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2012 Kia Sorento

Overview
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2012 Kia Sorento Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.3

The 2012 Kia Sorento SUV continues to buck the trend toward larger, thirstier and more expensive mid-size SUVs. Built in Kia's new West Point, Georgia, manufacturing facility, the 2012 Kia Sorento also bucks the trend toward shipping American jobs off shore. With available seating for seven, some of the most advanced engine and transmission offerings in the marketplace, and a list of creature comforts that looks more Lexus-like than Kia-originated, the 2012 Kia Sorento SUV is one attractive prospect. Toss in Kia's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and suddenly the Chevy Equinox, Toyota Highlander and Mazda CX-7 start looking a little weak in the knees. And, although the 2012 Kia Sorento SUV can seat up to seven people, the 4-cylinder entry-level models are priced and equipped more like the mid- to up-level versions of the smaller Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Murano.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2012 Kia Sorento promises a lot and never fails to deliver. It's attractive, versatile, fuel-efficient, affordable, reliable, and it has one of the nicest interiors we've seen in this category in a long time.

You May Not Like This Car If...

About the only negative we can think of regarding the 2012 Kia Sorento SUV is that it can't be taken off-roading (a Nissan Xterra is better suited for that) and its ability to tow is limited to 3,500 pounds.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Kia Sorento SUV adds an optional gasoline direct-injection (GDI) 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine to the lineup earning top marks for horsepower and fuel economy. Also new this year is the addition of YES essentials fabric that provides anti-bacterial, anti-soil and anti-static properties. Last year's base-model Sorento and manual transmission are dropped for 2012.

Driving the Sorento

Driving Impressions Well-mannered, well-balanced, easy to maneuver and easy to live with, the 2012 Kia Sorento - coming with a choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) – is truly...

a driver-friendly travel mate. The new gasoline direct-injection 2.4-liter 4-cylinder has more horsepower than the standard 2.4-liter engine, pumping out 191 horsepower yet achieving laudable fuel economy. We like this engine very much and think most people will be quite satisfied with its power and smoothness. The 3.5-liter V6 adds considerably more enthusiasm in either configuration without exacting too much of a fuel-economy hit and ups the Sorento's maximum tow rating from 1,650 to 3,500 pounds. The 2012 Kia Sorento SUV's wide track and fully independent front and rear suspension give it a smooth, controlled ride with only the slightest hint of excessive lean occurring during hard cornering. The Sorento's low-key stability control allows for some measure of reasonably spirited driving. However, even modestly rough roads tend to produce more noise and impact harshness than you'd expect in the Sorento's otherwise notably well-isolated cabin. Although lacking a low-range transfer case, the Sorento's torque-on-demand all-wheel-drive system does include a lockable center differential.

UVO infotainment system
Introduced on the 2011 Sorento, Kia's answer to Ford's SYNC also is built around Microsoft's Windows Embedded Automotive software and offers a full spectrum of user-friendly features, expanded voice-recognition capability and is easy to update.

World-class warranty
The 2012 Kia Sorento SUV is protected by the automaker's outstanding 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage that includes 24-hour roadside assistance as well as a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.

2012 Kia Sorento Details
Interior

Kia interiors have been getting better and better over the years, and the 2012 Kia Sorento SUV is no exception. The dash and door panels show great detail and thought, as do the numerous soft-touch surfaces, but what really strikes our fancy are the numerous cloth patterns and leather color combinations that go a long way in making this rather middle-class SUV look and feel like it is part of the one percent. Seating in the first two rows is supportive and generous in space, but the available third-row seat, like so many in the class, is best relegated to small children or very limber adults. The Sorento's second-row seat is of the 60/40-split folding kind, which is useful for carrying bulky cargo items larger than the Sorento's 37 cubic feet of stowage space (that number falls to 9.1 with the third-row seat in place).

Exterior

Taking its visuals cues from the Kia concept shown in 2007, the 2012 Kia Sorento SUV is endowed with an arguably conservative profile dressed up with a snazzy front end. The design is intended to help cheat the wind while also creating a strong and secure cocoon around the interior occupants. The 2012 Kia Sorento SUV has plenty of ground clearance, all-important for forging through deep snow, and its big wheel-and-tire combinations range from 17 inches on the LX trim, to 18 inches on the EX and SX models. Upper-end trims get more brightwork, such as chrome door handles as well as a stainless-steel rear bumper step pad and LED taillights.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Beyond a 175-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, 5-passenger base LX Sorento models feature a full range of power assists, air conditioning, multifunction/tilt/telescoping steering wheel, trip computer, cruise control, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with Sirius Satellite Radio, USB/AUX ports and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity. The EX trim nets dual-zone climate control, rear-seat air conditioning, Kia's UVO infotainment system, an 8-way power driver's seat, upgraded interior trim, a rearview camera, foglights, automatic headlight control and a rear spoiler. Sitting atop the Sorento range, the SX boasts full-leather seating, a premium Infinity sound system, navigation with real-time traffic and more.

Optional Equipment

The 2012 Kia Sorento LX option roster includes a Convenience Package (roof rails, foglights, heated front seats, 2.4-liter gasoline direct-injection engine, Backup Warning System) and folding third-row bench. A gasoline direct-injection 2.4-liter can be added to the LX and is standard on the EX trim. The LX V6 can be upgraded with the same Convenience Package as the 4-cylinder, and EX buyers can add a Premium Plus Package (leather, heated front seats, rearview camera, Infinity Surround Sound and power-folding outside mirrors) and/or a Limited Package that brings navigation with real-time traffic, cooling seats, power-folding mirrors, and rearview camera. A panoramic sunroof and a black/dove 2-tone interior is the sole SX option package.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Kia Sorento SUV offers three gasoline engines. Its port-injected 2.4-liter 4-cylinder makes 175 horsepower and 169 lb-ft of torque while the 3.5-liter V6 turns out a far more energetic 276 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. The new GDI (gasoline direct-injection) 2.4-liter 4-cylinder may be the perfect choice, with 191 horsepower and EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of up to 30 mpg. All versions feature a new Kia-designed 6-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission.


2.4-liter in-line 4
175 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
169 lb-ft of torque @ 3,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 (FWD), 21/27 (AWD)

2.4-liter in-line 4 GDI
191 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
181 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 (FWD), 20/26 (AWD)

3.5-liter V6
276 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 (FWD), 18/24 (AWD)

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2012 Kia Sorento Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 234 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Ride can be harsh

By on Monday, August 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Size and adaptability of seats."

Cons: "Bumpy ride."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"General quality is good Some features are very good. This was my first new car. Disappointed it does not have a softer ride. I like it but my wife complains all the time about how it takes bumps on the road. I just paid $225.00 to replace a broken inner taillight. I thought that price was very excessive."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great, Reliable, Comfortable, Car.

By on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable seating, great drive, great price"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this car for over 2 years. I have a 2011. Purchased it as a certified preowned with very low mileage. Great car for the money. Great Warrenty. Great, comfortable ride. I have a 6 cylinder all wheel drive with the 3rd row seating. The middle row of seats recline fully and are just as comfortable as the front seats. I have grown children and have taken several trips from NJ to Florida in it. Very comfortable ride. The 3rd row seat is tight for adults but great for kids."

7 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Most comfortable SUV and priced reasonably

By on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfy seats, easy to drive, roomy"

Cons: "Don't like set up on steering wheel for phone"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this 4 cyl SUV new and love it-more power than imagined! Much roomier than my Honda-CRV and gas mileage is comparable. I am looking at the new 2015 because I put a lot of miles on this SUV in the last 2 yrs. Everyone that has rode in it says it is so comfy -even my grandkids! The back seats are as comfy as the front-except my front seats are heated. I recommend this SUV and guarantee you won't be sorry."

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

What's not to like? Looks good, drives good.

By on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good looking machine."

Cons: "Gas mileage could be better."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Very, very good price for the vehicle. I really believe it is as good as $40,000 and up similar SUV's. Looks as good as the Lexus RX 350 and is comparably equipped. Feels solid and after two years and 35,000 miles, nothing but routine service. I have the six speed, six cylinder version. Actual mileage around town is 21-22 mpg. On the road at the speed limit, 23-25. The UVO entertainment system is a good one."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

What a great deal

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great value, very comfortable"

Cons: "not the greatest gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned one for over 2 years. This vehicle is comfortable, has a ton of amenities, is roomy, and is a fraction of the price of similar SUVs. The handling of a vehicle of this size is quite surprise; it has a very tight turn radius and is extremely stable and secure. I don't even think about roll-overs in this vehicle. I have the V6, so it has lots of power when you want it, especially with the semi-manual transmission. I added a tow hitch, which adds a lot of possibilities to its use. It has been reliable so far. The only complaint is that the gas mileage is on the low side: I average 22-24 MPG."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Im Happy

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,670

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Everything as far as Im concerned."

Cons: "None...Its a good car"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I am on my second Sorento. I now drive a 2014 after trading my 2012. Great Ride! I really like this vehicle. Really good power for a 4 cyl. Great at cruising the expressway, or buzzing around town. Im a big guy, 6'2 225 pounds and I have plenty of room. Very comfortable seats and you are able to obtain many configurations with the seats and adjustable steering wheel. Really good steering response for a vehicle of this type. I do a lot of driving on the expressway and get really good mileage at cruising speeds, about 31 mpg. I get around 25 around town. Stereo is great and so is the voice command. Im impressed with the voice command. Great Feature that actually works. I recommend a Kia for sure!"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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