2021 Volvo XC60 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 2020/10/22

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC60 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Kia Sorento doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The XC60’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.

Both the XC60 and Sorento have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC60 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Sorento’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Volvo XC60 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Kia doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Sorento. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; XC60 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The XC60 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Sorento doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC60 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, 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.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the XC60’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Sorento doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The XC60 has standard Volvo On Call, 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 XC60 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 and around view monitors.

Warranty

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The XC60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Sorento’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo 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 XC60 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the XC60’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Sorento’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The XC60 has more powerful engines than the Sorento:

Horsepower

Torque

XC60 T5 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

XC60 T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

XC60 T8 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

XC60 T8 P.E. 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

415 HP

494 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 XC60 T5 is faster than the Kia Sorento:

XC60

Sorento 4-cyl.

Sorento V6

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

9.1 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

16.9 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.5 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 2020/10/22

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Sorento:

MPGe

XC60

AWD

Electric Motor

56 city/57 hwy

Sorento

MPG

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

3.3 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

AWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

3.3 DOHC V6

18 city/24 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Sorento:

MPG

XC60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

26 city/28 hwy

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

Sorento

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

3.3 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

AWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

3.3 DOHC V6

18 city/24 hwy

The XC60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 19 miles. The Sorento must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the XC60 T8’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 XC60’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 XC60 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC60’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Sorento:

XC60 T5

XC60 T8 P. E.

Sorento

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

12 inches

The XC60’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 XC60 stops much shorter than the Sorento:

XC60

Sorento

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sorento (265/35R22 vs. 235/65R17).

The XC60’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 XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Sorento S/EX/SX’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Sorento L/LX. The XC60’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Sorento S/EX/SX.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC60 offers an available 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 XC60 T6/T8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC60’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 XC60’s wheelbase is 3.4 inches longer than on the Sorento (112.8 inches vs. 109.4 inches).

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum handles at .87 G’s, while the Sorento LX pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Sorento LX (26.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the XC60 has a 1.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Sorento (8.5 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the XC60 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The XC60 is 4.4 inches shorter than the Sorento, making the XC60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the XC60 easier. The XC60’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Sorento’s liftover is 29.9 inches.

Towing

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The XC60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Sorento’s (3500 vs. 2000 pounds).

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Sorento SX, the XC60 R-Design/Inscription has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The XC60 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 XC60’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 XC60’s front power windows 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 XC60 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 XC60’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.

Consumer Reports rated the XC60’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Sorento’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Sorento doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the XC60 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 XC60 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Sorento doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC60 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The XC60’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 XC60’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.

Both the XC60 and the Sorento offer available heated front seats. The XC60 also offers optional heated rear 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 XC60’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 XC60 Inscription 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 XC60 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 XC60’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 XC60’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.

The XC60 R-Design/Inscription’s optional Park Assist Pilot 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

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC60 is less expensive to operate than the Sorento because it costs $27 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the XC60 than the Sorento, including $79 less for a muffler, $209 less for a timing belt/chain and $377 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 2020/10/22

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Volvo XC60 and the Kia Sorento, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the XC60 third among compact premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Sorento isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

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