2019 Subaru Ascent VS 2019 KIA Sorento Comparison in Salt Lake City, UT

June 5, 2019

Whether you need a big vehicle to carry the whole family around or just lots of extra cargo space, a three-row SUV may be just what you're looking for. And with its impressive performance and off-road capability, the 2019 Subaru Ascent is the perfect 3-row SUV for your Utah lifestyle. Of course, there are other three-row SUVs out there, like the 2019 Kia Sorento. The Kia Sorento starts with a lower MSRP; however, when you compare the two, you'll see that you get what you pay for. Subaru gives you impressive value for your money, coming out on top as an exceptional vehicle. Once you've seen how these two compare below, we invite you to head to Nate Wade Subaru for a test drive.

A view of the interior of a 2019 Subaru Ascent with the 2nd and 3rd rows folded, showing max cargo space.

Subaru Ascent vs Kia Sorento: Interior Dimensions & Capacity

The 2019 Subaru Ascent and the 2019 Kia Sorento have similar passenger volume; however, Subaru has one huge advantage. It comes standard as an 8-passenger SUV, though the available second-row captain's chairs will decrease this number to seven. However, seven is the most that the 2019 Kia Sorento can fit. And with more front and middle-row headroom and more front-row legroom (as well as identical third-row headroom and legroom), and more shoulder room in all three rows, the Subaru Ascent gives you more room to stretch out.

It's not just passenger space where the Subaru Ascent excels; it's also better for cargo. Fold down the second and third rows of seating in the 2019 Subaru Ascent and you'll get a maximum cargo volume of up to 86.5 cubic feet. Doing the same thing in the 2019 Kia Sorento will get you just 73 cubic feet. What's more, the 2019 Subaru Ascent comes standard with roof rails for extra cargo. These are available upgrades on the 2019 Kia Sorento.


The center console of a 2019 Subaru Ascent, complete with A/C controls and touchscreen

Subaru Ascent vs Kia Sorento: Convenience & Tech Features

Of course, there's more to your comfort and convenience than space alone. Subaru recognizes this, which is why every 2019 Subaru Ascent comes standard with tri-zone automatic climate control. The 2019 Kia Sorento, on the other hand, has manual air conditioning as the standard, with dual-zone automatic temperature control being available on higher trim levels. Additionally, the 2019 Subaru Ascent has available 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability to keep you connected. You won't find anything like this in the Kia Sorento.

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Close-up of a 2019 Subaru Ascent, showing a wheel on a dirt path.

Subaru Ascent vs Kia Sorento: Performance Specs

The 2019 Subaru Ascent is powered by a six-cylinder BOXER® engine that generates an impressive 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. Compare this to the 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque you'll get in the Kia Sorento and it's clear that the Subaru Ascent is much brawnier. Despite the difference, these two SUVs still get similar gas mileage. The Kia Sorento is available with an upgraded engine that has more horsepower than that of the Subaru Ascent; however, it also has noticeably less torque.

And when it comes to off-road capability, the Subaru Ascent is hard to beat. Its 8.7 inches of ground clearance, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, and standard off-road features like X-MODE® (which helps improve traction on low-friction surfaces) and Hill Descent Control make it more than a match for the wild places in the state. The Kia Sorento, on the other hand, comes standard as a front-wheel drive vehicle, with AWD being an available upgrade. It lacks hill descent control, and it only has 7.3 inches of ground clearance.


A 2019 Subaru Ascent driving down a suburban street in the rain.

Subaru Ascent vs Kia Sorento: Safety

Both of these 3-row SUVs received the prestigious 2019 Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, marking them as some of the safest SUVs on the road. However, Subaru once again has the advantage. The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive that comes standard on every new 2019 Subaru Ascent gives it extra traction on all kinds of road surfaces, making it easier for you to stay in control of your vehicle.


The rear backup camera in a 2019 Subaru Ascent.

Subaru Ascent vs Kia Sorento: Driver Assist Technology

Every 2019 Subaru Ascent, even the entry-level model, comes with EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology. This includes lane departure/sway warning, pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist. To be fair, these are all features that you can find in the 2019 Kia Sorento . . . but you'll have to pay more. They're not even available until you get to the EX Sport trim level, which costs nearly $3,000 more than the entry-level Subaru Ascent.

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Why Choose Subaru in Salt Lake City, UT?

You've already seen how the 2019 Subaru Ascent compares to the 2019 Kia Sorento, but there's so much more that makes Subaru the natural choice for your Utah lifestyle. The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive that comes standard on most Subaru models makes them perfectly suited to an outdoor lifestyle of fun and exploration. Subaru has also been Kelley Blue Book's Most Trusted Brand for five years running, so you can be sure that your Subaru will last you a long time. What's more, Subaru is a company that truly cares. In addition to being the country's first Zero-Landfill automaker, Subaru encourages its dealerships to make their local communities better places.

As America's oldest exclusive Subaru retailer, Nate Wade Subaru has a long history of carrying on this way of life. We're part of the Subaru Eco-Friendly Retailer Program, and have also earned the 2019 Subaru Love Promise Customer and Community Commitment Award. This means that we've been recognized for our exceptional customer service and our commitment to the community. We partner with local organizations like Happy Chemo and the American Diabetes Association to help make this happen. And of course, we also have a great selection of new Subaru models available for purchase or lease. We look forward to seeing you at 1207 South Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111.

2019 Subaru Ascent2019 Kia Sorento
$31,995Starting MSRP*$26,290
StandardAll-Wheel DriveAvailable Upgrade
27 Highway/21 CityFuel Economy (MPG)29 Highway/22 City
260Horsepower185
277 lb-ftTorque178 lb-ft
5,000 lbs.Max Towing Capacity3,500 lbs.
StandardRoof RailsAvailable Upgrade
StandardSatellite RadioAvailable Upgrade
8 OccupantsSeating Capacity7 Occupants
86.5 Cubic FeetMax Cargo Volume73 Cubic Feet

*Manufacturer's suggested retail price does not include destination and delivery charges, tax, title and registration fees. Destination and delivery includes handling and inland freight fees and may vary in some states. Prices, specifications, options, features and models subject to change without notice.