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GREEN | 7 out of 10
Kia Sorento FWD: 20/27 mpg, 23 mpg combined (four-cylinder automatic); 18/25 mpg, 21 mpg combined (six-cylinder automatic)
Kia Sorento 4WD: 19/25 mpg, 22 mpg combined (four-cylinder automatic); 18/24 mpg, 20 mpg combined (six-cylinder automatic)
Fuel mileage comes in at 18 city, 25 highway and 21 combined (18/24/20 with AWD) with the new V6 – a small improvement over the last model's 18/24 rating. We'd have expected a bit more, considering the lack of hydraulic power steering, the addition of direct injection and the notable weight loss.
Similarly equipped compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 have much higher starting estimates: 23/31 mpg and 24/31 mpg, respectively.
The 2015 Kia Sorento is mid-pack with respect to fuel economy, where its numbers are about on par compared with those of other mid-size crossovers.
That said, its powertrain changes last year phased in better mileage than this model had in the first half of its life cycle, with six-cylinder versions faring as well as other three-row crossovers.
Base four-cylinder models with front-wheel drive are rated at 20 miles per gallon on the EPA's city cycle, 27 miles per gallon highway, or 23 mpg combined when fitted with the four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission. The numbers drop to 18/25 mpg, or 21 mpg combined in the six-cylinder Sorento with the automatic transmission.
Compared to vehicles like the Toyota Highlander or the new Nissan Pathfinder, the Sorento's combined figures are in line, when it's outfitted with the six-cylinder engine. As a four-cylinder five-seater, the Sorento's simply pitted against more efficient and sometimes smaller-displacement offerings. Ford's Edge, for example, offers a turbocharged four-cylinder rated at up to 28 mpg highway; the Toyota Venza isn't far off that mark.
The all-wheel-drive Sorento is rated by the EPA at 19/25 mpg, or 22 mpg combined as a four-cylinder, and 18/24 mpg, or 20 mpg combined, as a six-cylinder.
Mileage ratings are only average for the four-cylinder versions of the Sorento; but they're more impressive with the V-6, compared to those of rival models.