Direct-injection engines are proliferating across the new-car market because they typically offer more power and reduced fuel-consumption than their predecessors. The latest application is the 2012 Kia Sorento, which gains a 2.4-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine for the new model year.
The new engine produces 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque in the Sorento, and is offered only with a six-speed automatic transmission. It joins the Sorento’s two existing engines, a non-DI 2.4-liter inline-four with 175 hp and 169 lb-ft, and a 3.5-liter V-6 with 276 hp and 248 lb-ft. Interestingly, Sorentos built with the new DI engine also receive chromed dual exhaust tips as a small cosmetic improvement.
Fuel-economy for the direct-injection engine is rated at 22/32 mpg (city/highway) with front-wheel drive, and 21/28 mpg with all-wheel drive. The existing, non-DI 2.4-liter returns 21/29 mpg (city/highway) with front- and 21/27 mpg with all-wheel drive. Opting for the new engine affords buyers both more power and improved fuel economy.
In other upgrades for 2012, both the Sorento and Sportage gain Yes-Essentials seat upholstery materials that resist stains and bacteria. Seventeen-inch wheels are now standard on base Sportage models, replacing 16-inchers. The Sorento gains optional power-folding mirrors, a new wheel design for EX trims, and a heated wood-trimmed steering wheel for range-topping SX models.