Let’s get out of town: Kia Sorento or Hyundai Staria

Which car is better suited for road trips, the Hyundai Staria or Kia Sorento?

Reuben Van Niekerk
New cars
Kia Sportage
Hyundai Staria
road trip

The new motus.cars advertising campaign showcases that whatever car you’re searching for, you can find it on motus.cars and is centred around lifestyle choices and milestones. One of the key messages of this campaign is “Let’s get out of town” and highlights vehicles which are perfect for those motorists who enjoy road trips with their family.

Motorists looking for a vehicle that allows them to get out of town have a wide variety of models and body shapes to choose from. The two most popular style of holiday vehicles for families are SUVs and MPVs and comparing two of the main contenders in the form of the Kia Sorento and the Hyundai Staria is a great way of helping motorists determine which is the best type of vehicle for their needs.

While these vehicles are similar in terms of pricing and size, they do offer some unique features that could make your getaway that much more enjoyable.

The case for the Kia Sorento

The fourth generation of Kia’s large family SUV is designed and engineered to take on everything that life throws at it. With new standards for space, efficiency, and quality, the Sorento is the flagship of Kia’s South African SUV line-up.

The exterior has been redefined with sharper lines, high tech details and elongated proportions resulting in a more confident and mature presence. The front evolves with a new interpretation of Kia’s tiger nose grille and LED daytime running lights. In profile the proportions are subtly adapted to make it appear longer. At the rear new vertical tail lamps wrap around the side of the body. Trim on the sporty lower rear bumper embodies the appearance of dual tailpipes and like the front features a skid plate to add to its tough aesthetic.

Inside an attractive cabin introduces premium quality materials, cutting edge infotainment technologies and a stunning new design that provides owners with a more striking, desirable, and comfortable experience. The intuitive, tech-oriented cabin is fitted with premium quality materials and cutting-edge infotainment.

The Sorento is based on Kia’s this generation N3 platform which provides superior space for people and cargo through intelligent packaging.

The Kia Sorento is an attractively styled SUV that boasts a spacious interior with high quality finishes and seating for up to seven passengers. Although with all seven seats in place loading space is somewhat limited. With the third-row stowed luggage capacity increases to 821 litres, allowing the car to accommodate up to five people in comfort along with a significant amount of luggage. Controls in the side wall of the boot allow users to fold down the second-row seat backs remotely at the touch of a button. The new platform maximises space in all three rows, offering more head, leg, and shoulder room than many rivals.

The 2.2-litre Smartstream diesel engine produces 148kW and 440Nm of torque and is paired with Kia’s new eight-speed wet double clutch transmission which is designed to offer the smooth shifting characteristics of a conventional automatic as well as enhanced fuel-efficiency. Performance is excellent and the Sorento returns a very respectable fuel economy figure of as low as 6.8 litres per 100km.

For those looking to head off the beaten track the Sorento offers good ground clearance and an all-wheel drive system that ensures just about any road can be traversed on your out-of-town journey.

Aided by fully independent suspension the Sorento delivers improved cabin insulation which reduces the effect that road surface imperfections have on the body, noise and vibrations through the suspension and body control and steering responses under cornering. The latest AWD models offer enhanced all-terrain capability thanks to Terrain Mode which carefully controls the cars standard electronic stability control as well as the distribution of torque when navigating tricky terrain such as mud, snow, and sand.

The futuristic Staria

Evoking the streamlined form of a spaceship, the Staria’s sleek exterior is defined by a single stroke running from front to rear, inspired by the curve of light that illuminates the Earth’s horizon when viewed from space. The front is embellished by horizontal daytime running lights and a positioning lamp running across the width of the vehicle. The clean silhouette is further accented by low-set headlamps and Hyundai uses the same body colour for all front parts to maximise the vehicle’s modern and pure style.

Lowered beltlines and panoramic side windows improve overall visibility and create a feeling of openness. The design continues to the rear where a wide window is framed by elongated tail lamps.

The futuristic Staria is certainly eye catching but ultimately the MPV is designed to offer high levels of spaciousness and versatility. Like the Sorento, the cabin offers an array of luxury and safety features and the variety of convenient storage spaces throughout the cabin is most impressive. The cruise ship inspired interior delivers an open and unique atmosphere through its innovative design architecture.

The Staria can comfortably accommodate between 9 and 11 passengers depending on the model. While loading space depends on how many seats are utilised, it certainly does offer high levels of versatility. For example, the rear bench seats can slide forward or backwards to allow for more space which prove extremely practical. For maximum loading space the rear seats can be folded away. When full flat mode is applied to the rear passenger seats the vehicle is perfect for activities that require a lot of room and interior flexibility, such as camping and sports where luggage space is needed for equipment.

Hyundai’s smart infotainment system with an eight-inch touch-screen display is fitted to all derivatives and includes a wide-angle camera rear park assist camera, aided by park warning sensors in both the front and rear bumpers. In Luxury versions the screen also displays a bird’s eye view of the car and its surroundings.

The Staria is fitted with a 2.2-litre VGT turbodiesel engine that offers 130kW and 430Nm. Power is transferred to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. For an MPV performance proved excellent while fuel consumption of 8.7 litres per 100km is acceptable given the vehicles size.

Ride quality is great too, but the Staria unfortunately does not offer the go anywhere capabilities of the Sorento.

The Staria offers the highest levels of passive an active vehicle safety thanks to six airbags and three-point seat belts and headrests on all seats as well as smart features such as Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist in top of the range derivatives.

Which is better suited for your next road trip

So, which one is better suited for your next road trip, the Kia Sorento or the Hyundai Staria? Both vehicles are similarly priced in both the new and pre-owned market.

Ultimately making the right choice for your journey or current lifestyle depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you are looking for the spaciousness of a seven-seater SUV with the ability to go just about anywhere, the Sorento might be the right choice for you. If you prioritise versatility and space, the Staria might be the better option. Either way, both vehicles are great choices for a fun and memorable road trip with your loved ones.

Browse the new, used and demo Hyundai Staria here

Browse new, used and demo Kia Sorento here