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Kia Sorento

Standing pat, for now.

For all intents and purposes, the Sorento is unchanged this year. After skipping the 2010 model year, the Sorento reappeared as an all-new model two years ago, and it will likely receive a face-lift next year. Whereas the previous Sorento was an old-style body-on-frame SUV, the current one is a modern unibody crossover. The Sorento has two, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines to choose from: a 191-hp gasoline with direct injection or the standard 175-hp four-cylinder sans direct injection. The more powerful four is the obvious choice, because it also gets better mileage — an impressive 32 mpg on the highway (with front-wheel drive) — which puts it up with the class leaders. Want more cylinders? A 3.5-liter V-6 is still available, and it delivers more punch (thanks to its 276 hp) and greater refinement, but it’s significantly more expensive, and its fuel economy is somewhat disappointing, particularly when paired with all-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes Bluetooth and a USB port. Keyless ignition, a backup camera, a panoramic sunroof, and a third row of seats are optional. The latter is cramped but might be useful for small children. The Sorento plays in the heart of the mid-size-crossover/SUV market. Although it’s a competent contender, it’s not a standout in any particular area.

COMPETITORS

Chevrolet Equinox

Honda Pilot

Toyota RAV4

new for 2013

There’s a new “Kia” badge on the hood, liftgate, and steering wheel of all Sorentos. Leather comes standard on EX models, and Uvo (Kia’s infotainment system) is now available on LX models. V-6-powered LX models come with three rows of seats, which are optional in V-6-powered EX models as well as in SX models. A new LX convenience Plus Package includes an eight-way power driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, floor mats, and a first-aid kit.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; active front headrests; stability and traction control; and ABS are standard. A backup camera is optional on the EX and standard on the SX.

High Mileage

MPG

CITY 18–22

HWY 24–32

PRO

Front- or all-wheel drive

Seating for up to seven

CON

Tiny third-row seats

Ride quality could be better

V-6/AWD is pretty thirsty

Base Price Range: $23,950–$34,200

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: LX, EX, SX

BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 5- or 7-passenger

ENGINES: 2.4L I-4, 175/191 hp, 169/181 lb-ft

3.5L V-6, 276 hp, 248 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 142.5–149.4 cu ft

CAPACITIES: Towing 1650–3500 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 33.2/80.1/141.5 cu ft

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