2019 Kia Sorento vs Subaru Outback

2019 Kia Sorento in Quakertown PA

In this comparison, we look at the 2019 Kia Sorento and the Subaru Outback. The Outback is a utility-driven vehicle earning its place in the wagon class, yet comparable in function to many SUVs. However, the Kia Sorento is larger and tech-packed compared to the Outback. Aside from some exterior styling changes, the fresh new 2019 Kia Sorento has preferred standard and optional features, such as three-row seating and full LED headlights. And like any Kia, for your connected lifestyle, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are always included.

Both models have minor revisions and feature updates for the 2019 model year, but the question here is which offers a superior ride, ample leg-room, cargo space, reliability, and all-weather performance. Keep in mind, the Sorento models having the optional V-6 engine now come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The optional 2.0-liter turbo-four is discontinued. We think it’s a perfect match-up, scroll down to read how they compare.

 2019 Kia Sorento


2018 Subaru Outback 

7 passengers

Maximum Passengers 5 passengers

39.4 inches

Second-Row Leg Room 38.3 inches

38 cubic feet

Cargo Volume to Second Row 35.5 cubic feet

5000 lbs.

Maximum towing capability 2700 lbs.

290 @ 6,400 rpm

Maximum Horsepower 256 @ 6,000 rpm

109.4 inches

Wheelbase 108.1 inches

2019 Kia Sorento Advantages Over the 2018 Subaru Outback.

The reason we paired these two is for several reasons, but let’s start with how the Subaru Outback endures against the 2019 Kia Sorento. We didn’t pick the Outback because it’s a bad vehicle, we picked it because it is the best comparable vehicle. Now, anyone looking for a midsize SUV with AWD, then the Subaru has a wonderful platform. However, when it comes to cargo volume and passenger space, the Outback cannot compare to the Sorento.

Our favorite benefit is the 2019 Kia Sorento offers all-wheel drive at price comparable to the Subaru Outback. Everyone knows Subarus offer all-wheel drive as a standard feature.

What most manufacturers are fearful of is Kia outfitting their vehicles with technology better than ever before. Also, the 2019 Kia Sorento is fitted with a more refined interior experience, and a longer wheelbase to ensure a smoother ride. And, with a maximum towing capacity almost doubling the Outback, you can seat more passengers, pack more stuff, and pull a trailer carrying the Subaru Outback. We never tried it, but it sounds good!

At the beginning of this comparison, we mentioned the third-row seating capacity. Did you know seating was a deciding factor for many who chose the Kia Sorento over the Subaru Outback? Third-row seating means the 2019 Kia Sorento is large enough to transport the entire family and friends. Sadly, the Outback has less room to stretch out, and when the family has filled the seats, there is less room to bring things along.

In closing, the Subaru Outback is an impressive vehicle in the mid-size crossover SUV class, but it just doesn’t measure up to the 2019 Kia Sorento’s spaciousness, luxurious sophistication and the option to travel with up to 7 passengers.


Vehicles showed with optional equipment. Actual price set by dealer and may vary. See dealer for details. Some features only available as part of packages. Gateway Kia & Kia Motors reserves the right to make changes at any time as to vehicle availability, destination, and handling fees, colors, materials, specifications, features, accessories, packages, and models. Not responsible for typographical or computer errors.