With most car companies, an all-new model gets just minor enhancements in its “sophomore” model year. Kia, however, rolls to its own beat and gave the 2012 Sorento some major upgrades in its second model year. More power with even higher fuel economy set the foundation for an even stronger value in the 2012 Kia Sorento.
Most car brands would be fortunate to have as big a success as the all-new Kia Sorento. This all-new crossover utility vehicle (CUV) rolled into showrooms for 2011 delivering room for up to seven, choice of four-cylinder or V6 power, elegant design, great Kia value and quality and high fuel economy. Likewise, most brands might have left well enough alone for the vehicle’s second model year. Kia, however, decided to give the U.S.-built 2012 Sorento even better performance, economy and value.
Simply stated, the vehicle named as one of the "Best Family Cars of 2011" by Parents magazine and Edmunds.com for 2011 gets even better for 2012. For the family vehicle buyer, no discussion about value can come without a look at safety credentials. The Kia Sorento received a “Top Safety Pick” rating for 2011 and should continue to tout this important accolade for 2012.
As another, more recent value endorsement for the 2012 Kia Sorento, the Automotive Lease Guide (ALG) acknowledged the emphasis on value by significantly raising projections for resale value after three years. What made ALG’s analysts rate the 2012 Kia Sorento so highly in resale value? For one, they were impressed that Kia installed a new Gas Direct Injection (GDI) engine in the Sorento EX models for 2012. It’s the same size as last year’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, but the GDI helps boost horsepower from 175 to 191.
Bigger news, however, await at the gas pump, where the 2012 Kia Sorento is projected to deliver up to 32 mpg in highway driving. Think about that: a mid-size CUV with seating for up to seven and an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating that can also deliver up to 32 mpg in highway driving. Anybody who thinks you have to give up room, comfort, safety and versatility to cope with $4-per-gallon gasoline will learn a valuable lesson from the 2012 Kia Sorento.
The 191 hp 2012 Sorento EX has a starting MSRP of $25,950 for the front-wheel drive model. The 2012 Sorento LX continues with the 175 hp version of the engine and starts at an MSRP of $23,150. Outstanding Kia value shows up in such standard LX features as a tilt and telescopic steering column, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio, MP3 connectivity, Bluetooth® wireless technology and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
Both the LX and EX models continue to offer an available 276 hp 3.5 liter V6 engine, which powers the SX as standard. All Sorento models offer the choice between front-wheel drive or full-time automatic all-wheel drive. The AWD system offers a “Lock” feature that evenly distributes power front-to-rear in slippery low-speed situations.
Kia didn’t stop at with improving performance and fuel economy in the 2012 Sorento. You’ll also find newly available luxuries including power-folding mirrors, memory seat and power passenger seat, ventilated driver's seat and heated and a wood-trim steering wheel. The new UVO powered-by-Microsoft® hands-free infotainment and communications system, which is based on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform, comes standard on EX models and is available with an Infinity audio system as well. Other trim lines offer premium audio upgrades, and even a rear seat entertainment system.
Feel free to compare 2012 Kia Sorento SX to SUV’s costing many thousands of dollars more. After all, it’s in luxury-brand CUV’s that you’ll generally find such standard features as leather seat trim for the first and second rows, three-stage heated front seats, automatic dimming rear view mirror with Homelink®, stainless steel pedals and a stainless steel sill plates with illuminated scuff trim.
Jump back to the news about increased power and 32-mpg highway fuel economy, and then mull those figures over in the context of a the 72.5 cubic feet of carrying space the 2012 Kia Sorento offers with all seats folded. The Sorento also provides more middle- and third-row headroom and more third-row legroom than the Acura MDX.
When you come in to test drive a 2012 Kia Sorento, remember, too, that all new Kia models are covered by a standard five-year/60,000-mile (whichever comes first) bumper-to-bumper new car warranty with Roadside Assistance, plus the 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. That, too, is a luxury that you pay extra for in many luxury models.