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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 255 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
    8.8/10

Crash believer

By on Friday, January 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Handles crashes well"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I hit a huge deer last week (Buck) and the Kia took it well! Yes a lot of damage, $6800, but inside we hardly felt it. I would rather have the damage to the vehicle than the occupants. Hit passenger side front and took quite a bit of exterior and engine damage, but the frame is fine and inside we hardly felt it. We also took a cross country trip this fall with 4 adults and the spacious interior held all our luggage and provided us comfort for driving all night. I'm so glad it's fixable and coming back to me soon!!"

Best car ever owned

By on Thursday, January 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 109,000

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 Value, plenty of power, smooth ride,"

Cons: "none"

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

"Comfortable ride with plenty of power (4Cyl.) drives and handles very smooth, Automatic 4 wheel drive with manual lock engages without a hitch and powers through the deepest snow.In 109,000 miles I replaced the brakes and tires once. Only problem is right rear wheel sensor has gone out twice. (warranty)Averages 23-24 mpg. on regular, plenty of pick up and cruses at 80 without strain. Quiet and comfortable interior front and rear seats recline. I will buy another when the time comes. :-)"

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

perfect for us retired couple & our German Shepher

By on Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Mileage, style, price, comfort."

Cons: "could use a little more HP, especially in hills."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"A bit underpowered with the 4 cyl but premium fuel definitely kicks it up a notch. Love the mileage though."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

smooth ride large interior great features

By on Thursday, January 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,350

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: "comfortable smooth drive Roomy"

Cons: "none"

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

Drove to florida

"I love this car it fits my grand kids carseats and luggage roomy for driver and passengers. has a regular outlet to charge my granddaughters game or vacuum everything you need for long drives seats recline for comfortable resting"

8 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Drove to florida

Didn't think a KIA would have this quality and lux

By on Tuesday, January 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,400

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
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great drivability and handeling.exceptional qualit"

Cons: "speedometer is hard to read in certain light"

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

"This is my first KIA, but it won't be my last. The quality has been incredible. This model, the SXL has every gadget and option you can think of, and they're all standard. The handling and drive of the car are exceptional. My last car was a Buick Enclave and it didn't come close to the enjoyment I'm having with this car. The car is one year old and I only have 7400 miles, but so far there has been no problems with the car. If it continues to perform and holds up well, this car is a HOME RUN!!!"

23 people out of 40 found this review helpful

Average

By on Thursday, January 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great cargo space, comfortable, reliable."

Cons: "No power, sluggish."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I leased this 2014 Sorento and Loved the fact that it was all wheel drive, it's amazing in the snow! The engine is very sluggish. I had a 2010 Forte and the engine in the Sorento is mildly more powerful in the Sorento as it was in the Forte. It is very noticeable. I give this car an 8 overall score though because, the car is comfortable, affordable, and has lots of cargo room. A great car if you don't need to have any acceleration at stop lights."

17 people out of 32 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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