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Kia Sorento Real World MPG



  • ennui101ennui101 Posts: 7
    Winter2, you make a lot of good points. From my own experience (2012 Sorento with 6 cyl) I get about 19 mpg around town, 25-26 mpg on a 180 mile trip from my home to Boston, which is mostly highway, if I'm pushing. On the return trip - since there is no deadline - I tend to get 27 mpg (sometimes even up to 29 mpg) because I am driving more slowly.
    I seem to get the best mileage with Sunoco regular (true across several cars). My speculation is that because the grade is mixed at the pump, there may somehow be a bit less ethanol in the mix (to make things safe for high-octane customers). Ethanol impacts mpg, in my experience, up to 1-2 mpg. Sunoco gives me about 1 mpg better mileage than other brands.
    Best mileage may also be in spring & fall when windows are less likely to be open and a/c less likely to be on. If you think about it, driving at speed with the sunroof full open is like driving with a parachute attached.
    Overall I'm getting around 22 mpg with the 6 (now at roughly 13,500 miles), compared to the 25 I got overall with my Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
    Doesn't seem so bad.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,041
    edited July 2012
    I dunno, if "high performance" air filters did any good, the manufacturers would specify them. They'll do just about any little thing to help them meet fleet CAFE standards. Maybe they think the risk of increased warranty claims from more dirt getting through outweighs any benefit, but I bet it's just a non-factor vs "normal" paper filters.

    One thing that helped my van's mpg was throwing away the middle seat when it was new. :shades: That's a bit extreme but it does help to get rid of the junk in your trunk.

    I don't think the added expense of synthetic oil pays off either, unless you can always find it on sale for a price similar to regular oil. The price differential is worse if you don't change your own oil too. But some makes specific synthetic for some models while the rest are just spec'ing 5W20 regular oil.

    Driving style is probably the biggest factor.

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  • joehickjoehick Posts: 28
    I have read and posted here many times re: my 4 cyl 2012 Sorento. I have complained here and to the president of America Kia, of course with no results, as a matter of fact they sent me a color brochure on how to drive more fuel efficient. I mailed the brochure back to him with a few words After talking to customer service I agreed to wait for a break in period of 6000 miles and low and behold I am getting a whopping 14 mpg city, and a 21 mpg hwy. I guess I should be happy, I was getting 12 city, and 16 hwy.
    The bottom line here is the car is to big to pull a 5000 lb. vehicle, with a 4cyl. No matter what they say.
    Have already pushed people away from this vehicle, and will trade it in as soon as possible,(financially). To bad to, I really like the car.
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Westerville, OhioPosts: 371
    edited July 2012
    First off your stats for this vehicles weight are way off. The Curb weight of a Sorento w/4 cylinder AWD is 3878 lbs not 5000 lbs.

    Just curious what part of the country you live? I got 23.5 mpg Highway on my 2012 Toyota Highlander Limited V6 AWD which comes in at 4500 lbs on a trip to Pittsburgh and back. I found that my 2011 Sorento EX V6 Fwd got about 25 mpg on this trip which is very hilly mixed with Mountains. I could get close to 27 mpg when we drove flat two lane country roads at 55 mph. City was never good nor is it good in the Highlander. We traded the Sorento for the Toyota.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,796

    I have used K&N filters in various vehicles over the years. I have never had an issue with a K&N and have never had a warranty issue either. As to more dirt passing through, not likely. For turbo engines, I find that these filters reduce turbo lag to almost nil. Again, I have never had any dirt contamination. For my 2010 Mercury Milan with the 2.5L four cylinder, I am using an Amsoil dry air filter. When I changed over, the difference in performance was significant enough. The engine pulled a bit better.

    As to synthetic oil, I disagree with you. I find that synthetics keep the engine far cleaner than conventional oils and are far more durable under severe conditions. Again, I use Amsoil lubricants, something I have been doing since the early 1990's. With the newer engines having variable valve timing I believe it is imperative that the mechanisms be kept very clean and that they have lots of lubrication available. Also, consider the fact that auto makers are making vehicles more aerodynamic means less air flow through the engine compartment and higher heat conditions that the oil must deal with. Add to that the fact smaller engines are now producing power means more heat that puts additional stress on the oil.

    My wife drives a 1998 Chrysler Concorde with the 2.7L V-6, a notorious engine for making sludge and having a short life. It has had synthetic oil in it for most of it's life and has been trouble free and is spotless inside. It runs quietly, has no oil consumption, nor any valve train noise whatsoever.

    Most engines these days are going to a 5W-20 oil. I find that the synthetics hold up far better than conventional at such a low viscosity.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,796
    Your comment about the sunroof is interesting. We have a sunroof on the Mercury and I have found a solution to the "parachute" issue. I open the back windows two to three inches and that seems to make a big difference. The front windows are closed. Try that and see if it helps.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,041
    Different strokes. I typically use Fram oil filters and regular Super Tech motor oil from Walmart (but I'm not adverse to buying other brands if I happen onto a sale). Amsoil is practically a neighbor of mine, but they are just a MLM company that also sells such stuff as male enhancement pills through their health division. The company doesn't give me a lot of confidence.

    Unless you have some dyno results or oil analyses, seat of the pants "feel" is just that; seat of the pants. If I spent a lot of money on high end filters and synthetic oil for my passenger cars, I'd want to think the performance was better too and that there was no engine wear occurring.

    Out in the real world, there's just no bang for buck evidence to justify the high grade stuff. Bet you won't find many fleet owners going that route either. And I drive them forever (we've owned 4 cars since 1982, around 450k).
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,796
    As you say, "different strokes for different folks". As I have said, I have used synthetics since the early 1990's and yes there is some "seat of the pants" but the increase in fuel economy is something I can and have documented. Also, the valve train, especially in OHC engines runs much quieter and the starting in really cold weather is much easier. I use synthetic fluids in the transmissions of my vehicles and beside a much smoother shift, cold weather performance is significantly better.

    Amsoil might be an MLM company, but all reality which company is not? What they sell beside their lubricants is of little interest to me. All I know is that since I started using synthetics, I have had no sludge build up and have had almost no wear in engines notorious for both, engines such as the Chrysler 2.7L V-6.
  • onefunkaronefunkar Posts: 113
    i still say sorento weighs too much for a small 4 cyl and it may get good mileage in government tests (and good luck sueing the government about gas mileage) the v6 has more power, works much easier and gets the same if not better mileage.
  • joehickjoehick Posts: 28
    You are absolutley correct. The sorrento is to big for a 4 cyl. it is something I have been saying all along and even voiced my oppinon to KIA America re: this issue. If I had to do over again I would buy the 6 cyl.
  • jawilsonjawilson Posts: 20
    This is the ONLY vehicle my wife found the seats to be comfortable, so I had no choice--except the V6. I still find it difficult to believe that the V6 gets better mileage. Consumer Reports says the 4-cyl Sorento gets 20 mpg average. The EPA says the GDI-4 gets 25 average. did not have any real-life numbers for the 2013. Maybe some of you might take time to report your experience on that site. This gets the government's attention, even though it is only a few people reporting. My only goal was to get the best gas mileage while keeping my wife comfortable...and I would be happy with 24. I got 19.5 on the first tank, but the trip odometer mpg read 21.4 (that's a 10% error)! This is BS to expect better mileage after a 10,000 mile break-in. That used to be true. In fact, if the piston rings are that tight, the compression will drop as the engine breaks in and the mileage may suffer, as some have reported. There certainly has to be some kind of chicanery to have so many complain so consistently. Was the EPA duped? Did they change the aerodynamics? Did they adjust the timing from performance to efficiency just for the test?

    I noticed that my engine idles very rough. The salesman blamed it on the A/C. It does it when the A/C is off. Anyone else have that problem? The engine and transmission seem to perform as expected, and I am otherwise happy with the vehicle's handling, ride and comfort, as well as the EVO and bluetooth.

    I'm going to dun the service department for the first 30 days until they do something drastic: Maybe a new engine control chip or a flash reprogramming. (The EVO didn't work right until I rebooted it.) I keep reading about the after-market chips which can improve mileage, but I'm not going to risk the loss of warranty.
  • jawilsonjawilson Posts: 20
    edited August 2012

    Is your mileage calculated or from the trip odometer readout? What you get is what I expected. I also follow the speed limit and know every technique to improve mileage. I averaged 37 mpg in my Honda Civic in the last decade. I think that these Theta-2 engines are not all made in Korea. There may be substantial differences between them. I tried to decipher the VIN but apparently the 2013 numbering is different, since it doesn't fit any of the identifying guides and gets "unknown" in the Kia VIN program. I can't find an identifier on the engine.

  • jawilsonjawilson Posts: 20
    edited August 2012
    My engine has a tag on the grounding strap (located on the passenger side between the low pressure--large diameter--A/C tubing and the power steering hose, at the base of the front suspension spring housing. It reads "assembled in Mexico." I read multiple online Hyundai denials of a plant in Mexico, and the new GDI 4-cylinder engines are suppossedly assembled in Georgia--or will be soon. Perhaps there is a big difference. It might explain why there is so much variation in gas mileage. The Theta-II won a prize for the most advanced engine in 2009. The electronic control module (originally from Siemens) is the most complex part of the engine, and it most certainly has variable programming. (This engine still has mechanical cam-controlled valves, but future engines may well have individual computer-controlled electromechanical valves, providing a lighter power plant. My engine has no knock or loss of power, so there has to be an effective ECM, but can it be safely adjusted? There is an after-market ECM which allows a laptop connection showing all the variable settings for their system. Does Kia have a similar monitor which they can use with the 19-pin diagnostic connection in the engine compartment--or with the 16-pin (7 active) connector at the driver's side fusebox?
  • onefunkaronefunkar Posts: 113
    my v6 averages 23-24 for normal driving. 27 on a recent trip. trip computer is probably more accurate than manually figuring unless you do it over many taNKS as it is very hard to fill to the same spot every time. mileage on sticker is for epa test. im sure in this computer age they can design and tune cars to do good on tests.
  • jawilsonjawilson Posts: 20
    I'm happy for you, onefunkar but I believe there is a difference between vehicles. If Kia can tune my vehicle to be like yours, I will be happy. But they have denied there is a problem. I learned that recently the EPA testing lab is only testing 15% of the vehicle ratings that they publish! Instead, they use specific data from the manufacturer... The EPA is more concerned about emissions than mileage, I think, although they list one of their mandates as "decreasing the consumption of fossil fuel". They will test vehicles if they have reason to believe that the data are inaccurate. I am referring them to this forum and to Kelly Blue Book Kia Owner's Forum, which has similar complaints from a substantial number of people. I have even offered to drive my Kia to Ann Arbor, MI for testing. Is anyone else interested in joining my endeavor? How about joehick?
  • jawilson: Just read your post to onefuncar. I just returned from a 2000 mile trip from Texas to Georgia along I-10 and got between 31 and 32 mpg highway driving on Chevron regular. I drove between 65 and 70 mph. I have a 2012 EX GDI with 8500 miles.
  • jawilsonjawilson Posts: 20
    newcarshoppe: Can we trade vehicles? Do you sell Kias?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,041
    The EPA relies on the manufacturers to test their vehicles per EPA guidelines. The EPA just tests a few of the cars in order to keep the manufacturers honest.
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