Highlander Vs. Sorento Hybrid: A Comparative Dive

In today’s market of modern hybrid SUVs, two names that often rise to the top are Toyota’s Highlander and Kia’s Sorento Hybrid. Both of these cars bring their own flair and have developed a loyal following. But which one is right for you? 

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the key features, pros, and cons of both the Highlander and the Sorento Hybrid. Buckle up!

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureToyota HighlanderKia Sorento Hybrid
Brand HeritageLong-standing, trustedFresh, modern
EngineV6 (non-hybrid), 2.5L four-cylinder (hybrid)1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder
Interior SpaceMore spacious 3rd rowSmaller 3rd row
Fuel Efficiency (hybrid)Slightly betterCompetitive
Safety FeaturesToyota Safety Sense 2.0Kia’s safety suite (includes blind-spot monitoring)
PriceGenerally higherMore affordable
Warranty3 years/36,000 miles (basic), 5 years/60,000 miles (powertrain)5 years/60,000 miles (basic), 10 years/100,000 miles (powertrain)

Toyota Highlander: The Age-old Champion

Toyota Highlander
Toyota Highlander

Toyota’s Highlander has been around for quite some time, a testament to its quality and reliability.


  • Reliability: 

Toyota is renowned for its long-lasting vehicles, and the Highlander is no exception.

  • Smooth Ride: 

Its dynamic torque vectoring ensures a comfortable and smooth ride, even on rough terrains.

  • Impressive Fuel Efficiency: 

Especially in the Highlander Hybrid variant.

  • Advanced Safety Features: 

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 comes standard, providing features like pedestrian detection and lane departure alert.


  • Price Point: 

A bit on the pricier side when compared to some competitors, including the Sorento Hybrid.

  • Infotainment System: 

Some users have found it to be less intuitive than others in the market.

Also Read: Differences Between Green And Gray Tint Privacy.

Kia Sorento Hybrid: The Rising Contender

Kia Sorento Hybrid
Kia Sorento Hybrid

Kia has been making waves recently with its range of vehicles, and the Sorento Hybrid is a shining example.


  • Affordability: 

Typically comes in at a lower price point than the Highlander.

  • Eco-friendly: 

It offers a full hybrid powertrain, ensuring reduced emissions.

  • Luxurious Interior: 

The cabin is well-designed with modern tech and plush materials.

  • Warranty: 

Kia’s industry-leading warranty is hard to ignore, offering major peace of mind.


  • Smaller Cargo Space: 

When compared to the Highlander, its cargo space is somewhat limited.

  • Towing Capacity: 

Doesn’t match up to what the Highlander can haul.

From a real-user perspective, both vehicles have their charms. If you’re looking for a vehicle with a long-standing reputation for reliability and don’t mind shelling out a little extra, the Highlander might be your best bet. 

On the other hand, if you’re budget-conscious and want a modern, eco-friendly ride with a luxe feel, the Sorento Hybrid can be an excellent pick.

Key Differences Between Toyota Highlander and Kia Sorento Hybrid

Both the Highlander and Sorento Hybrid are excellent SUV choices, but they cater to slightly different audiences. Let’s break down their differences.

  1. Brand Heritage vs. Fresh Perspective

Toyota Highlander: 

Toyota’s name is synonymous with reliability. The Highlander, with its years in the market, benefits from Toyota’s legacy. It’s tried, tested, and many have trusted it for years.

Kia Sorento Hybrid: 

Kia is the challenger brand, bringing in fresh designs and perspectives. While not as long-standing as the Highlander, the Sorento Hybrid brings modern innovation to the forefront.

  1. Performance and Drivability

Toyota Highlander: 

Known for a robust V6 engine (in the non-hybrid version), the Highlander boasts powerful acceleration. The hybrid variant offers a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine combined with electric motors.

Kia Sorento Hybrid: 

It sports a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. While it might not have the Highlander’s sheer power, its setup offers smooth and efficient driving.

  1. Interior and Comfort

Toyota Highlander: 

A hallmark of the Highlander is its spacious interior. With a third row that can accommodate adults, it’s perfect for larger families. The design is refined, with quality materials making up the interiors.

Kia Sorento Hybrid: 

While it also offers a third row, the space is more suitable for kids. Where it shines is its modern infotainment setup and luxurious touches that give it an edge in terms of aesthetic appeal.

  1. Fuel Efficiency

Toyota Highlander Hybrid: 

One of the most fuel-efficient in its class, the Highlander Hybrid offers impressive MPG, making it perfect for both city and highway driving.

Kia Sorento Hybrid: 

It’s also fuel-efficient, although the exact MPG can vary based on specific conditions. However, in direct comparisons, the Highlander Hybrid often comes out slightly ahead.

  1. Safety Features

Toyota Highlander: 

With Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, the Highlander comes packed with features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and pedestrian detection.

Kia Sorento Hybrid: 

Kia’s suite of safety features is nothing to scoff at either. It includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and forward collision warning.

  1. Price Point

Toyota Highlander: 

Generally, the Highlander is more expensive. The brand name, combined with its features, drives its price point up.

Kia Sorento Hybrid: 

One of the main attractions of the Sorento Hybrid is its affordability. For the features it offers, it provides excellent value for money.

  1. Warranty and After-sales Service

Toyota Highlander: 

Toyota offers a basic warranty of 3 years/36,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of 5 years/60,000 miles.

Kia Sorento Hybrid: 

Kia outshines many competitors with its warranty. They offer a basic warranty of 5 years/60,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of 10 years/100,000 miles.

Also Read: Should You Get Volvo Protection Package Premier Or Just Protection Package?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the Highlander better than the Sorento? 

It’s subjective. The Highlander has a legacy of reliability, while the Sorento Hybrid offers affordability and modern design. Your preference will depend on your priorities.

Is the Highlander or the Sorento bigger? 

The Highlander tends to have more cargo space, making it a bit larger in terms of capacity.

What Kia SUV is equivalent to Toyota Highlander? 

The Kia Sorento and Telluride are often compared to the Toyota Highlander due to their size and offerings.

Which is better: Highlander or Highlander Hybrid? 

The Highlander Hybrid offers better fuel efficiency, but if you’re not driving long distances frequently, the regular Highlander might suffice and save you upfront costs.

What Toyota is comparable to a Kia Sorento? 

The Toyota Highlander is the closest match in terms of size, features, and market positioning.

Why is Highlander so popular? 

Its longevity in the market, reliability, and brand reputation of Toyota have made the Highlander a favorite among many.

Final Thoughts

Whether you lean towards the Highlander’s tried-and-true reputation or the Sorento Hybrid’s contemporary charm, both vehicles have a lot to offer. 

Assess your needs, budget, and priorities, then take each for a spin. In the world of hybrid SUVs, you’re spoilt for choice!

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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