2012 Kia Sorento Review

3 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2012 Kia Sorento Review
Kia Sorento

2012 Kia Sorento

Following a very well-received redesign for 2011, the 2012 Kia Sorento soldiers on, offering an expanded range of engines, an available third-row seat, a sporty drive, and plenty of style. It also leapfrogs its cousin, the Hyundai Santa Fe, to take over the mantle of best budget midsize SUV, with a starting price that undercuts those of highly regarded small SUVs like the 2011 Toyota RAV4, 2011 Honda CR-V, and the best-reviewed 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. For a complete rundown and analysis of reviewers’ feedback, see our comprehensive report on the 2011 Kia Sorento.

Direct-injected four-cylinder engine, new top trim join the lineup for 2012

The Sorento now has three engine offerings. A 2.4-liter, 175-horsepower four-cylinder is standard in the Base and LX trim levels. The new-for-2012 four cylinder is a variant of that same engine, equipped with direct injection, which contributes to its higher output of 191 horsepower.

The DI four-cylinder is available on the LX trim and standard on the EX trim. The most powerful engine in the 2012 Kia Sorento is the same 276-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 offered last year. It’s available for the LX and EX trim levels, and is standard in the new, range-topping Sorento SX, which features sportier looks and a more performance-oriented suspension tune.

Other than the new engine, the Sorento carries over largely unchanged from last year.

An available ventilated driver’s seat, stain-resistant seat fabric, and the introduction of the new UVO voice-activated infotainment system (like Ford’s SYNC, it’s developed in partnership with Microsoft).

Fuel-economy breakdown

With the base 175-horsepower four-cylinder, available with front-wheel-drive only, the EPA rates the Kia Sorento at 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway/22 mpg combined with the standard six-speed manual. Upgrading to the six-speed automatic improves the Sorento’s fuel economy estimates to 21 mpg city/28 highway/24 combined.

The new 191-horsepower four puts up better numbers. With front-wheel-drive, it’s good for an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway/25 mpg combined. Adding all-wheel-drive drops those numbers to 21 city/27 highway/23 combined.

Kia Sorento

With front-wheel-drive, the 3.5-liter V6 delivers numbers similar to those of the base four-cylinder: 20 mpg city/26 hwy/22 combined. The all-wheel-drive V6 models are the least efficient Kia Sorentos available, with an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 18 mpg city/24 highway/20 combined.

In reviews, critics note that they have difficulty hitting the EPA fuel-economy estimates in real-world driving.

Good safety scores

The Kia Sorento is a 2011 Top Safety Pick at the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It excels in all tests there, scoring the top rating of Good for front, side, and rear-impact protection, as well as roof strength. In government tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2011 Sorento earns a 4-star (out of 5) overall rating, after getting 4-star scores (again, out of 5) in front-impact, side-impact, and rollover-resistance tests.

The 2012 Kia Sorento has not yet been evaluated by NHTSA, but since it is essentially the same vehicle, it’s reasonable to expect equal or better performance when it undergoes its tests.

Standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes, electronic stability control, and front, front-side, and side-curtain airbags.

Kia Sorento
Kia Sorento
Kia Sorento
Kia Sorento
Kia Sorento
Kia Sorento
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