Compared to some five-seat crossovers, the five- or seven-passenger Kia Sorento has very good fuel economy.
Ford's Edge and Chevy's Equinox come to mind: with direct injection the Chevy hits 32 mpg on the EPA highway cycle, but the more advanced four-cylinder Sorento, with a six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive, is rated at 21/30 mpg. The Edge's turbocharged edition gets up to 30 mpg, as well.
With all-wheel drive, the direct-injected Sorento's gas mileage drops to 20/26 mpg. And opting for the base four-cylinder without direct injection lets economy numbers dip to 20/27 mpg with manual transmission.
The V-6 Sorento carries over its fuel economy numbers again into the 2013 model year. The front-drive automatic-equipped crossover is rated by the EPA at 20/26 mpg; with four-wheel drive, it's still competitive at 18/24 mpg.
Note that four-cylinder versions of the 2012-2013 Sorento are among a set of vehicles found to have overstated fuel-economy numbers. Kia initially submitted figures of 22/32 mpg (25 mpg combined) with 2WD and 21/28 (23 combined) with 4WD to the EPA, which allows automakers to self-certify fuel economy. On a confirmation check of several vehicles, the EPA found the Sorento's actual tested fuel economy to be 21/30 mpg (24 combined) with 2WD or 20/26 (22 combined) with 4WD. Owners can register with Kia to receive reimbursement for the gas consumed above and beyond expected levels; more details are found at KiaMPGInfo.com.