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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A blue 2020 Ford Edge ST is driving through a city after winning the 2020 Ford Edge vs 2020 Kia Sorento comparison.

2020 Ford Edge vs 2020 Kia Sorento – The Ford has the Edge

The 2020 Ford Edge vs 2020 Kia Sorento – which car comes out on top? These two midsize crossover SUVs are close in size, and both are popular buys. However, there are some significant differences between them. On the surface, these would seem to favor the Kia Sorento – after all, it has more seats and a starting price several thousand dollars lower. But a more in-depth comparison will reveal that unless you absolutely need those extra seats or cannot afford to pay the extra money for the Ford, then the 2020 Kia Sorento falls short of the 2020 Ford Edge in several vital aspects.

Inside the Competitors

The 2020 Ford Edge and 2020 Kia Sorento are nearly identical in length, with the Sorento measuring 189″ against 188.8″ for the Edge. But the Ford is taller and wider at 68.3” and 75.9” against the Kia’s 66.3” and 74.4”. This gives the 2020 Ford Edge a noticeable advantage in the headroom (40.2” in the front and 40.3” in the back vs 39.5” and 39.3”) and shoulder room (60.3” and 60.5” vs 59.1” and 58.0”). However, the extra length of the Kia does not translate into it having more legroom.

This is because the Sorento has seven seats while the Edge has five seats. Although more seats may appear to be a good thing (especially if you need to transport more than five people), the truth is that the Sorento is really too small for seven seats and the third row is extremely cramped with only 36.3” of headroom, 52.8” of shoulder room, and 31.7” of legroom. Fitting an adult back there is practically impossible, and even children will be cramped. And to provide the third row, Kia had to sacrifice second-row legroom as well, resulting in only 39.4” against 40.6” in the Ford.

With all seven seats in place, the Sorento also has virtually no cargo space (just 11.3 cubic feet), making such a configuration entirely impractical for any trip. Even if you intend to keep the third row folded most of the time, the Sorento still comes in a bit behind the Edge for cargo space at 38.0 cubic feet against 39.2 cubic feet. However, with all seats folded, the difference is mostly gone as the Ford offers a maximum of 73.4 cubic feet against 73.0 cubic feet for the Kia.

In short, if you need to seat seven, the 2020 Kia Sorento is not a great solution, and the compromises required to fit that third-row resulted in a far more cramped interior even when the third row is not in use. If seven seats are a requirement, then do yourself a favor and look at larger SUVs such as the Ford Explorer. The additional cost of the larger vehicles is not much when compared to how much more interior room they offer.

A grey/blue 2020 Kia Sorento is parked in a field with mountains behind it.

American Horsepower

The second significant difference between the 2020 Ford Edge and 2020 Kia Sorento is the engines. The lower L and LX trims for the Sorento are equipped with a 2.4L engine producing 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. Although such an engine may be acceptable on a midsize sedan, it is a poor choice on an SUV weighing 3,850 pounds and results in sluggish acceleration.

In comparison, the base engine on the Edge is a turbocharged EcoBoost that produces 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Adding insult to injury, the much more powerful Ford gets virtually the same gas mileage at 21 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway against Kia’s 22 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. This is partly the result of the modern eight-speed automatic transmission on the 2020 Edge, while the 2020 Sorento makes do with an older six-speed automatic. It is important to note that the AWD versions of both cars are slightly worse.

While the 2020 Kia Sorento does offer a V6 engine (290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque) that is both comparable to the Ford EcoBoost and comes with an eight-speed transmission of its own, this option is only available on the more expensive S, EX, and SX trims. The V6 also gets noticeably worse fuel economy than the EcoBoost, at 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway.

Finally, it should be noted that all trim levels of the 2020 Ford Edge are available with AWD, while this is not an option for the base trim on the 2020 Kia Sorento. This significant difference in performance between the lower and higher trims of the Sorento means that it is effectively two different cars. And while the lower trims are acceptable budget SUVs, they are simply in a different league than the Ford Edge.

Features Favor the Ford

When it comes to features, the dual nature of the Kia Sorento is again readily apparent. While the 2020 Ford Edge comes with a vast amount of standard features in all its trims, the base trims of the 2020 Kia Sorento are incredibly lacking.

To begin with, all trims on the 2020 Edge come with Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 suite of advanced driver safety technologies that include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot, and rear cross-traffic alerts, lane-keep assist, and automatic high beams. To get all of those features in the 2020 Sorento, you will have to upgrade to the EX trim (however, everything except lane-keep assist is available on the LX trim, providing you select the $2000 Convenience Package).

For luxuries, the story is similar. The base SE trim of the Ford Edge comes standard with keyless entry, push-button start, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an infotainment system with satellite radio and a 4G LTE wireless hotspot. In the Kia Sorento, you have to upgrade to the LX trim to get automatic climate control and power driver’s seat, while push-button start only comes on the S trim and higher. To get satellite radio and a 4G LTE wireless hotspot, you will have to upgrade to a different car entirely as they are not available on any trim of the Sorento.

A woman is using the backup camera in a 2020 Ford Edge in a city.

Low Price vs High Value

The only real advantage of the 2020 Kia Sorento over the 2020 Ford Edge is its low starting price – just $26,990 for the base trim. And if that is all you can afford, then the Sorento will serve you well. However, if you compare the higher trims of the Sorento that have a similar feature set to the base trim of the Edge, then the Ford comes out ahead on price. An AWD version of the Edge SE costs $33,095 and compares favorably to the Sorento S at $33,190. While the Ford lacks the heated seats and 19” wheels of the Kia, it has more sophisticated safety and infotainment systems as well as more interior volume for passengers and cargo.

Moving up to Ford’s mid-level SEL trim and the Kia’s second-highest EX trim, the price comparison is now $36,340 for the Edge and $35,490 for the Sorento. However, the gap between the two vehicles opens wider in favor of the Ford Edge. Not only does the Edge SEL get a 9-speaker sound system while the Sorento EX still has a 6-speaker system, but it also gets a power-adjustable front passenger seat and a heated steering wheel.

In the end, the 2020 Ford Edge has the edge over the 2020 Kia Sorento. In terms of comfort, power, features, and value, the Kia offering falls short of being able to compete with Ford on an even playing field.

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