Greene Ford Compares 2014 Ford Explorer VS 2015 Kia Sorento Near Flowery Branch, GA

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2014 Ford Explorer

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2015 Kia Sorento

Safety Comparison

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport 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.

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 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, 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:





5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Compression

.4 inches

.4 inches

Neck Compression

31 lbs.

51 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:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

.8 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

135 G’s

159 G’s

Hip Force

295 lbs.

379 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

56 G’s

Hip Force

524 lbs.

669 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

676 lbs.

945 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’ 2013 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 13th in reliability. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 21st.

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

365 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

Sorento LX 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

191 HP

181 lbs.-ft.

Sorento 3.3 DOHC V6

290 HP

252 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Explorer 2.0 ECOBoost is faster than the Sorento LX 4 cyl.:



Zero to 60 MPH

9.2 sec

9.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16.9 sec

17.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

82.9 MPH

80.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer 2.0 ECOBoost gets better fuel mileage than the Sorento LX 4 cyl. FWD (20 city/28 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

The Explorer has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sorento (18.6 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 or a tether to prevent losing the cap.

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

11.9 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.

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.

The Explorer stops shorter than the Sorento:



70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

128 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 SX/Limited’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 19-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.

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 3.1 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Sorento.

The Explorer Limited 4WD handles at .77 G’s, while the Sorento SX AWD pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Explorer Limited 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Sorento LX AWD (27.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Sorento (7.6 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space Comparison

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, 1 inch more rear legroom, .8 inches more rear hip room, 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.1 inches more third row headroom and 1.5 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

36.9 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 every dimension:



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



Max Width



Min Width






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.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Explorer (except Base/XLT) 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 climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Sorento doesn’t offer a remote starting 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 rear windows just as it does the other passengers.

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.

The Explorer has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Sorento only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

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.

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.

To help keep rear passengers entertained, the Explorer offers optional rear seat controls for the radio which can play a separate audio source. The Sorento doesn’t offer rear seat audio controls.

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 48.1% to 51.24% of its original price after five years, while the Sorento only retains 42.77% to 43.65%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Explorer is less expensive to operate than the Sorento because it costs $27 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Explorer than the Sorento, including $108 less for fuel injection and $377 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Explorer as the 2011 North American Truck of the Year. The Sorento has never been chosen.

The Ford Explorer outsold the Kia Sorento by 82% during 2013.

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