North Georgia Ford Compares 2013 Ford Explorer VS 2013 Kia Sorento Near Chatsworth, GA

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2013 Ford Explorer

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2013 Kia Sorento

Safety Comparison

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer XLT/Limited inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Sorento doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Explorer Limited/Sport offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The Sorento doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Explorer Limited’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Sorento doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Sorento doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Sorento doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Explorer’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Sorento doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Explorer (except Base) offers optional SYNC, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Sorento doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Explorer and the Sorento have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Kia Sorento:





4 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

192 lbs.

203 lbs.

Neck Compression

53 lbs.

60 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Kia Sorento:




5 Stars

4 Stars

Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

135 G’s

214 G’s

Hip Force

295 lbs.

402 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

3 Stars




Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

59 G’s

Hip Force

524 lbs.

1130 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

676 lbs.

952 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The Explorer’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Sorento runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 6 times as many Ford dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 45 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 25th.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer has more powerful engines than the Sorento:



Explorer 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

270 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 3.5 DOHC V6

290 HP

255 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Sport 3.5 turbo V6

350 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

Sorento 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

175 HP

169 lbs.-ft.

Sorento 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

191 HP

181 lbs.-ft.

Sorento 3.5 DOHC V6

276 HP

248 lbs.-ft.

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Explorer’s engines produce their peak torque at lower RPM’s than the Sorento:


Explorer 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

1750 RPM

Explorer 3.5 DOHC V6

4000 RPM

Explorer Sport 3.5 turbo V6

1500 RPM

Sorento 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

3750 RPM

Sorento 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

4250 RPM

Sorento 3.5 DOHC V6

5000 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Explorer has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Sorento doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Explorer’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Sorento:



Front Rotors

12.8 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.8 inches

11.9 inches

The Explorer’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Sorento are solid, not vented.

The Explorer stops shorter than the Sorento:



60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the Sorento (245/65R17 vs. 235/65R17). The Explorer’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sorento (255/50R20 vs. 235/65R17).

The Explorer’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sorento EX/SX’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Sorento’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Explorer has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Sorento’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Explorer has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Sorento doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 6.3 inches longer than on the Sorento (112.6 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 3.3 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Sorento.

The Explorer Limited 4WD handles at .81 G’s, while the Sorento EX AWD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Explorer Limited 4WD performs Popular Mechanics’ emergency lane change maneuver 4.9 MPH faster than the Sorento SX AWD (48.29 vs. 43.43 MPH).

The Explorer Limited 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Sorento EX AWD (27.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Sorento SX (7.6 vs. 7.1 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Explorer’s minimum ground clearance is .1 inch higher than on the Sorento (7.6 vs. 7.5 inches).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has 2.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Sorento (151.7 vs. 149.4).

The Explorer has 2.2 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front hip room, 2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 2.2 inches more rear legroom, .8 inches more rear hip room, 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.2 inches more third row headroom and 1.9 inches more third row legroom than the Sorento.

The Explorer offers an optional rear tailgate seat that can be flipped rearward and used for tailgate picnics. (Do not use seat reversed while vehicle in motion.) The Sorento doesn’t offer a rear tailgate seat.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the Sorento.



Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

9.1 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.8 cubic feet

37 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

80.7 cubic feet

72.5 cubic feet

The Explorer’s cargo area is larger than the Sorento’s in almost every dimension:



Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)






The Explorer has a standard third row seat, which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Sorento doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Explorer Limited’s optional third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Sorento doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults or children, the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport offers an optional power rear liftgate, which opens and closes completely automatically by pressing a button on the key fob. The Sorento doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Explorer Limited has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The driver can also remotely turn on the heater or air conditioner. The Sorento doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Explorer Limited’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Sorento doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Explorer and the Sorento have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Explorer is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Sorento prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and the driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sorento’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport’s exterior keypad. The Sorento doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Explorer’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Sorento’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Explorer Limited’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Explorer Limited detect other vehicles, which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sorento doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Explorer has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Sorento LX doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Explorer Limited/Sport offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Sorento doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Explorer Limited has a 115-volt a/c outlet in the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters, which can break or get misplaced. The Sorento doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Explorer Limited’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Sorento doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Explorer will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Explorer will retain 38.06% to 41.21% of its original price after five years, while the Sorento only retains 33.77% to 36.72%.

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