2012 Kia Sorento

The 2012 Kia Sorento does well in the arena of affordable midsize SUVs. It has a capable engine, it handles like a car, and it has more standard features than other SUVs in its category.

The Sorento has a stiffness that, while others would complain about it, gives positive feedback during turns. And if you feel that the three-row model is cramped, you can go for the five-seater model and enjoy all the space that you want.


General Info
Vehicle Type: SUV Base Price: $21,250.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18 gallons (68 liters) MPG: 21 city / 29 hwy
Length: 183.9 in. (467.1 cm) Wheel Base: 106.3 in. (270 cm)
Height: 67.3 in. (170.9 cm) Width: 74.2 in. (188.5 cm)
Curb Weight: 3845 lbs (1744 kg) Ground Clearance: 7.1 in. (18 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 37 cu ft (3rd row) Maximum Seating: 7 people
Engine: 2.4L I4 DOHC Compression Ratio: 10.5: 1
Horsepower: 175 HP Max RPM: 6000 RPM
Torque: 169 lb-ft @ 3750 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
Available Trims & Engine
Option:LX MSRP: $23,150; MPG: 22 city / 32 hwy
Option:EX MSRP: $25,950; MPG: 22 city / 32 hwy
Option:EX V6 MSRP: $27,950; MPG: 20 city / 26 hwy
Option:EX V6 AWD MSRP: $29,650; MPG: 18 city / 24 hwy
Option:SX MSRP: $33,150; MPG: 20 city / 26 hwy


The base model of Kia Sorento has a 4 cylinder 2.4 liter inline engine that delivers 175 horsepower and 169 lb ft of torque. The top-of-the-line trim has a 3.5 liter V6 engine that puts out 272 horsepower and torque of 248 lbs/ per ft.

You have the option between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models. All trims except the base model come with an automatic transmission.


The overall performance of the Sorento is notable given the fact that it is a bargain brand crossover. Even the base model provides adequate power that most drivers will certainly like.

The Sorento V6 gives you more without sacrificing fuel efficiency. It has strong brakes and composed handling. The suspension is not that great though, and it can make the ride bumpy if you are driving on uneven roads.


Like its smaller brother, the Kia Sportage, the Kia Sorento has sharp looks. It has more lines compared to the Sportage which make it look older – in the context of comparing brothers. It also has a detailing on the front grille but its headlines appear smaller thus exuding a sleeker look. It has 18″ alloy rims that help make the Sorento look serious and bold.


The 2012 Sorento comes with a lot of standard features for its price. The center console offers compatibility with modern devices. In its class, the crossover definitely has better quality interiors.

The materials used are high quality. The first and second rows of the Sorento provide adequate space and cause no discomfort even on long rides. The high driving position is good too. The only complaint that we have is that the seats are not soft enough.


The Sorento is a Top Safety Pick of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for scoring “good” in roof strength; rear crash, side impact and front offset tests. On the other hand, the federal government gives the Sorento 4 out of 5 stars for scoring well in their own tests.


The 2012 Sorento comes with the standard 5-year warranty and a lengthy 10-year powertrain warranty. The crossover also comes with a 5-year 24 hour roadside assistance and a 5-year corrosion warranty. Indeed, the Kia Sorento is one of the most reliable vehicles in the market.


The Kia Sorento has plenty of standard features that are not present in some of its same-priced counterparts. It has adequate space, even in the third row. The base engine is adequate for most of your driving needs and upgrading to the V6-equipped Sorento does not sacrifice fuel economy. The Sorento also handles well, making it a top pick in its class.


The suspension tuning is too firm and it can give you a bumpy ride on imperfect roads. Another complaint that we have is that the second row for the five-seater model does not slide.

With all its features for its affordable price, the 2012 Kia Sorento is indeed a good choice for families who are on a budget.

Other vehicles in the same class as the Sorento are the Toyota Rav4 (MSRP $25.330; 22 city / 28 hwy), Ford Edge (MSRP $31,080; 19 city / 27 hwy), and the Chevy Equinox (MSRP $30,515).

Overall Rating
76 out of 100

What others say:

“With a range of performance from economical to brisk, the 2012 Kia Sorento has a newly available engine that makes our previous recommendation of the V-6 a little less unanimous.”Car Connection

“The steering provides reasonable feedback, and body lean is well controlled in fast turns. Sorento’s exterior dimensions are tidy for the class, providing good maneuverability in close quarters. Braking control is fine. SX models have slightly sharper moves.”Consumer Guide

“One of the larger small SUVs, the Sorento is a good choice. Its smooth 3.5-liter V6 delivers good power and fuel economy as good as the base 2.4-liter four-cylinder. ”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Kia interiors have been getting better and better over the years, and the 2012 Kia Sorento SUV is no exception.”KBB

“No longer simply just a good value, the 2012 Kia Sorento is now an excellent pick for a small or midsize crossover SUV.”Edmunds