Nissan Rogue vs Kia Sorento – Saturday Showdown

In today’s Showdown, we’re looking at two leading small crossovers, the Nissan Rogue and the Kia Sorento. These two are direct competitors, both offering a third row, all-wheel drive, family-friendliness, and solid value. The winner of this comparison will go on to face off with another popular seller in this segment in an upcoming Showdown.

Fast VS Facts

Contenders: 2015 Nissan Rogue 2015 Kia Sorento
City/Hwy MPG:  26/33  20/27
Base Price: $23,040 $24,300
Strong Point:  Very fuel efficient  Family ergonomics
Weakness: Somewhat soft suspension Boring exterior
Showdown Score:  18  17

Daily Use Ergonomics

Rogue: 4 | Sorento: 4

2015 Nissan Rogue - trees 3 - AOA1200pxA close tie on this one. The Rogue has a great interior, extremely comfortable seating, and a wonderful build for getting in and out easily. The Sorento has a great ride, high-value interior layout, and solid ergonomics for daily use. Both are an excellent choice. The Sorento has a slightly larger interior, but is not as nimble in the parking lot as is the Rogue.

Family Friendliness

Rogue: 4 | Sorento: 5

2015 Kia Sorento - trees 3 - AOA1200pxThe Sorento is slightly larger than the Rogue and this pays off when it comes to family-oriented use. This means the second row is easily able to accommodate up to three without much cramping, whereas in the Rogue they are a bit tight. The third row in both vehicles is really only for children, but the cargo space in the Sorento is a bit easier to use with bulky or odd items. For those reasons, we give this one to the Sorento.

Ride Comfort

Rogue: 5 | Sorento: 4

2015 Nissan Rogue - interior 2 - AOA1200pxOn this metric, the win goes to the Rogue, largely due to its beautiful Zero Gravity seating and slightly softer ride. The Sorento has some great adjustment options in the upper trims, but the Rogue outdoes it at the base and middle levels of trim. On the highway and during long stints, the Rogue is superior.

Powertrain Options

Rogue: 5 | Sorento: 4

2015 Kia Sorento - interior 2 - AOA1200pxHere the win nearly goes to the Sorento. It’s offered with both a four-cylinder and a six-cylinder engine whereas the Rogue has only a four-cylinder available. On the other hand, the Rogue is far superior in fuel economy and in this segment, MPG trumps sportiness for most buyers. The Rogue’s four-cylinder is not without its merits on the road as well, being well-suited to the little crossover’s needs. For those looking for a bit more power, some towing capability, and a faster freeway merge, though, the Sorento’s V6 is well worth the money to upgrade.

Final Assessments

This was a close race. Both the Rogue and the Sorento are great crossovers with a lot to offer in terms of value, ergonomics, and overall excellence. In the end, however, the superior fuel economy and interior comfort of the Rogue win out and it takes the win in this week’s Showdown.

To read the individual reviews of the Showdown contenders, links are below for your convenience.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at