2016 Kia Sorento vs. 2016 Honda Pilot

2016 Kia Sorento vs. 2016 Honda Pilot

The family-friendly crossover market is a crowded and competitive one. SUVs are a hot commodity since they provide plenty of room for growing families but are more stylish than traditional minivans or even station wagons (which have evolved to smaller hatch backs).

Leading the pack in the crossover market are models like the Kia Sorento and the Honda Pilot. Both are affordable models that are packed with features, and both provide a safe and comfortable ride even for larger crews.

As we head toward the final half of the year, information has been released about the coming year's models, which should make it to dealerships in the next couple of months or so. Here's what we know right now about how the 2016 Kia Sorento and the 2016 Honda Pilot compare:

Exterior Impressions

The 2016 Kia Sorento and the 2016 Honda Pilot have a similar exterior design, but they each have a distinct personality.

The 2016 Kia Sorento is more muscular than the 2016 Honda Pilot. Thanks to its thicker body, it appears to sit higher on the road and to tower over other vehicles. The front end is almost as tall as a sedan, and the mesh grille takes up a significant part of the front fascia. Large air intakes sit under winged head lights, creating an interesting frame for the split grille.

The 2016 Honda Pilot appears to sit lower to the ground, and its profile is not distinctive. A black bar runs around the bottom of the body, creating an interesting visual accent. The grille features metallic bars that run seamlessly into the headlights.

Both models have cargo bars on the roof, and they have a similar rear end. The Sorento has more striking chrome wheels that provide a visual contrast with the body while the Pilot has black-rimmed wheels that fade away beneath the body.

Interior Design and Features

2016 Kia Sorento InteriorInside the 2016 Kia Sorento, you will find a monochromatic cabin with soft black upholstery and black paneling. A few chrome accents are included, but the interior is singular in its effect. The Sorento provides seating for seven in its three rows. Seating is comfortable, and there is plenty of legroom and headroom for all passengers.

Even those sitting in the back row won't feel cramped. Parents will be glad of the black fabric on the seats, which will hide most stains. The fabric is also treated to be resistant to those stains that would otherwise still show up against the dark background. 

A sampling of interior features includes heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, optional heated second-row seats, and climate control. An 8-inch touch screen shows the infotainment system, which also includes USB ports, auxiliary jacks, and an 115-volt and 12-volt outlet. Drivers can hook up their smartphones to charge them or to stream the audio.

The infotainment system also includes features like satellite radio, navigation, and a parking minder to help you find your Sorento even in a crowded mall lot.

Inside the 2016 Honda Pilot, you'll find a cabin that has been improved over the previous year's model, with higher-quality materials in place of all the hard plastic. The dash has been lowered and streamlined, and it includes remote start and a touch screen infotainment system with an interface like you would find on a smartphone.

The system includes features like Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, USB ports for charging and streaming, and satellite radio. Some reviewers have noted that the Pilot's infotainment system is slow to respond, even if it does have a user-friendly interface. However, the Pilot does come with a rear seat entertainment system that may make up for it with some buyers.

Under the Hood

The nice thing about buying a crossover is that you can get powerful performance even while getting a family friendly vehicle. Minivans, on the other hand, offer engines that are no more powerful than sedans.

The 2016 Kia Sorento comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 185 horsepower while the 2016 Honda Pilot comes with a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 280 horsepower. The base model Pilot is more powerful than the Sorento, but the Sorento comes with two additional engine options that put it on par with the Pilot.

Other engine choices for the Sorento include a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that puts out 240 horsepower and a 3.3-liter V6 that puts out 290 horsepower. Not only does the Sorento provide buyers with more flexibility, but it also offers more power when looking at comparable engines. The base model 2016 Sorento gets the fuel economy of 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, the 2016 Pilot gets 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

With both, you will enjoy a smooth and comfortable ride, but with the Sorento, you will enjoy more freedom to create the driving experience you want. You'll get better fuel economy, which will help you save more money in the long run -- a crucial benefit for families.

2016 Honda Pilot InteriorSafety Features

Both the 2016 Kia Sorento and the 2016 Honda Pilot are loaded with safety features. The new Sorento has been designed with an improved steering system and suspension that helps it to resist high wind gusts and to stay in control over rough terrain. Six airbags come standard, including side curtain airbags for the front two rows.

Other available safety features include forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, and a surround view camera.

The new Pilot doesn't have the surround view camera, but it does come standard with a backup camera, as well as numerous other safety features, such as stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes and air bags.

Pricing

The 2016 Kia Sorento sells for quite a bit less than the 2016 Honda Pilot. You can buy the Sorento starting at $24,900, and you can buy the Pilot starting at $29,995. Both should be arriving at dealerships within the next few months.

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