2012 Kia Sorento Review

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8.0
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7.0
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2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

With the right size, the right gas-mileage numbers, and the right standard features, the 2012 Kia Sorento is an easy recommendation in the crossover class.

An also-ran in family crossover vehicles until last year, the latest Kia Sorento is a value-rich wagon that just happens to have all-wheel drive, if you need it, and a V-6, if you can't live without one. But even as a front-driver, with an economical four-cylinder, the Sorento makes a serious case for itself with excellent interior space, above-average gas mileage, and relaxed road manners.

Kia's rapid improvement in styling makes the Sorento a design to notice. It's not overtly trucky, nor is it too soft and curvaceous--it strikes a handsome middle ground between the opposite ends of the crossover spectrum. It's neatly organized inside, too, with only the hard feel of its plastics taking away from its tidy good looks.

Choosing the right Sorento means knowing how you'll use it. For most of today's crossover drivers, the front-drive, four-cylinder version with direct injection is a fine choice. Skip the manual transmission and the base four-cylinder: the 191-hp four spins sweetly enough, and delivers as much as 30 mpg highway according to the EPA's ratings, with a well-sorted shift quality and good handling that gives more weight to comfortable ride than to even moderately brisk cornering. Opting into the V-6 version is something we'd reserve for drivers who tow on occasion, or for those who regularly run the kiddie carpool and use all of the available seats.

The base Sorento comes out of the Georgia assembly plant as a five-seater, and even for adults, those seats have ample leg room and good head room. The seats themselves are supportive--even better when they wear leather--but the third-row bench is only for those under five feet tall, with the dexterity to jump into the way-back, and the distractions to ignore the low seating position. Cargo space is fine, mostly, but a seven-row model with the back row raised won't leave much room behind for any cargo.

Strong safety scores from both the Feds and the IIHS put the Sorento in good stead with the competition, as does the array of standard equipment--air conditioning, power features, Bluetooth, satellite radio and a USB port are present and accounted for on every version. If you get spendy, the SX offers standard navigation, leather, and has an available panoramic roof, but prices zoom past the $30,000 mark.

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February 16, 2016
For 2012 Kia Sorento

One happy customer

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Would recommend it due to great value, dependability and performance.
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May 29, 2015
2012 Kia Sorento 2WD 4-Door I4 LX

So far we really like this car!!

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We are really enjoying driving this car!! It is comfortable and has a lot of features. The only things that we feel are missing are a compass and an outside temperature gauge. We bought are Kia at 39k miles... + More »
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May 12, 2015
2012 Kia Sorento AWD 4-Door V6 LX

Comfortable, reliable, great performance, an all around winner

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I have owned many automobiles in the past, many makes and models. When we bought our Kia Sorrento in 2012 we believed we were taking a risk on an unknown company and a relatively new model. But we were moving... + More »
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