

For better traction, the Atlas has larger standard tires than the Sorento (245/60R18 vs. 235/65R17). The Atlas SEL Premium’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sorento (265/45R21 vs. 235/65R17).

The Atlas’ 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 Atlas SEL Premium’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Sorento S/EX/SX’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Atlas has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Sorento L/LX. The Atlas SEL Premium’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Sorento S/EX/SX.

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2020/08/12

The Atlas’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Sorento doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Atlas’ wheelbase is 7.9 inches longer than on the Sorento (117.3 inches vs. 109.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Atlas is 3 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Sorento.

The Atlas SE handles at .81 G’s, while the Sorento LX pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Atlas SE executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Sorento LX (27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Atlas has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Sorento (8 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Atlas to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/08/12

The Atlas has 1.8 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front hip room, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 1.6 inches more rear hip room, 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room, 2 inches more third row headroom, 2 inches more third row legroom, 3.7 inches more third row hip room and 2.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the Sorento.

Cargo Capacity

© 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 2020/08/12

The Atlas’ cargo area provides more volume than the Sorento.

Atlas

Sorento

Behind Third Seat

20.6 cubic feet

11.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.5 cubic feet

38 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

96.8 cubic feet

73 cubic feet

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

Atlas

Sorento

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

23.8”/53”/85”

14.7”/44.7”/78”

Max Width

61.6”

53.5”

Min Width

45”

41.2”

Height

37.5”

33.1”

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/08/12

The Atlas’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Sorento’s parking brake has to released manually.

The Atlas’ 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 Sorento LX/S V6/EX/SX’s .

If the windows are left open on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. The driver of the Sorento can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Atlas’ 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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Atlas to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. Heated windshield washer nozzles cost extra on the Sorento.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Atlas SEL Premium 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 avoid possible obstacles, the Atlas offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Sorento doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium/R-Line also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The Atlas’ 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 Atlas to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Sorento doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

Both the Atlas and the Sorento offer available heated front seats. The Atlas SEL Premium 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 Atlas SEL/SEL Premium’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 Atlas (except S) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Sorento doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Atlas SEL Premium’s Park Assist 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.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/08/12

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Atlas is less expensive to operate than the Sorento because typical repairs cost less on the Atlas than the Sorento, including $21 less for a fuel pump.

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

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