Greene Ford Compares 2010 Ford Explorer VS 2011 Kia Sorento Near Cumming, GA

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2010 Ford Explorer

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2011 Kia Sorento

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Ford Explorer are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Kia Sorento doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The Explorer offers optional SYNC, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get 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.

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

The Ford Explorer weighs 520 to 1044 pounds more than the Kia Sorento. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 to get service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Ford Explorer’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Sorento’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

The engines in the Explorer have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Sorento have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

The Explorer V8 has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Sorento doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Ford Explorer 4x4’s reliability will be 23% better than the Sorento and the Ford Explorer 2WD will be 28% better than the Sorento.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2009 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 8th in initial quality. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 15th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 59 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 25th.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer’s standard 4.0 SOHC V6 produces 35 more horsepower (210 vs. 175) and 85 lbs.-ft. more torque (254 vs. 169) than the Sorento’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Explorer’s 4.0 SOHC V6 produces 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (254 vs. 248) than the Sorento EX’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6. The Explorer’s optional 4.6 SOHC V8 produces 16 more horsepower (292 vs. 276) and 67 lbs.-ft. more torque (315 vs. 248) than the Sorento EX’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Explorer has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sorento (22.5 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Explorer has a standard capless 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 capless fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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



Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Explorer has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Sorento doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, 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’s 55 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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the Sorento (113.7 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

The Explorer’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52.5% to 47.5%) than the Sorento’s (56% to 44%). This gives the Explorer more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Sorento (8.3 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has .6 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more rear shoulder room, .8 inches more third row headroom, 3.6 inches more third row legroom and .9 inches more third row hip room than the Sorento.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Explorer’s middle row seats recline. The Sorento’s middle row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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



Behind Third Seat

13.6 cubic feet

9.1 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.9 cubic feet

37 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

45.1 cubic feet


Second Seat Folded

85.8 cubic feet

72.5 cubic feet

The Explorer’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Sorento’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Explorer offers a 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 Sorento doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Explorer (except XLT), the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and foot pedal distance. The Sorento doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Explorer (except XLT)’s optional 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’s 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.

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