When it comes to midsize SUVs, the 2023 Kia Sorento and Lexus RX both stand out as top contenders in their respective segments. Each vehicle offers a unique set of features and benefits that cater to a wide range of preferences and budgets.
In this comparison, we’ll delve into the key aspects of each model to help you determine which SUV is the right choice for you and your family.
The 2023 Kia Sorento boasts a bold and rugged design, with clean lines and an aggressive stance. The signature tiger-nose grille, coupled with sleek LED headlights and daytime running lights, provides a distinctive appearance. The Sorento’s athletic profile is accentuated by its sculpted body, chrome accents, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The Lexus RX stands out with its sharp and futuristic exterior design. The prominent spindle grille, flanked by sharp LED headlights, creates an unmistakable front fascia. The flowing body lines and floating roof design add a sense of elegance and sophistication. The standard 18-inch alloy wheels and available 20-inch options further enhance the RX 350’s presence on the road.
The 2023 Sorento’s interior is a well-designed space, featuring high-quality materials and an attractive layout. The cabin is adorned with soft-touch surfaces and available leather upholstery, creating a refined atmosphere. The user-friendly infotainment system is anchored by a standard 8-inch touchscreen display (10.25-inch available), with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Lexus is known for its luxurious interiors, and the RX 350 is no exception. The cabin is appointed with high-quality materials, including available semi-aniline leather and wood trim. The standard 8-inch infotainment display can be upgraded to a 12.3-inch high-resolution split-screen display. The Lexus Enform App Suite, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto integration ensure seamless connectivity.
The 2023 Sorento offers comfortable seating for up to seven passengers across three rows. The standard configuration includes cloth upholstery, with available options such as leather, heated and ventilated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. The second-row captain’s chairs are optional, providing easier access to the third row, which is best suited for children.
The Lexus RX 350 can accommodate up to five passengers comfortably in two rows of seating. The standard NuLuxe synthetic leather upholstery provides a luxurious feel, while options like semi-aniline leather, heated and ventilated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat offer an even higher level of comfort. The RX 350L trim adds a third row, increasing seating capacity to seven, although the third row is best reserved for smaller passengers.
The 2023 Sorento provides ample storage space for families on the go. With all three rows in use, the Sorento offers 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space, which expands to 38.5 cubic feet with the third row folded. With both the second and third rows folded, the Sorento boasts a generous 75.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity.
The RX 350 offers 18.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, which can be expanded to 56.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. For those opting for the RX 350L trim with a third row, cargo space is reduced to 7.5 cubic feet behind the third row, but it can still be expanded to 58.5 cubic feet with both rear rows folded. While not as spacious as the Sorento, the RX 350 still provides adequate cargo space for most families.
The 2023 Kia Sorento offers multiple powertrain options, allowing drivers to choose the performance that best suits their needs. The base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that delivers 191 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque, while the available turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder produces an impressive 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. For those seeking a more eco-friendly option, a hybrid and plug-in hybrid variant are also available.
The Lexus RX 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 295 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, providing smooth and responsive acceleration. While there are no alternative powertrain options, the RX 350 offers a well-rounded performance suitable for most drivers.
Fuel efficiency varies depending on the chosen powertrain for the 2023 Sorento. The base engine yields an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The turbocharged engine offers slightly reduced fuel economy, with 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
The hybrid and plug-in hybrid models provide the best fuel efficiency, with the hybrid achieving up to 39 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, while the plug-in hybrid offers an estimated 79 MPGe combined and a 32-mile all-electric range.
The Lexus RX 350 achieves an EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. While these numbers may not be as impressive as the Sorento’s hybrid options, they are still respectable for a luxury midsize SUV.
Kia places a strong emphasis on safety, and the 2023 Sorento is equipped with numerous advanced safety features. Standard features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and a rearview camera. Optional safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a surround-view camera system.
The Lexus RX 350 also boasts an array of standard safety features, including the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0. This suite includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams. Optional safety features include a head-up display, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a surround-view camera system.
The 2023 Sorento is available in six trim levels: LX, S, EX, SX, SX-Prestige, and X-Line SX-Prestige AWD. Each trim offers various features and options, catering to different preferences and budgets.
The Lexus RX 350 is available in three main trim levels: base, F Sport, and RX 350L. The base and F Sport trims can be further customized with available option packages, allowing buyers to tailor the vehicle to their specific needs.
The 2023 Kia Sorento offers a competitive starting price, with the base LX trim starting at around $30,000. Moving up the trim levels, the S and EX trims are priced around $33,000 and $37,000, respectively. The higher-end SX and SX-Prestige trims start at around $40,000 and $44,000, respectively. The top-of-the-line X-Line SX-Prestige AWD trim starts at approximately $46,000.
As a luxury midsize SUV, the Lexus RX 350 commands a higher price point. The base trim starts at around $46,000, while the sportier F Sport trim begins at approximately $49,000. The RX 350L, which offers a third row of seating, starts at around $48,000. Prices can increase significantly with the addition of option packages and premium features.
Price and Market Positioning:
The most significant difference between the Kia Sorento and Lexus RX 350 is their positioning within the market. The Sorento is aimed at the more budget-conscious consumer, with a starting price of around $30,000. The Lexus RX 350, being a luxury midsize SUV, comes with a higher price tag, starting at around $46,000.
The Kia Sorento comes standard with three rows of seating, accommodating up to seven passengers. In contrast, the Lexus RX 350 has a standard two-row configuration, seating up to five passengers. The optional RX 350L trim adds a third row, increasing the seating capacity to seven, but it comes at an additional cost.
The Sorento offers more cargo space overall, with up to 75.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity when both the second and third rows are folded. The RX 350 has a maximum cargo capacity of 56.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. In the RX 350L trim, this increases slightly to 58.5 cubic feet with both rear rows folded.
The 2023 Kia Sorento provides multiple powertrain options, including a base engine, turbocharged engine, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid. The Lexus RX 350 only offers a single powertrain option – a 3.5-liter V6 engine. This gives the Sorento an edge in terms of customization and fuel efficiency.
With its hybrid and plug-in hybrid options, the Sorento delivers better fuel efficiency than the RX 350. The Sorento’s hybrid variant gets up to 39 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, while the plug-in hybrid offers 79 MPGe combined with a 32-mile all-electric range. The RX 350 achieves 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, which is respectable but less impressive than the Sorento’s eco-friendly options.
Luxury and Refinement:
The Lexus RX 350 boasts a more luxurious and refined cabin compared to the Sorento. With higher-quality materials, such as semi-aniline leather and wood trim options, the RX 350 offers a more upscale experience. However, the Sorento still provides a well-designed interior with high-quality materials at a more affordable price point.
The Kia Sorento has six trim levels available (LX, S, EX, SX, SX-Prestige, and X-Line SX-Prestige AWD), providing a wider range of choices for buyers. The Lexus RX 350 offers three main trims (base, F Sport, and RX 350L), with the possibility of further customization through optional packages.
Both the 2023 Kia Sorento and Lexus RX 350 are exceptional midsize SUVs that have a lot to offer. The Sorento stands out with its versatile powertrain options, greater cargo space, and affordability, making it an excellent choice for those seeking value and practicality. On the other hand, the Lexus RX 350 shines in terms of luxury, refinement, and overall driving experience, making it the go-to choice for those seeking a premium SUV. Ultimately, the decision between these two vehicles will come down to your individual needs, priorities, and budget.
2023 Kia Sorento:
- Exterior Design
- Bold and rugged design
- Signature tiger-nose grille
- Sleek LED headlights and daytime running lights
- Sculpted body with chrome accents
- 18-inch alloy wheels (standard)
- Interior Design
- High-quality materials and attractive layout
- Standard 8-inch touchscreen display (10.25-inch available)
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility
- Seating for up to seven passengers
- Cloth upholstery (standard)
- Optional leather, heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable driver’s seat
- Second-row captain’s chairs (optional)
- 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space (with all rows in use)
- 38.5 cubic feet (with third row folded)
- 75.5 cubic feet (with second and third rows folded)
- Multiple powertrain options
- Base engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder (191 horsepower, 182 lb-ft of torque)
- Available turbocharged engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder (281 horsepower, 311 lb-ft of torque)
- Hybrid and plug-in hybrid options available
- Fuel Efficiency
- Base engine: 24 mpg city / 29 mpg highway (EPA-estimated)
- Turbocharged engine: 22 mpg city / 29 mpg highway (EPA-estimated)
- Hybrid: 39 mpg city / 35 mpg highway (EPA-estimated)
- Plug-in hybrid: 79 MPGe combined, 32-mile all-electric range (EPA-estimated)
- Standard features: forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, rearview camera
- Optional features: blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, surround-view camera system
- Trim Levels
- LX, S, EX, SX, SX-Prestige, X-Line SX-Prestige AWD
- Base LX: around $30,000
- S: around $33,000
- EX: around $37,000
- SX: around $40,000
- SX-Prestige: around $44,000
- X-Line SX-Prestige AWD: around $46,000
Lexus RX 350:
- Exterior Design
- Sharp and futuristic design
- Prominent spindle grille
- Sharp LED headlights
- Flowing body lines and floating roof design
- 18-inch alloy wheels (standard), 20-inch options available
- Interior Design
- Luxurious materials, including available semi-aniline leather and wood trim
- Standard 8-inch infotainment display, 12.3-inch high-resolution split-screen display (optional)
- Lexus Enform App Suite, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto integration
- Seating for up to five passengers (seven with RX 350L trim)
- Standard NuLuxe synthetic leather upholstery
- Optional semi-aniline leather, heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable driver’s seat
- 18.4 cubic feet of cargo space (behind the second row)
- 56.3 cubic feet (with rear seats folded)
- RX 350L: 7.5 cubic feet (behind the third row), 58.5 cubic feet (with second and third rows folded)
- 3.5-liter V6 engine (295 horsepower, 268 lb-ft of torque)
- Eight-speed automatic transmission
- Fuel Efficiency
- 20 mpg city / 27 mpg highway (EPA-estimated)
- Standard features: Lexus Safety System+ 2.0, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, automatic high beams
- Optional features: head-up display, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, surround-view camera system
- Trim Levels
- Base, F Sport, RX 350L
- Base: around $46,000
- F Sport: around $49,000
- RX 350L: around $48,000
- Prices may increase with option packages and premium features