Ch-Ch-Changes: 2012 Kia Sorento, Sportage

By Colin Bird  on May 16, 2011 Kia has made some alterations to its midsize and compact crossovers, the 2012 Kia Sorento and Sportage. The most notable of them is a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine for the Sorento.

The Sorento is the brand's best-selling vehicle, so the new engine should be a welcome change. The current 2.4-liter engine returns a respectable 21/29 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive. We'd expect the direct-injection version to get better mileage. We're unsure if Kia will continue to keep the current 2.4-liter as a bargain model alongside the new engine and the optional V-6. The 2012 Sorento should be reaching dealers now, the Sportage will go on sale in late June. More updates for the Sorento and Sportage are below.

2012 Kia Sorento changes:

  • New direct-injection 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, similar to the one found in the 2011 Kia Optima 
  • Available power folding side mirrors on all trims 
  • New dual exhaust system with four-cylinder powertrains 
  • New cloth seat fabric materials that supposedly reduce staining and static electricity 
  • Availability of the new Uvo hands-free entertainment system 
  • Third-row seating is no longer standard on LX V-6 trims, but it’s still an option  
  • Cooled seats standard on SX trims, available on EX trims 
  • New three-position heated seats optional on LX and EX, standard on SX 
  • A heated steering wheel with wood trim and upgraded cloth pillar trim standard on SX
  • New backup warning and sonar available on all trims (LX optional, EX/SX standard) 

The Sportage gets some similar updates, but no on-sale date was given.

2012 Kia Sportage changes:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels are now standard on LX trim 
  • Uvo system now optional in EX and SX trims 
  • New seat fabric materials (same as the Sorento’s) 

A 2012 Sedona is also arriving at dealers now, but there aren’t many changes for the model.

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