Honda Cars of Katy Compares 2017 Honda Pilot VS 2017 Kia Sorento Near Houston, TX

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2017 Honda Pilot

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2017 Kia Sorento

Safety Comparison

The Pilot EX/EX-L/Touring/Elite has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 Pilot 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Honda Pilot is safer than the Kia Sorento:







5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Stress

189 lbs.

209 lbs.

Neck Compression

46 lbs.

81 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

46/243 lbs.

27/330 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, results indicate that the Honda Pilot is safer than the Kia Sorento:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.7 inches

Abdominal Force

101 G’s

108 G’s

Hip Force

269 lbs.

309 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

58 G’s

Hip Force

304 lbs.

818 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Pilot its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2017, a rating granted to only 44 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Sorento is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2017.

Warranty Comparison

The Pilot’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 35 percent more Honda dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Pilot’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The engine in the Pilot has 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.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 17th.

Engine Comparison

The Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 95 more horsepower (280 vs. 185) and 84 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 178) than the Sorento’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 40 more horsepower (280 vs. 240) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 260) than the Sorento EX’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 252) than the Sorento’s optional 3.3 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Pilot is faster than the Kia Sorento:



Sorento 4 cyl.

Sorento EX

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

9.1 sec

9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16.9 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.2 MPH

82.7 MPH

83.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Pilot gets better fuel mileage than the Sorento:







3.5 V6/9-spd. Auto

20 city/27 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

3.3 V6/Auto


3.5 V6/6-spd. Auto

19 city/27 hwy






19 city/25 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto


3.5 V6/9-spd. Auto

19 city/26 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

3.3 V6/Auto


3.5 V6/6-spd. Auto

18 city/26 hwy

17 city/23 hwy

3.3 V6/Auto

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Pilot’s fuel efficiency. The Sorento doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Pilot Touring/Elite’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Sorento doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Pilot 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.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Pilot stops shorter than the Sorento:





60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Pilot has larger tires than the Sorento (245/60R18 vs. 235/65R17).

The Pilot LX/EX/EX-L’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sorento L/LX’s standard 65 series tires. The Pilot Touring/Elite’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Sorento SX/Limited’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Pilot LX/EX/EX-L has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Sorento L/LX. The Pilot Touring/Elite’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Sorento SX/Limited.

The Pilot has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Sorento doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Pilot (except LX)’s optional drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Sorento doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Pilot’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the Sorento (111 inches vs. 109.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Pilot is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Sorento.

The Pilot Elite 4WD handles at .83 G’s, while the Sorento LX pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Pilot Elite 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Sorento LX (27.8 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Pilot uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Sorento doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Pilot has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Sorento can only carry up to 7.

The Pilot has .6 inches more front headroom, 2.4 inches more front hip room, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear hip room, 4 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.6 inches more third row headroom, .2 inches more third row legroom, 3.2 inches more third row hip room and 4.8 inches more third row shoulder room than the Sorento.

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

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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




Behind Third Seat

18.5 cubic feet

11.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.9 cubic feet

38 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

109 cubic feet

73 cubic feet

Ergonomics Comparison

The Pilot’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sorento’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left down on the Pilot the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Sorento can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Pilot’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 Pilot Elite’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Pilot’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Sorento’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Pilot Elite detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sorento doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Pilot’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Sorento doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

The Pilot (except LX/EX)’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Sorento’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pilot is less expensive to operate than the Sorento because it costs $432 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Pilot than the Sorento, including $19 less for an alternator, $103 less for fuel injection, $60 less for front struts, $1475 less for a timing belt/chain and $89 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Honda Pilot, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2016 issue and they ranked the Honda Pilot Elite 4WD higher than the Kia Sorento LX.

The Honda Pilot outsold the Kia Sorento by 10% during the 2016 model year.

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