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|295 - 710||Horsepower (hp)||191 - 281|
|85.1||Cargo Space (cu.ft.)||75.5|
|8,700||Max towing (lbs)||3,500|
If you're shopping for a midsize SUV, you've probably discovered there's no shortage of choices. With so many to choose from, how will you know which one is right for you? We suggest checking out the 2021 Dodge Durango vs 2021 Kia Sorento for a comparison of two category leaders. These two SUVs are full of the features buyers want, but one delivers a more comprehensive list of benefits.
When you're spending upwards of $30,000, it's important to choose wisely. Also, price isn't the only consideration. You'll want to think about safety features, cost of ownership, and even cabin and cargo space. If you're looking for a bargain, a more price-focused search will examine the entry-level trims. If you want creature comforts, you'll be more at home looking at the top-end offerings.
If it sounds confusing, don't worry! Shopping for a new SUV doesn't have to take hours of research and multiple trips to the local dealer for test drives. Instead, decide what's most important – price, towing capability, performance, safety, etc. – and work backward from there. Looking at the Durango vs Sorento, these two SUVs offer multiple trims and a variety of options for all kinds of buyers and wishlists.
For 2021, the Durango comes in six basic trims – the SXT, the SXT Plus, the GT, the GT Plus, the R/T, and the Citadel. There are also two additional high-performance versions: the SRT and the SRT Hellcat. All SXT and GT trims come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine. The SXT offers 18-inch wheels, and the GT upgrades to standard 20-inch wheels. All four trims are available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Choose the sporty Durango R/T, and you'll get a larger 5.7-liter V8, along with 20-inch wheels and a heated D-shaped steering wheel.
The high-end 2021 Durango Citadel includes the 3.6-liter V6, a standard 10.1-inch touchscreen, Nappa leather seating with heat and ventilation for the driver and passenger, and the second-row bench seat gets swapped out for a pair of captain's chairs. The Citadel also includes a full suite of driver-assist safety systems, including Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking and Adaptive Cruise Control. Finally, the performance-oriented SRT and SRT Hellcat trims bring V8 power to the table, offering 475 horsepower and 710 horsepower, respectively.
The 2021 Kia Sorento comes in only five different trims – the base LX, the S, the EX, the SX, and the SX Prestige. Both the LX and the S are powered by a small 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, while the EX, the SX, and the SX Prestige include a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available for an extra cost. If you want navigation, you'll need to choose one of the top two trims. In fact, most tech features, like satellite radio, a wireless phone charger, and push-button start, aren't available on the base model at all.
In a side-by-side comparison of the mid-range trims, the 2021 Dodge Durango GT outscores the Sorento EX in standard features and available extras. Most notable is the powertrain, with the Durango GT offering a standard V6 with 6,200 pounds of towing capacity as compared to the Sorento EX, which is powered by a 4-cylinder engine that sets it up to haul just 3,500 pounds. Also, Kia's larger 10.25-inch touchscreen isn't available on the EX. Durango GT buyers have the option to upgrade.
How does a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen sound? How about heated and cooled Nappa leather seats? The 2021 Durango offers all that and more, with next-gen technology and expansive interior space for both passengers and cargo. There's seating for up to seven, with the third row offering 33.5 inches of legroom. Dodge boasts the Durango's interior can be configured up to 50 different ways. Total passenger volume is a sizable 141 cubic feet, and max cargo volume sits at 85.1 cubic feet.
The Sorento offers far less passenger volume, at 105.3 cubic feet, and max cargo volume is substantially lower, at 75.5 cubic feet. The worst news for Sorento buyers with big families is the vehicle's cramped third row. There's a scant 36.8 inches of headroom and 29.6 inches of legroom for passengers in the back. Also, the floor is substantially higher in the third row, making it feel extra tight.
The 2021 Sorento is equipped with a standard 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen on the lower three trims, and a 10.25-inch screen comes with the upper-end SX and SX Prestige models. The system offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity standard, but even on the upper-level trims with the larger touchscreen, wireless smartphone integration is not available. Both the Durango and the Sorento offer navigation, a WiFi hotspot, and a convenient wireless charging pad.
The Durango's two lower trims are equipped with a larger 8.4-inch screen standard, while the rest of the Durango trims get access to the larger 10.1-inch option. Both infotainment options run on Uconnect, FCA's robust infotainment operating software, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are offered. Car and Driver calls the Durango's infotainment system "one of the best on the market" because it's responsive to commands and easy to operate. The Durango is also available with an optional dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system that includes HDMI ports for streaming content.
When comparing the Durango and Sorento on a pure performance level, it's not even close to a fair fight. That's because Dodge has introduced the new and supremely powerful 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat. Dubbed the most powerful SUV ever, the Hellcat is powered by a massive 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 engine that makes 710 horsepower and is capable of propelling the Durango to 180 MPH. 20-inch wheels and Brembo brakes, along with a special hood designed for improved airflow, optimize the Durango Hellcat's street performance capability.
Kia doesn't offer a high-performance Sorento trim, so if next-level speed and agility are on your list, your only option is the Durango Hellcat. The Sorento offers five different trims and two engine options, depending on the trim selected. The standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine makes just 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque, while the 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder increases horsepower and torque to 281 and 311, respectively. Obviously, those numbers fall far below the Hellcat's capabilities, but what about the rest of the Durango lineup?
There are eight different trims and four available engines for the 2021 Durango, and even the standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 makes a capable 295 horsepower. Upgrade to the 5.7-liter V8, and you will enjoy a bump to 360 horsepower. For maximum performance, look for the 6.4-liter V8 that pumps out 475 horsepower or, of course, the supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat V8 with its 710 horsepower.
Across the board, the Durango handily beats even the most powerfully-equipped Sorento trim, which means performance-oriented buyers should head to a Dodge dealer. And performance doesn't just mean raw speed - the Durango offers a max towing capacity of 8,700 pounds, far more than the Sorento, which maxes out at just 3,500 pounds. Even the base model Durango can haul up to 6,200 pounds. If you're concerned about capability, the Durango is probably the SUV for you.