Ch-Ch-Changes: 2012 Kia Sorento, Sportage

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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