Toyota Highlander vs Kia Sorento: A Comprehensive Comparison

Compare Toyota Highlander vs Kia Sorento – In today’s fast-paced world, midsize SUVs have become increasingly popular due to their versatility, practicality, and style.

Among the many options available, the 2023 Toyota Highlander and 2023 Kia Sorento stand out as top contenders in the segment. Both models offer a perfect blend of performance, comfort, and safety features.

In this article, we will conduct an in-depth comparison of these two midsize SUVs to help you make an informed decision based on your preferences and needs.

What is the Difference Between Toyota Highlander and Kia Sorento?

The Toyota Highlander and the Kia Sorento are two popular SUVs in the midsize segment, each offering unique features and characteristics that cater to different preferences and needs.

Toyota Highlander vs Kia Sorento
Toyota Highlander vs Kia Sorento

Here are some key differences between the 2023 Toyota Highlander vs 2023 Kia Sorento.


When it comes to purchasing a new midsize SUV, pricing is a critical factor for most buyers. Let’s delve into the pricing details of the Toyota Highlander vs Kia Sorento to see how they stack up against each other.

– 2023 Toyota Highlander Price:

The 2023 Toyota Highlander offers a diverse range of trims, catering to various budgets and preferences. The base model, the Highlander L, starts at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $36,420.

For those seeking a more well-equipped option, the popular XLE model begins at $41,820. The near-luxury Platinum trim, which comes with a host of premium features, starts at $49,075.

It’s important to note that all-wheel drive (AWD) is available as an option on the L, LE, and XLE trims for an additional $1,600, while on the upper trims, it costs $1,950.

– 2023 Kia Sorento Price:

The 2023 Kia Sorento boasts an extensive lineup of trims, allowing buyers to choose a model that suits their needs perfectly.

The base LX model starts at a competitive MSRP of $30,090, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers. The SX trim, which is highly popular for its blend of features and value, starts at $38,890.

At the top end of the spectrum, the X-Line SX Prestige model begins at $43,690, offering a luxurious experience for discerning buyers.

The variety of trims available for the Sorento means that there is something for everyone, ensuring that you can find the right balance of features and pricing.

– Comparing Prices:

In terms of base pricing, the 2023 Kia Sorento holds an advantage over the 2023 Toyota Highlander, with a more affordable starting price.

However, the Toyota Highlander comes with a wider range of trims, including the near-luxury Platinum option, offering additional features and luxury amenities for those willing to spend more.

When considering the resale value for money, it’s essential to weigh the features and specifications of each model against their respective prices.

The Kia Sorento may be a strong contender for those seeking an affordable yet well-equipped midsize SUV.

While the Toyota Highlander could be an excellent choice for those willing to invest in premium features and a higher-end driving experience.

In conclusion, both the 2023 Toyota Highlander and the 2023 Kia Sorento offer competitive pricing in their respective classes.

Depending on your preferences and budget, you can find a suitable option from their diverse trim lineups.

Be sure to visit local dealerships and explore the various trims to determine which SUV aligns best with your needs and lifestyle.

Read also: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander

Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency is a crucial consideration for many buyers, as it impacts both the cost of ownership and the environmental impact.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander offers a choice of powertrains, each with varying fuel efficiency ratings. The new turbocharged engine, which replaces the previous V6, offers slightly higher EPA estimates.

The front-wheel-drive version with the turbocharged engine achieves around 21-22 mpg in the city and 28-29 mpg on the highway.

The all-wheel-drive model with the same engine delivers approximately 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. However, the real fuel economy standout is the hybrid version.

The front-wheel-drive Highlander hybrid models achieve an impressive 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, making it a highly fuel-efficient choice for eco-conscious consumers.

It’s important to note that the fuel efficiency figures may vary based on driving conditions and habits.

Experts are yet to conduct their 75-mph highway fuel economy test for the 2023 Highlander, which will provide more accurate real-world data.

While the 2023 Kia Sorento also offers a range of powertrain options, each with its own fuel efficiency ratings.

The base model equipped with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine achieves around 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

The more powerful turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine returns approximately 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

However, the standout in terms of fuel efficiency is the hybrid Sorento HEV, which impressively achieves an estimated 39 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant offers a combined rating of 79 MPGe and an estimated 35 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway when driven in Hybrid mode.

Similar to the Toyota Highlander, real-world fuel economy may differ from EPA estimates. In tests conducted by experts, a Sorento EX Hybrid achieved 31 mpg on a 75-mph highway fuel economy route, slightly below its EPA estimate.

The Sorento PHEV returned 25 mpg in Hybrid mode, which was 8 mpg lower than its EPA estimate, but it can travel up to an estimated 32 miles on electricity alone with a full battery charge.

In the fuel economy department, both the 2023 Toyota Highlander and the 2023 Kia Sorento offer compelling options.

The Highlander hybrid stands out for its excellent city and highway fuel efficiency, making it a top choice for those seeking an eco-friendly SUV.

On the other hand, the Sorento hybrid and plug-in hybrid models also offer impressive fuel economy figures, making them a great option for environmentally-conscious buyers.

Ultimately, the choice between the two models will depend on other factors, such as pricing, features, and personal preferences.

For those prioritizing fuel efficiency, either the Highlander hybrid or the Sorento hybrid/plug-in hybrid variants would be the ideal choice, providing a greener and more economical driving experience.


When choosing an SUV, understanding the dimensions can be essential to ensure it fits your needs and lifestyle.

Let’s compare the dimensions of the Kia Sorento vs Toyota Highlander hybrid to see how they differ in terms of size and interior space.

– 2023 Toyota Highlander Dimensions:

Length194.9 inches
Overall Width (without mirrors)76.0 inches
Height68.1 inches
Wheelbase112.2 inches
EPA Interior Volume155.5 cubic feet
Cargo Capacity (all seats)16.0 cubic feet
Maximum Cargo Capacity84.3 cubic feet
Turning Circle37.4 feet
Ground Clearance8.0 inches
Angle of Approach18.1 degrees
Angle of Departure23.0 degrees
Curb Weight4,199 lbs
Maximum Towing Capacity5,000 lbs
Maximum Payload1,635 lbs
Gross Weight5,870 lbs
Country of Final AssemblyUnited States

Front Seat Dimensions:

Front Headroom39.6 inches
Front Legroom42.0 inches
Front Shoulder Room59.0 inches
Front Hip Room57.2 inches
Bucket Front SeatsStandard
8-Way Power Driver SeatStandard
Height Adjustable Driver SeatStandard
Driver Seat with Power Adjustable Lumbar SupportStandard
8-Way Power Passenger SeatStandard
Height Adjustable Passenger SeatStandard
Multi-Level Heated Driver SeatStandard
Multi-Level Heated Passenger SeatStandard

Rear Seat Dimensions:

Rear Headroom39.4 inches
Rear Legroom38.7 inches
Rear Shoulder Room58.4 inches
Rear Hip Room57.0 inches
Folding Rear SeatbackStandard
Reclining Rear SeatsStandard
Folding Center ArmrestStandard
Manual Folding Bench Third-Row SeatsStandard

– 2023 Kia Sorento Dimensions:

Length189.0 inches
Overall Width (without mirrors)74.8 inches
Height66.7 inches
Wheelbase110.8 inches
EPA Interior Volume121.3 cubic feet
Cargo Capacity (all seats)12.6 cubic feet
Maximum Cargo Capacity75.5 cubic feet
Turning Circle37.9 feet
Ground Clearance6.9 inches
Angle of Approach16.8 degrees
Angle of Departure22.1 degrees
Curb Weight3,794 lbs
Maximum Towing Capacity2,000 lbs
Maximum Payload1,563 lbs
Gross Weight5,357 lbs

Front Seat Dimensions:

Front Headroom40.3 inches
Front Legroom41.4 inches
Front Shoulder Room59.1 inches
Front Hip Room55.6 inches
Bucket Front SeatsStandard
6-Way Manual Driver Seat AdjustmentsStandard
Height Adjustable Driver SeatStandard
4-Way Manual Passenger Seat AdjustmentStandard

Rear Seat Dimensions:

Rear Headroom39.1 inches
Rear Legroom41.7 inches
Rear Shoulder Room58.1 inches
Rear Hip Room55.1 inches
Split-Folding Rear SeatbackStandard
Reclining Rear SeatsStandard
Folding Center ArmrestStandard
Manual Folding Split-Bench Third-Row SeatsStandard

In comparison, the 2023 Toyota Highlander is larger than the 2023 Kia Sorento in almost all aspects. It is longer, wider, and taller, resulting in more interior space and cargo capacity.

The Highlander offers a more significant maximum cargo capacity of 84.3 cubic feet compared to the Sorento’s 75.5 cubic feet.

Additionally, the Highlander has a higher ground clearance, which may be beneficial for off-road or rugged terrain driving.

However, the smaller dimensions of the 2023 Kia Sorento could make it more maneuverable and easier to park in tight spaces, making it a practical choice for urban driving.

It also has a slightly shorter turning circle, which can enhance its agility in tight turns. When considering interior dimensions, both models offer ample space for passengers and cargo.

The Highlander’s larger dimensions result in more headroom, legroom, and shoulder room for both front and rear passengers.

Ultimately, the choice between the 2023 Toyota Highlander and the 2023 Kia Sorento will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

If you require more interior space and cargo capacity, the Highlander might be the better option. However, if maneuverability and compact size are more critical, the Sorento could be the ideal choice.

Visit local dealerships and explore both models to determine which SUV best suits your lifestyle and requirements.

Read also: Kia Sorento vs Hyundai Tucson

Colors Options

Both the 2023 Toyota Highlander and the 2023 Kia Sorento offer a variety of exterior color choices, allowing buyers to select a shade that resonates with their personal style and preferences.

The Toyota Highlander presents a wide array of exterior colors, including unique and eye-catching Moon Dust and Cypress options, as well as classic choices like Magnetic Gray Metallic and Midnight Black Metallic.

For those seeking a touch of luxury, the Wind Chill Pearl is a sophisticated option. Inside the Highlander, buyers can choose from three leatherette interior color options: Graphite, Harvest Beige, and Black, each offering a different ambiance to the cabin.

On the other hand, the Kia Sorento offers a more concise selection of exterior colors. While the options are limited to five choices, they cover the essentials. Ebony Black provides a sleek and timeless look, while Passion Red adds a vibrant and sporty flair.

The Everlasting Silver and Gravity Gray offer more subdued and sophisticated options, and the Glacial White Pearl exudes a sense of elegance and purity.

The interior of the Sorento comes in a stylish Black cloth, providing a comfortable and modern cabin environment.

Ultimately, the choice of color will depend on individual tastes and preferences. The 2023 Toyota Highlander presents a more extensive range of both exterior and interior colors, catering to a broader spectrum of personal styles.

In contrast, the 2023 Kia Sorento offers a more focused yet appealing selection of exterior and interior colors.

When selecting your SUV, consider the exterior color that matches your personality and lifestyle while also exploring the interior color that complements the overall design.

Test drive both the Toyota Highlander and the Kia Sorento in the color of your choice to fully experience and appreciate their aesthetics.

Safety Features

Safety is of utmost importance when choosing an SUV, and both the Toyota Highlander and Kia Sorento come equipped with advanced driver-assistance features to enhance the safety of drivers and passengers. Let’s compare the key safety features offered by each model.

– 2023 Toyota Highlander Safety Features:

The 2023 Toyota Highlander follows the brand’s reputation for prioritizing safety. It comes with a standard suite of driver-assistance features to provide an added layer of protection. The package includes:

  • Standard Automated Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection: This system helps prevent or reduce the severity of collisions by automatically applying the brakes when it detects an impending collision with a pedestrian or another vehicle.
  • Standard Blind-Spot Monitoring with Rear-Cross-Traffic Alert: This feature monitors the blind spots around the vehicle and alerts the driver if there are vehicles in those areas during lane changes. Rear-Cross-Traffic Alert warns the driver of approaching vehicles when backing up, making it safer in crowded parking lots or busy streets.
  • Standard Lane-Departure Warning with Lane-Keeping Assist: The Lane-Departure Warning system alerts the driver if the vehicle drifts out of its lane unintentionally. Lane-Keeping Assist can provide gentle steering inputs to help the driver stay within the lane.

The Toyota Highlander’s comprehensive suite of safety features aims to prevent accidents and mitigate potential risks on the road, making it a reassuring choice for safety-conscious consumers.

– 2023 Kia Sorento Safety Features:

The 2023 Kia Sorento is equipped with a range of standard and optional driver-assistance technologies to ensure the safety of its occupants. Key safety features include:

  • Standard Forward-Collision Warning and Automated Emergency Braking: This safety system alerts the driver if there is a potential forward collision with another vehicle or obstacle. If the driver does not respond in time, the Automated Emergency Braking can apply the brakes to prevent or lessen the impact.
  • Standard Lane-Departure Warning and Lane-Keeping Assist: The Lane-Departure Warning system alerts the driver if the vehicle deviates from its lane without signaling. Lane-Keeping Assist can provide steering assistance to help the driver stay centered within the lane.
  • Available Blind-Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert: The available Blind-Spot Monitoring system helps the driver be aware of vehicles in their blind spots during lane changes. A rear Cross-Traffic Alert warns the driver of approaching vehicles when backing up.

The Kia Sorento’s safety features work cohesively to offer additional protection and support to the driver, making it a safe choice for families and daily commuters.

When choosing between the two models, it’s essential to consider the specific safety features that matter most to you and your driving needs.

We encourage potential buyers to conduct further research, explore crash-test results from authoritative sources such as the NHTSA and the IIHS, and visit local dealerships to experience the safety features firsthand through test drives.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on individual preferences, lifestyle, and the priority placed on safety features.


Warranty coverage is a crucial aspect of vehicle ownership, offering peace of mind and protection against unexpected repair costs.

Let’s compare the warranty plans provided by the 2023 Toyota Highlander vs 2023 Kia Sorento to see which model offers better coverage.

– 2023 Toyota Highlander Warranty:

Toyota offers a standard warranty package for the 2023 Highlander, which aligns with the industry norm.

However, one standout feature is the two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance, providing added value to buyers. The warranty coverage for the 2023 Toyota Highlander includes:

  • Limited Warranty: Covers three years or 36,000 miles, providing coverage for defects and repairs to various components during the initial years of ownership.
  • Powertrain Warranty: Covers five years or 60,000 miles, offering protection for the engine, transmission, and other critical powertrain components.
  • Hybrid-Component Warranty: The electrified Highlander, equipped with a hybrid powertrain, benefits from a separate hybrid-component warranty, providing eight years or 100,000 miles of coverage for the hybrid system components.
  • Complimentary Maintenance: The Highlander comes with two years or 25,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance, a valuable perk that sets it apart from many competitors in the segment.

– 2023 Kia Sorento Warranty:

Kia boasts one of the most impressive warranty plans in the industry, offering extended coverage for both the limited warranty and powertrain warranty.

However, unlike its corporate counterpart Hyundai, Kia does not provide complimentary scheduled maintenance. The warranty coverage for the 2023 Kia Sorento includes:

  • Limited Warranty: Covers five years or 60,000 miles, providing protection for defects and repairs during the initial years of ownership.
  • Powertrain Warranty: Offers extensive coverage of 10 years or 100,000 miles, assuring buyers of long-term protection for critical powertrain components.

Despite the lack of complimentary scheduled maintenance, the Kia Sorento’s extended powertrain warranty provides an attractive advantage for those seeking long-term coverage and peace of mind.

In terms of warranty coverage, both the 2023 Toyota Highlander and the 2023 Kia Sorento offer competitive plans with their own unique advantages.

The Toyota Highlander stands out with two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance, offering added convenience and cost savings for the first years of ownership.

On the other hand, the Kia Sorento impresses with an extended 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, providing extended protection for the most critical components of the vehicle.

When making your decision, consider your preferences, driving habits, and the level of coverage that suits your needs.

Both models provide comprehensive warranty plans, ensuring that your investment is protected for the initial years of ownership.

We recommend researching further and consulting with dealerships to understand the warranty coverage and benefits thoroughly before making a final decision.

Read also: Subaru Ascent vs VW Atlas


The specifications of a vehicle provide essential details about its performance, powertrain, and capabilities.

Let’s compare the specifications of the 2023 Toyota Highlander vs 2023 Kia Sorento to see how they differ in terms of engine, transmission, and towing capacity.

– 2023 Toyota Highlander Specs:

Base Engine Size2.4 L
CylindersInline 4
Base Engine TypeGasoline
Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
Drive TypeFront-Wheel Drive
Horsepower265 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque310 lb-ft @ 1,700 rpm
Cam TypeDouble overhead cam (DOHC)
Valve TimingVariable
Dual Fuel InjectionStandard
Max Towing Capacity5,000 lbs.
Max Payload Capacity1,635 lbs.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander is equipped with a 2.4-liter inline-4 gasoline engine, delivering a powerful output of 265 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.

It features an 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. The Highlander’s engine employs dual fuel injection for optimal performance.

With its impressive towing capacity of 5,000 lbs and a payload capacity of 1,635 lbs, the Highlander is well-suited for hauling trailers and carrying heavy loads.

– 2023 Kia Sorento Specs:

Base Engine Size2.5 L
CylindersInline 4
Base Engine TypeGasoline
Transmission8-speed automatic
Drive TypeFront-Wheel Drive
Horsepower191 hp @ 6,100 rpm
Torque181 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Cam TypeDouble overhead cam (DOHC)
Valve TimingVariable
Dual Fuel InjectionStandard
Max Towing Capacity2,000 lbs.
Max Payload Capacity1,563 lbs.

The 2023 Kia Sorento comes with a 2.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine, delivering 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. It is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.

Like the Highlander, the Sorento features a double overhead cam (DOHC) and variable valve timing for optimal performance.

With a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 lbs and a payload capacity of 1,563 lbs, the Sorento is capable of handling moderate towing and cargo needs.

When comparing the specifications, it’s evident that the 2023 Toyota Highlander offers a more powerful engine with higher horsepower and torque compared to the 2023 Kia Sorento.

Additionally, the Highlander’s towing capacity of 5,000 lbs is significantly higher than the Sorento’s 2,000 lbs.

The higher towing capacity of the Toyota Highlander makes it a better choice for buyers who require towing capabilities for trailers, boats, or other heavy loads.

On the other hand, the Kia Sorento provides a more modest towing capacity suitable for lighter towing needs.

The choice between the two models will depend on individual requirements and preferences. If towing capacity and higher engine performance are essential, the Toyota Highlander would be the preferred option.

However, for those with more moderate towing needs and a focus on other features, the Kia Sorento may be the ideal choice.

We recommend considering your specific needs and conducting test drives to experience the performance and capabilities of both models firsthand before making a decision.

Pros and Cons

2023 Toyota Highlander Pros:

  • Comfortable, Quiet Ride: The Toyota Highlander offers a smooth and comfortable ride, making it ideal for long journeys and daily commutes. The cabin is designed to minimize road and engine noise, enhancing the overall driving experience.
  • Easy to See Out Of: The Highlander’s design provides excellent visibility from the driver’s seat, ensuring a clear view of the surroundings and enhancing safety while driving.
  • Above-Average Fuel Efficiency for a Three-Row SUV: The Highlander’s fuel efficiency is commendable for a three-row SUV, especially the hybrid models that offer exceptional city and highway MPG ratings.


  • Third Row is Kids-Only: While the Highlander offers a third row for extra passenger capacity, it is more suitable for children or smaller adults due to limited legroom and space.
  • Not Much Cargo Space Behind the Third Row: With all three rows in use, the Highlander offers limited cargo space, which might be a concern for those who frequently need to carry a lot of luggage or groceries.

2023 Kia Sorento Pros:

  • Abundance of Standard and Optional Features: The Kia Sorento comes with an array of standard features, and buyers can choose from various optional packages to customize their vehicle to their liking.
  • Ample Second- and Third-Row Legroom for the Class: The Sorento provides generous legroom for passengers in the second and third rows, ensuring comfort for all occupants.
  • Sharp-Looking and Easy-to-Use Infotainment System: The Sorento boasts a visually appealing and user-friendly infotainment system, enhancing the driving experience with its modern technology.
  • Powerful Available Turbocharged Engine: The optional turbocharged engine offers robust acceleration and improved performance for those seeking a more spirited driving experience.


  • Base Engine’s Lackluster Acceleration: The standard engine of the Sorento may feel underpowered for some drivers, especially when compared to the more powerful turbocharged option.


Both the 2023 Toyota Highlander and the 2023 Kia Sorento have their own set of strengths and weaknesses.

The Highlander provides a comfortable ride and good fuel efficiency, but the limited space in the third row and behind it may be a drawback for some users.

On the other hand, the Sorento impresses with its abundance of features, spacious interior, and powerful turbocharged engine, but its base engine’s lackluster acceleration might not satisfy those seeking more power.

To make the best decision, consider your priorities and preferences. If you prioritize comfort, fuel efficiency, and a reliable brand, the Toyota Highlander is an excellent choice.

If you value features, interior space, and powerful engine options, the Kia Sorento might be more appealing.

Take both models for a test drive to experience their performance and features firsthand before making your final decision.