Power, towing and fuel economy
The Telluride comes standard with a V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. With 291 horses and 262 lb-ft of torque, this V6 makes more horsepower than any of the Sorento's engine options. However, the Telluride is a bigger, heavier vehicle and you can feel the extra weight when driving around turns and slowing down at high speeds. On the plus side, the Telluride has a smoother ride and lets in less wind and road noise on the highway.
The Sorento has a few engine choices; our SX Prestige test vehicle came with the turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 281 horses and 311 lb-ft of torque. It also has an eight-speed automatic. The Sorento feels nimble and quick, and the engine is responsive and properly sporty. Which SUV wins the drag race? Well, it's the lighter, smaller Sorento with the turbo engine that leaves the Telluride in the dust. Y'know, if that stuff matters to you.
If it's towing that matters, however, the Telluride is the superior beast of burden. The Sorento's maximum tow rating is 3,500 pounds, as compared to the Telluride's 5,000-pound potential.
On the other hand, the smaller engine and smaller weight of the Sorento mean better fuel mileage. The EPA says to expect 26 mpg in combined city/highway driving from a Sorento with the four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. An all-wheel-drive Telluride checks in with just 21 mpg.
So, towing and hauling? Telluride. Quickly zipping past the gas pump? Sorento.