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2017 Hyundai Santa Fe vs Kia Sorento

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe vs 2017 Kia Sorento

We are celebrating SUV month at Carsforsale.com. Midsized, third row SUVs have commandeered the market, encouraging innovation in the industry. With the recent redesign of the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe, and the 2017 Kia Sorento carrying over last year’s refresh, let’s look at two affordable and reliable midsized SUVs and what they have to offer.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Overview

  • 3.3 L V6 Engine
  • 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque
  • Up to 18 City / 25 mpg Highway
  • $30,800 Starting
  • 10-year / 100,000-mile powertrain, 60 month / 60,000-mile basic warranty, and 60 month / unlimited mile roadside assistance

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe

 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Review


With refreshed fascia and rear-end, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe is bold, but not bulky. The 18” alloy wheels, chrome accents, and LED running lights are a modest hint at the many premium features it carries. The headlights wrap up and slightly over the front fender while the newly designed brushed-appearance grille sits neatly between them. Approaching in a rearview mirror, it says “get out of the way.” For a mid-generation refresh, it sets itself apart from other SUVs nicely, without losing any of the “dapper” we expect from the Santa Fe.

The Interior

With room for up-to seven passengers, the Santa Fe has a clean, roomy interior. While not the most spacious in its class, the third row offers extra seating when you need it. The new center stack layout holds a standard 7-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth hands-free smartphone system. Steering wheel mounted audio and cruise control keeps your hands on the wheel, and the rearview camera is a great standard feature to get you out of a tight parking spot. The Santa Fe doesn’t disappoint, with several other standard features.

Additional standard features include:

  • Android Auto
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • 12-way power driver seat
  • Stain-resistant cloth seats
  • Dual-zone automatic temperature control with CleanAir Ionizer
  • Sliding 40/20/40-split second-row seating
  • Six-speaker sound system
  • Satellite/HD radio
  • Hyundai Blue Link System


The 6-speed automatic transmission is paired with a 24-Valve DOHC 3.3 L V6, producing 290 hp and 252 lb-ft torque. Estimated mileage is 21 mpg combined for the standard FWD option and 20 mpg combined for the available AWD. With smooth shifting, quick acceleration, and a max towing capacity of 5,000 lbs, expect some pep and power from the Santa Fe.


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe 2017 Top Safety Pick+ honors. It has not yet been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). With the Santa Fe, safety comes first by design. Standard safety equipment includes roof-mounted side-curtain airbags with rollover sensors and driver’s knee airbag, Brake Assist, Hill-start Assist Control with Downhill Brake Control and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Available safety features include Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Smart Cruise Control.


Want more bang for your buck? Other standard features include roof rack side rails, headed side mirrors, privacy glass windows, and USB jacks. Our favorite optional feature on the base model for parents is the Hands-free Smart Liftgate with auto-open which is standard on the Limited, SE Ultimate, and Limited Ultimate trims.

 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Interior


Hyundai’s 10-year / 100,000-mile powertrain, 60 month / 60,000-mile basic warranty, and 60 month / unlimited-mile roadside assistance.

2017 Kia Sorento Overview

2017 Kia Sorento (Base)

  • 2.4 L 4-Cylinder Engine
  • 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque
  • 21 mpg City / 28 mpg Highway
  • $25,400 Starting
  • 120 month / 100,000-mile Powertrain, 60 month / 60,000-mile basic warranty

2017 Kia Sorento EX

  • 3.3 L V6
  • 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque
  • 18 mpg City / 25 mpg Highway
  • $33,100 Starting
  • 120 month / 100,000-mile powertrain, 60 month / 60,000-mile basic warranty, and 60 month / 60,000-mile roadside assistance

2017 Kia Sorento Review


The Kia Sorento underwent a full refresh in 2016, giving it a more attractive quality. 2017’s Sorento carries over the design from last year. What makes it most interesting is the size and shape are that of a minivan, but doesn’t lose the appearance of a Sorento. Standard 17-inch alloy rims (18-inch on the V6 EX), a unique bulleted grille, and powerful LED running lights help it stand out.

 The Interior

Crafted with high quality, soft touch materials, the Sorento offers a classy cabin. It has plenty of legroom in the second row and rides quietly and comfortably – perfect for longer trips or quick errands around town. The third row offers seating when you need it and is great for children or smaller adults. The second and third-row seats fold down to provide plenty of cargo space, and we love the nicely designed cargo storage compartment in the rear cargo area for even more storage space and organization. Upgrade to the 10-speaker Infinity Audio system for world-class sound, and upgrade the seats to enjoy heated first and second rows and ventilated driver and front passenger seating.

 Standard features include:

  • Steering Wheel Mounted Audio, Hands-free Phone, and Cruise Control
  • Stain-resistant cloth seats
  • Apple CarPlay (late availability) and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth
  • Sliding 40/20/40-split second-row seating
  • Dual-Zone Climate Control
  • 50/50 Split-Folding third-row seats (EX)
  • 10-way power driver seat (EX)
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Six-speaker sound system
  • Satellite/HD radio


Quiet and smooth by design, the Sorento provides a tranquil driving experience. Three engine options are offered, paired with 6-speed automatic transmission. For the environmentally minded consumer, The base 2.4 L 4-Cylinder produces 185 hp and 178 lb-ft torque with 24 mpg combined fuel efficiency. The 2.0 L Turbocharged 4-Cylinder produces 240 hp and 260 lb-ft torque, and the 3.3 L V6 produces 290 hp and 252 lb-ft torque. If you are looking for enough up and go and gusto to haul, opt for the 3.3 L V6. It has the power and performance you want and can tow up-to 5,000 lbs.


The IIHS awarded the 2017 Kia Sorento Top Safety Pick+ honors in 2016 and the NHTSA scored the Sorento 5 Stars overall. Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, Brake Assist, Hill-start Assist Control, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Roll Over Mitigation (AWD), and Cornering Brake Control(AWD) come standard.

Available Safety Features include:

  • Vehicle Stability Management
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Smart Cruise Control
  • Blind Spot Detection
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Surround View Monitor

What do the Safety Ratings mean?


Heated Mirrors with LED turn signal indicators come standard, as does privacy glass, Sirius XM audio, and USB jacks. Optional features include rearview camera, roof rails, 4.3-inch touch screen, blind-sport monitor, dynamic headlights, and heated seating.

Kia Sorento Interior


120 month / 100,000-mile powertrain, 60 month / 60,000-mile basic warranty , and 60 month / 60,000-mile roadside assistance.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe vs Kia Sorento

  • Both the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe and the 2017 Kia Sorento are affordable and reliable, something anyone can admire in a vehicle.
  • While the Santa Fe and Sorento both have smaller third-row seating and less cargo space in comparison to other competitors in their class, the Santa Fe pulls ahead with just a tad more space and nicer features.
  • In terms of value, the base Sorento comes in with a lower price tag and just a few less options than its Santa Fe Sport.
  • When comparing apples to apples, the Sorento EX and Santa Fe are comparable in price, but the Santa Fe offers more standard features for the money. But that’s not to say that the Santa Fe has more trim and package options overall.
  • The Sorento offers something for just about everyone, particularly for someone looking for better gas mileage in the 2.4 L 4-Cylinder Sorento. However, it doesn’t harvest the power to tow heavier loads and you sacrifice acceleration that is available for the Santa Fe and Sorento EX and above.
  • As for the warranties, nothing comes close to these two in the segment, both offering impressive 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranties, and 5-year, 60,000-mile basic warranties.
  • Kia’s Tecmo Bo commercial is fantastic.

In any case, dependent on what you are looking for, you really can’t go wrong with the Santa Fe or the Sorento. You’ll get your money’s worth and peace of mind knowing that you’re covered under warranty for many miles, or years, ahead.

The Rest of the Competition

Which midsized SUV do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!

Dustin "Dusty" Rhodes

A fan of nice round numbers and working on tiny European cars, Dusty is the proud owner of a '58 Lloyd 600, a '50 FIAT 500, and is currently on the hunt for a Vespa 400. And, despite all that repair work, he still finds time to write about cars. 

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