A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Kia Sorento

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While Kia may still be headquartered in Korea, the 2012 Kia Sorento is made right here in the United States, making it easier for Kia to put a lower price tag on this fully loaded compact SUV. With a ten-year/100,000-mile power-train warranty and a list of really great features, you’ll be getting your money’s worth when you choose the Sorento.

Key Features

Ford may have the SYNC voice-command infotainment system, but Kia has the UVO infotainment system, which offers a wide variety of very user-friendly features and expanded voice-recognition abilities.

All 2012 Kia Sorento models come with an adjustable steering wheel, cruise control, Sirius satellite radio, ports for USB/AUX cables, and hands-free Bluetooth connectivity, as well.

Changes for 2012

The big changes for 2012 were the addition of an anti-bacterial, anti-static, and anti-soil fabric for the Sorento’s upholstery, as well as the option to go with an upgraded GDI (gasoline direct-injection) 2.4-liter engine.

What We Like

With an interior that looks more like it belongs in an Infiniti or Lexus than a Kia, the 2012 Kia Sorento is reliable, affordable, very fuel-efficient, and really fun to drive, too.

What Concerns Us

You really can’t take the Sorento off-roading. While it’s built to handle all your gear and will get you to the parking lot or trailhead for most camping trips, it’s not really made to stray far from paved surfaces, and it won’t tow more than 3500 pounds.

Available Models

You can choose from three engines for the 2012 Kia Sorento SUV. The base model comes with a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine, which can be upgraded to the GDI version for more power and better fuel economy. If you want a larger engine, you can also go with a 3.5-liter V6, which has significantly more power and torque but which suffers a bit on fuel economy. The base model and GDI engines are rated at 20-21 MPG in the city and 29-30 on the highway, whereas the AWD V6 is only rated at 18 in the city and 26 on the highway.

Major Recalls

There’s only been one recall for the 2012 Kia Sorrento. Some models were recalled to solve potential chipping or cracking in the brake-shift interlock mechanism.

Common Issues

Very few owners report issues with their 2012 Kia Sorentos, but those who do have reported problems with the engine shutting off when decelerating or accelerating. Some have also reported sudden loss of power or catastrophic engine failure.

kia sorento 2012 interior


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18 years of experience
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Excellent, knowledgeable, hands-on, and experienced mechanic. Polite, helpful, focused and answers any questions. Examines everything thoroughly and explains what he is doing and offers immediate insight. Great energy, hard-working and provides great support for pre-purchase inspection. I'm a professor and do my own research but wanted the added confidence of a good mechanic who could see and inspect every detail that mattered. This is the guy I want to be working with as far as cars are concerned. I'll be hiring him to do all my inspections, until I get my car. Then I'll hire him as the mechanic for my car. Then I'll repeat when its time for my daughter's car etc. When he found a problem, he showed me, and explained, and then had me test it out. Then he would show me the variations. At the same time, he was efficient. He did his job well and moved from task to task, and didn't linger over random discussion, and conscientiously moved from one inspection to the next in a timely manner. He was looking for everything that might be wrong and made a good remark when something was right and showed me what he meant. When we went for a test-drive he felt out the entire set of behaviors that should matter to a person interested in a good engine, in good performance, and in safety. At the end of the day, people who love their work do it extremely well. I would say Atilla represents that kind of person and he was a pleasure to work with.
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15 years of experience
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I recommend Jason. I know little about cars and needed him to check out a car for me. Jason did a pre purchase car inspection for me. He explained what looked good and what looked to be of concern about the car. If it was a concern, he explained what needed to be done to get the car in good shape before the purchase. He had all the equipment to check out the car. I would book him again for any other services as he knows what he's doing and is friendly.
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