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#16

in 2012 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $16,789 - $25,710
Original MSRP: $21,250 - $34,850
MPG: 21 City / 30 Hwy
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2012 Kia Sorento Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

For its price, the 2012 Kia Sorento excels in interior comfort and quality. It offers fairly high-quality materials and a surprising number of standard features, such as Bluetooth. But reviewers warn that families who plan to use the third row to frequently seat children should look elsewhere.

  • "The design and materials quality of the Sorento's interior competes with the best in its class, with a restrained but sophisticated look.” -- Edmunds
  • "A good number of soft-touch surfaces effectively counterpoint the remaining hard plastic elements, while highly legible instrumentation, largely logical control layouts and an expansive array of standard comfort/convenience touches make it a welcoming haven, whether trimmed in cloth or optional leather upholstery.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Fit and finish are excellent, equal to anything from putative automotive quality leaders Honda and Toyota.” -- The Washington Post
  • "The amount of interior noise is never unpleasant, but wind and road noise are noticeable.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "The interior is nicely designed, although material quality is perhaps slightly less than one might expect from a $30,000-plus vehicle.” -- Automobile Magazine

Seating

Base LX models of the 2012 Sorento come with manually-adjustable front seats and cloth upholstery, while EX models upgrade to an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with leatherette upholstery. Leather-trimmed seats are optional on EX and EX V6 models. Heated seats are optional on any model. The Sorento’s first and second rows of seats are generally comfortable, with some reviewers going so far as to say they’re great even on long trips. They also love the high driving position. However, one or two say the front seats aren’t cushy enough.

  • "The front seats provide plenty of comfort for long trips and provide the type of commanding view of the road that crossover buyers want. The second-row seat accommodates two with ease and three in a pinch. It doesn't slide fore or aft without the optional third-row seat, making the Sorento less versatile than the Equinox, CR-V or RAV4. But the third-row seat does feature 50/50-split-folding seatbacks and enough room for taller passengers.” -- Edmunds
  • “Most adults should have sufficient headroom and legroom. Note, however, the optional panoramic sunroof markedly reduces headroom. Tall shoppers will want to skip that feature.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "The third row (standard in the V-6, optional in the I-4) provides comically little legroom and the seat sits mere inches off the floor. It does, however, fold perfectly into the floor with the pull straps being the only indication that this Sorento has (theoretical) room for seven.” -- Automobile Magazine
  • "A key feature sure to please some--while suggesting child abuse to others--is the available third-row seat. It doesn't provide much more than two additional legal buckle-up spots for small children, but for families on a budget who occasionally need to transport the kids' friends, it's a bonus that no competitors offer, except for the RAV4.” -- AutoWeek
  • "A third row is standard on V-6 versions. But the accommodations in the far back are so tight they are suitable only for small children seeking distant refuge from parental supervision.” -- The New York Times

Interior Features

The 2012 Sorento is surprisingly well-equipped for its class. The base model comes with features that cost extra on competitors like the similarly-priced Toyota RAV4. These include Bluetooth, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and satellite radio with a trial subscription. A navigation system with real-time traffic is optional on EX models, and a panoramic sunroof is optional on EX V6 and SX models only.

Nearly every reviewer praises the Sorento’s controls for being so easy to use, but a few of them still say the interior is short on style and quality.

  • "High level of standard equipment.” -- Car and Driver
  • "The gauges are set back into the dashboard but are easy to read. EX models have dual-zone automatic climate control that's simple to use. The available navigation system is similarly easy to operate and program. It provides a nice touchscreen interface for controlling digital-music players connected to the standard USB port.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Kia's new Uvo also works very well. Based on the same technology as Ford's Sync system, it allows drivers to control various functions by voice command, including their MP3 players and cell phones.” -- Edmunds
  • "An obvious elevated level of fit and finish is matched by an unseen but most effective (noise, vibration and harshness)-abatement effort that pays off handsomely in reduced levels of wind noise and road rumble.” -- Motor Trend
  • "Interior ergonomics -- convenient placement of dials and gauges, comfort of seats and surroundings -- are among best in class.” -- The Washington Post
  • "Interior materials are middle-of-the-road. There's plenty of hard plastic that fails to pass the standard tap-tap test with the back of the knuckles, but at least it's nicely grained and doesn't cast much glare on the somewhat rakish front glass.” -- Autoblog

Cargo

The 2012 Kia Sorento provides 9.1 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats in use, 37 cubic feet with the third row stowed and 72.5 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded down. For five-passenger models, a center-console cargo tray and organizer are optional. Test drivers say that with all three rows of seats in use, cargo room is barely adequate, but without the third row the Sorento is particularly roomy.

  • "Ample cargo room.” -- Car and Driver
  • "Sorento holds its own against similarly sized crossovers. There's plenty of space behind the 2nd-row seat, which folds nearly flat to further increase capacity. The 3rd-row seat folds flush with the cargo floor. All have under-floor storage. The space is much larger on models without 3rd-row seating.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Cargo room behind the third row is so limited you may want to just lower the seat, ending those cramped quarters and making room in back for more than pliable duffel bags or a few groceries.” -- Chicago Tribune
  • "You'll note, though, that there isn't a great deal of stowage available with the seats up - just 9.1 cubic feet. So configured, our camera bag fit with room to spare while our standard carry-on overnight luggage did not.” -- Autoblog

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