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Monday, June 6, 2011

Kia Borrows a Four From the Optima for a 191-hp Mid-Level Sorento

May 18, 2011 at 3:08pm by Alexander Stoklosa

For 2012, Kia is adding another four-cylinder engine to the Sorento’s powerplant roster, a 2.4-liter four with direct injection, sourced from other Kia/Hyundai products, like the Optima and Sonata. In this application, the engine will make 191 hp and 181 lb-ft, and will slot between the 175-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine and the range-topping, 276-hp 3.5-liter V-6. To better cope with crossover’s more than 3600 pounds of mass, the new 2.4-liter engine has been retuned from its setup in the Optima to produce maximum torque lower in the rev range—this does come at the expense of nine horses, and five lb-ft, though.

We always welcome additional power, and the availability of a four in the Sorento with a little more poke should improve on the 9.0-second 0-60 time we recorded for a car with the 175-hp engine.  The new middle-of-the-line motor will slightly better the fuel economy of its port-injected sibling, offering ratings of 22 mpg city/32 highway for the front-drive model and 21/28 for the all-wheel-drive version. (The base Sorento with the older 2.4-liter four is rated at 21 mpg city/29 highway in front-wheel-drive form, and 21/27 when all four wheels get power).

Kia will continue to offer the older, less-powerful four-cylinder in front-wheel-drive base Sorentos and in the next trim level up the line, the Sorento LX, paired with an autobox and either front- or all-wheel drive. LX shoppers will have the option to upgrade to the new four-cylinder engine with either two- or four-wheel power, and for the upper-level EX and SX trims, it’s either the new four or the V-6. In addition to the new engine, the Sorento sees its options bundled differently, gets a new wheel design, and now offers Kia’s UVO infotainment suite. The 2012 Sorento starts at $22,050 and pricing for cars with the new 2.4-liter engine should begin at just over $25,000. 2012-model-year Sorentos are on the way to dealers now.

Tags: crossover, Kia, Kia Sorento |

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