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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
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 270 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

First ever crossover

By on Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,030

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I have owned my Sorento for 3 years. It was purchased used, and that is how I discovered that the 10 year 100,000 mile warranty does not hold true. Only if the car is purchased new does this warranty exist. At 65,000 miles things have seemed to fall apart. First it was a seized up brake caliper, now it's a pinion bearing in the rear differential. My previous car (Dodge Intrepid) never had these issues....even with 140,000 miles. Another draw back with this vehicle is the interior. I have the beige seats and they show absolutely everything! I spilled water and thought, "no big deal". I was wrong....even water leaves a stain like you wouldn't believe. Even so, it isn't all bad with this car. I live in an area that has brutal winters and this has been hands down the best vehicle I've ever had for winter driving. The fuel mileage for the V-6 isn't too bad either. The Sorento rides and handles very well, and has plenty of room for my family."

20 people out of 28 found this review helpful

For a vehicle this size, it turns on a dime.

By on Monday, April 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great handling"

Cons: "Heater fan motor makes a little noise"

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

"tight turns. V-6 uses more gas, but has all the pep and pickup that you could want in an SUV. I don't get the gas mileage that was on the window sticker, but get about 24.5 on Hwy."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Thank you, Kia!

By on Friday, April 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great mileage."

Cons: "No directional compass in mirror."

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

"My Sorento has been exactly what I was looking for when I purchased it in 2011! I enjoy the roominess of the interior, the easy to clean exterior, and the driving experience that the vehicle offers. It has always gotten better mileage than what was predicted. I got 30 mag on the highway often. I love that the seats lay down and I can haul a tree home for the orchard or a bunch of 2x4's for a construction project. It also carries us to our "fancy" occasions comfortably."

11 people out of 15 found this review helpful

great suv

By on Sunday, March 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good suv for the money"

Cons: "no dipstic to check trans fluid"

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

"great suv plenty of power good ride. i have had this truck 3 years in nek vermont great in the snow would buy again"

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Warranty Not Worth Depreciation

By on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "dependable"

Cons: "Little storage space, very little built in storage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"My primary reason for choosing Kia over other brands was the 100,000 mile warranty. Many dealerships of other brands offer the equivalent, but I was concerned with the trustworthiness of the dealerships and their service depts. At least with Kia, it is backed by the manufacturer, not just the local dealership. I just checked the trade in value of my car, in good condition, and it is less than half of what I paid for it in Nov 2012. The electronics are not great, which I have come to expect as standard. Navigation is not easily and regularly updated. My dealership acts like it is an act of personal sacrifice to do the major updates...it takes a while and they don't get to charge for them. The stereo/cd/aux/usb input is un. Just un. I suppose the sound is great (slightly hearing impaired), but a special cord is required for use with iPod, any other MP3 player is very limited feature. With my iPod, EVERY time I connect, I have to select random (b/c I like all of my music), otherwise, I listen to the exact same songs every time. It doesn't hold any type of memory, as far as I can tell. The OEM tires were practically useless. I lost traction on dry pavement frequently enough to be very concerned. On wet pavement, I lost traction at least once every single time! My replacement tires have been remarkable in comparison. They have finally given me some confidence in the car itself. Even though I have only had the replacement tires for a short time (less than 10,000 miles), my review of the traction/handling/stability will be based strictly on them. It is the only way I feel I can be fair, they have made such a significant difference! We have had a particularly cold/snowy winter and my Sorento has performed better than I have expected. The downhill assist was outstanding on my very long, very steep driveway! I didn't have much confidence using it, but it has completely exceeded my expectations. No chains or snow tires, just good all-season tires. The AWD has been very good, and the only times I lost traction enough to really feel it, were the result of my own errors. Not allowing speed/stopping distance based on the current road conditions. Headlights, fog lights, tail and brake lights: I have already replaced one headlamp, one fog lamp, and one marker/parking lamp. I believe that the failures were caused by the car's electrical/lighting system, not bulb failure. The dash lights auto-dim randomly, as if the headlights are being turned on/off. It has been a recurring problem that was initially thought to be related to one headlight assembly, but after it was replaced, I still have random dimming of the dash lights. I have not returned to the dealership regarding this problem. With those exceptions, the car has been very good. Unfortunately, the depreciation is disappointment enough for me not to recommend the car."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

some short comings 2015 sorrento sxl

By on Friday, March 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,999

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "lots of bells and whistles"

Cons: "no heated mirrors, drivers head exit handle,"

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

"Life gate too low, im 5'11" and hit my head if not careful. no drivers above exit handle No heated mirrors picked up car june 2014-January first 2015 kia aired on tv the new 2016-feel like I have old model ."

6 people out of 11 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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