Kia Sorento vs Land Rover Discovery Sport
Kia’s new Sorento aims to mix off-road ability with the premium feel of cars like the Land Rover Discovery Sport. Does it deliver?
The best SUVs on the market need to be fantastic all-rounders to make an impact in such a highly competitive class. They have to deliver the versatility of an MPV and be as comfortable as an executive car while still having decent off-road ability. And the latest arrival in the sector is the all-new Kia Sorento.
This third-generation model, as you’d expect, is bigger than ever, and it comes with seven seats as standard. In typical Kia fashion, the Sorento features plenty of kit; but with prices ranging from £29,000 to £41,000, this is one Kia that’s closing in on premium brand territory.
The question is, can it compete in this rarefied atmosphere? To find out, we’ve lined the Sorento up against a car that will test its credentials to the max: the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
The Disco also has seven seats and an upmarket interior, plus it carries a similar price tag. But unlike the Kia, it’s classed as a compact SUV – indeed, it was crowned best in the category at our New Car Awards 2015.
Can the Sorento’s larger dimensions give it the edge in this contest? Or is the Discovery Sport enough of a class act to make up for its lack of stature? We tested both models in town, on the motorway and even off-road to see how they measured up.
Car group tests
- Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace vs Kia Sorento: 2022 twin test review
- New Dacia Jogger vs used Kia Sorento: 2022 twin test review
- Toyota RAV4 vs Kia Sorento
- Kia Sorento vs Skoda Kodiaq
Used car tests
Click the links above to read individual reviews, and scroll down to see which car comes out on top...
If you often carry seven adults, the Sorento is the car to go for. Its back seats (above) are easier to access, have more head and legroom and are easy to fold. The Disco’s rearmost seats are smaller, as is its boot. Land Rover quotes a 981-litre capacity to the roof, but according to our measurements it has less space under the load cover than the Kia.
While the Sorento is the seven-seat choice, the Discovery Sport is the off-road champ. Its Terrain Response system (above) adapts the traction control, engine and box to suit road conditions, while hill descent control is standard. On the Kia, you get hill start assist, but the 4WD system is automatic.
Kia doesn’t offer any options aside from metallic paint (£575), but Land Rover allows for a lot of personalisation. There are contrast roof colours and different wheels, while inside you can add plush leather and upgrade the sound system, too.
1st place: Land Rover Discovery Sport
It was close, but the Discovery Sport takes victory here with its combination of a high-quality cabin, first-class road manners and decent practicality. Sure, the back seats aren’t the roomiest around, but they’re good enough for most trips, while its off-road ability gives it an advantage. And if you order one now, you’ll benefit from Land Rover’s efficient new diesel (below).
2nd place: Kia Sorento
There’s no doubt that if you want a seven-seater but don’t want to buy an MPV, the Sorento is a great choice due to its roomy back row. It has a spacious boot and is reasonably comfortable, too. Still, while this is the most upmarket Kia yet, it still doesn’t quite match the Land Rover for desirability or quality. We’d recommend one of the lower-spec models instead.
Coming soon... Is it worth waiting for this model?
Land Rover Discovery Sport TD4
Due: September Price: £35,700Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 178bhp
Order a Discovery Sport now, and your car will feature the new TD4 engine, which emits 139g/km of CO2. That means a 25 per cent Benefit in Kind rate and annual road tax of £130, while fuel economy improves to 53.3mpg.
|Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.2 SD4 SE Tech||Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi KX-3|
|On the road price/total as tested||£35,700/£35,700||£35,845/£36,420|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£20,171/56.5%||£17,564/49.0%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£2,131/£4,262||£2,137/£4,273|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,877/£3,128||£1,412/£2,354|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||34/£571/H/£205||26/£598/G/£180|
|Servicing costs||£499 (5yrs/50k)||£349 (3yrs/30k)|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/2,179cc||4cyl in-line/2,199cc|
|Peak power/revs||187/3,500 bhp/rpm||197/3,800 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||420/1,750 Nm/rpm||422/1,800 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||9-spd auto/4WD||6-spd man/4WD|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||65 litres/£150||71 litres/full alloy|
|Boot capacity (7/5/2 seats)||N/A/981**/1,698 litres||142/605/1,662 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||11.6 metres/N/A||10.9 metres/N/A|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (unltd)/3yrs||7yrs (100,000)/1yr|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||16,000 miles (1yr)/130||20,000 miles (1yr)/170|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||29th/28th*||19th/10th*|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||93/83/69/5||90/83/67/5|
|0-60/30-70mph||9.0/9.2 seconds||9.0/9.5 seconds|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||3.3/3.6 seconds||3.7/5.0 seconds|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th||5.5/7.1/8.6/11.0 secs||7.5/9.7 secs/N/A/N/A|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||117mph/1,600rpm||124mph/2,000rpm|
|Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph||63.1/45.3/12.8m (wet)||48.4/34.8/8.9m|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||35.0/7.7/500 miles||46.5/10.2/726 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||216/166g/km/30%||163/161g/km/30%|
|Auto gearbox/stability/cruise control||Yes/yes/yes||£1,755/yes/yes|
|Clim ctrl/heated leather/elec tailgate||Yes/part/yes||Yes/yes/yes|
|Metallic paint/xenons/panoramic glass||£600/£950/£950||£575/yes/yes|