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Kia Sorento Real World MPG



  • dmcfeedmcfee Posts: 1
    I to have been getting 13 to 15 mpg in the city. I was first told to run a few more tanks of gas thru the change took it back and was told I only averaged 18 mph and that is why it is so low. I have been very careful about stepping on the gas and my Eco light is always on which is suppose to mean you are getting the best gas mileage you can get. I told the salesman I wanted the car for city driving mainly and was buying it because of the gas mileage and size. He said it would be perfect for me. he acted very surprised with the head maintenance mans explanation. It's to bad because I think the car has a lot going for it. Love the back up mirror, heated seats and the phone works most tHe time. Just want to know if anyone else has heard this reason for bad gas mileage.
  • lanshilanshi Posts: 22
    I now have 26,000 miles on the suv and am not gettin what the salesman told me. I was told that I should get around 32 on the hwy and am getting 26. I have asked the dealership about it and they say that is the govt reports. But they use the sticker to sell the vehicle and not tell you the truth. As you can see on the blog there is alot of people upset with the gas mileage on the Kia. My Eco light is always on and it doesn't matter still 26. It is sad that the salesman are not upfront with you. I am getting ready to trade it off to a Nissan but I do like the vehicle other than the gas mileage. The service department told me to always take 20% off of the sticker mpg and that should be what I should get. I had to laugh when I read that the salesman said it would be perfect for you as that is the exact words I was told about the hwy mileage. They must get trained on that line. :mad:
  • I have about 8000 km (5000 mles) on a new 2013. Its the V6 EX and I have a heavy foot. I am getting 26-28 MPG Highway and around 18 in the city. It seems to be slowly improving. Its better than the 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander LX V6 I traded in and so far the vechile has been trouble free. I typically drive 10 over the limit on the highway. The posted numbers are never realitistic and if any thinks they can get 32 MPG on a V6 SUV this size, your just fooling yourself.
  • syatlsyatl Posts: 3
    I think when you have a Sorento with V6 engine , you get better mileage than one with GDI engine. Plus you get to enjoy the POWER that V6 offers over GDI.

    On recent travel, my rental car was upgraded to a Sorento with V6 engine. I could notice a clear difference between my Sorento with GDI engine. Simply the GDI engine is not powerful enough for Sorento and you end up wasting more gas. Car is just too big for 4cyc GDI.

    Posted MPG miles can be correct. My Camry is a definite example of that. It gets 32MPG on the highway(50K miles on it) and I think that was the sticker for that vehicle.
  • jawilsonjawilson Posts: 20
    Now that I have over 700 miles on the GDI-4, the dash mpg is inflated consistently by 11%.  At last fill-up it read 24.4 mpg but measured 22.0 mpg on half highway, half city driving.  I noticed that the gas gauge is quite accurate, allowing interim estimates of real mpg  (Allowing for 4 gallons at "F" and 2 gallons at "E", the 8 markings represent 12 gallons; the half-way point indicates 10 gallons of consumption and 8 gallons remaining--or 6 to prudent refill.)  

    I also noted that at 172 miles into the trip computer, it read 24.4 mpg.  After driving 2.5 miles to WalMart, stopping 20 minutes and then making a second quick stop and returning home 2.5 miles (no idling,) the dash read 23.3!  This means I used 7 gallons of fuel (172 miles/24.4 mpg = 7 gal) to go 172 miles, and .6 gallon (178 miles/23.3 mpg = 7.6 gal) to go 6 miles  (6 miles/.6 gal = 10 mpg.)  If this is corrected for the 11% error, it is worse.  My estimate of highway mileage is about 26 mpg, but maybe I could get 32 on 500 uninterrupted  miles of interstate 95 on the way to Florida.  I get 34 mpg in my 2008 Hyundai Sonata on that trip--and it reads within +/- 2%.  This Sorento engine appears to be a fuel hog at low speeds or idling.  

    So, perhaps the average speed is an indication of gas mileage; if you average only 18 mph, there is too much idling and not enough travel in 6th gear.  My average speed was 22 mph and 22.4 mpg last time I looked.  I have never gotten the average speed above 55 in the Hyundai,  even when driving 75 mph on the interstate.  Just stop for gas, lunch, dinner, overnight, and the average speed plummets.  I noticed that the transmission will not go into 6th gear below 42 mph.  If you can travel over 42 mph, and not accelerating or going uphill, you can achieve the best mileage.

    But none of that explains why one vehicle (e.g., Honda CR-V) consistently exceeds its EPA estimates and another (Kia Sorento) frequently fails to measure up.  The EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality (Margo T. Oge, Director) insists that it measures mileage consistently from vehicle to vehicle, using the complex rules Congress has enacted. So why can't we use the EPA figures for comparison?
  • I did alot of research and test drove many vehicles in this class. I narrowed my decision between the Mazda CX5 and the Sorento. While I like them both I opted for the Kia Sorento 4cyl GDI for better purchase price # and(almost $4k less). While I realized getting 32MPG was probably a max# I was hoping for 29-30 realistically as I drive mainly highway and very little street or idle time. My MPG is running about 24mpg currently. MUCH LESS than I had bargined for or was lead to believe by the manufacturers claims. Mind you I live in Calif and have been running the a/c pretty consistently while driving. I will post update in cooler months with MPG at that time. I am hoping the draw down is caused by brand new vehicle (less than 1000 miles) and use of a/c. I am really hoping that it is not because the GDI is too small for the size/weight of the vehicle itself. . . I would not say Buyer Beware yet in as much as Buyer Be Aware of the elusive 32MPG. Don't hope for the best but know the reality!
  • I have the 6-cyl (2012). I get 23 mpg overall at 14,000 miles. I get 27-28 mpg highway but don't drive much highway. The conclusion I'm drawing from this string of posts is that the four really is too small for the heavy Sorento, that the six gets roughly the same mileage but with a lot more power.
    For reference, I was getting exactly 25 mpg overall and 27-29 mpg in my 2011 Toyota highlander Hybrid (totalled by a falling tree in a storm and not replaceable due to the Tsunami damage).
  • I guess you should have the read what people have said here. Great car,I love it too, but the mileage stinks.I get 12-14 city and maybe 18-20 hgwy.
    The bottom line here is the engine is to small for the 5000 lbs it has to pull.

  • Congratulations, ponynround, on achieving 24 mpg.  Most of us have been unable to get over 22 on the GDI-4.  I received an email from KIA with an article on improving gas mileage.  Wow--just what I needed!  I thought they would finally address the Theta-II failure to live up to EPA standards.  Instead, they promoted the need to do regular maintenance--change the oil, check the brakes, change the filters, check the tire pressures! Hey, this car is brand new; it has clean oil, new filters, new brakes, and polished pistons. Why can't it perform better than ever?  OK, maybe you can expect a few mpg better when all tolerances are equalized, but I haven't found anyone I can believe who got 32 mpg. Unless my calipers are sticking and there is a bird in my ar intake, I don't see how this engine will get better mileage, but I'd be willing to listen to anyone who has a suggestion.   I can't find anything in writing that indicates an extended period of "adjustment" (as my service manager claims now) but I do wonder about the high readings that some people report.  Are their engines quite different?  Can my engine be electronically retuned?  Is there an engineer who can answer these questions?  I really like this car. My wife loves this car. Why can't we have an engine to love? 

    I'm ready to assemble owners for class-action--not based on EPA estimates (that won't work unless somebody cheated,) but on the expectations promoted in literature and by salespeople. Anyone else interested?
  • I bought a 2013 Kia 4cy GDI last week. I test drove nearly every vehicle in class and this was my hands-down favorite. I also did a significant amount of research on internet and created a spreadsheet to compare vehicle values. While there is no excuse for sales people to mislead, when considering a 24k+ purchase, why not do some research first? Are salesmen generally known for brutal honesty?

    My 11-year-old toyota Celica was still running perfectly but impractical for family outings. My goal was to fix this without sacrificing insurance, gas costs, and hopefully maintenance. I estimated before buying that the crossovers in general should cost about what my GTS does (epa 20/29 premium) if I drive careful. After a week, Sorento is close enough for me to be relieved. I set my first trip rolling out from the dealership and I am here to report tank #1 at 26.3. Note that they window sticker that misleads many with the number "32" clearly says the realistic estimate for combined driving is 25.

    I took a picture:

    jawilson's scholarship is appreciated, and if he is right, then the needle in this position indicates I have burned 14.5 gallons, so 377/14.5 = 26. It can be debated if the needle must cover the line perfectly or if the needle touching the line is right, if that's the case, I was at 367 and trip calculator is off by about 3%. Filling up will give another perspective, but I'll have to fill several times before confident it is filling to the same spot each time, and pumps are pumping what they claim.

    What kind of driving does this represent? 5 29 mile trips to work at 5:00 AM in SoCal on the 5, 13% city, no traffic or AC, 65-75. 5 29 mile trips home in hot afternoon with moderate traffic and AC on 2, 13% city; 50-70. The other 87 are mostly in town with traffic, lights, idling at drive-throughs, and a few trips with family where I drive a little more aggressively so as not to embarrass them. On my spreadsheet before purchase I estimated 25 based on Consumer Report's slightly lower figures for the non GDI 4. Impression is this thing wants to get 21 if you're doing much more than touching the accelerator. As others have noted, ALL the 4-banger SUVs have a myriad of unhappy owners who expected better gas mileage, Kia is not unique here.

    My take on random comments from this thread:

    "one vehicle (e.g., Honda CR-V) consistently exceeds its EPA"

    Consumer Reports says 16/32 vs. 22/30 EPA for CRV. The V6 Sorento 14/26 vs. 19/25 so it also exceeded EPA on highway. But City is the killer, and
    they all do much worse here. The non-GDI 4 did just barely worse than CRV compared to its EPA and 6 did arguably the same.

    "Eco light is always on which is suppose to mean you are getting the best gas mileage you can get"
    "and always have the ECO light on that tells you that you are driving with the most favorable conditions"

    These statements are not quite right. Read about GDI here:

    There are 3 operational modes in GDI and the eco light means you are in mode 1. Though a bit over the top, I could say if I have a car with a turbo charger and nitrus, that driving without the turbo kicked in and NoS pumping that I'm getting my best gas mileage. That's true relative to the other modes of operation, but it's not true within the mode. You can still give plenty of gas in eco mode that will hurt your MPG. Until your foot is a butterfly resting on the throttle in eco mode, you're not getting your best gas mileage.

    "I think when you have a Sorento with V6 engine, you get better mileage than one with GDI engine"

    Consumer reports shows the non-GDI 4 ties with the 6 combined MPG, but the 4 better by 2 MPG on the 150 round trip. I expect when they finish their eval of the GDI, that it will surpass the 6 enough to easily justify it for those who don't want to pay more for the 6, get a little better gas, and don't need the extra power.

    "Should not be that much difference in mileage [than a lighter car w/proportional engine]. Sorento is heavier but has more torque and horsepower."

    this matters for 0-60, but more mass means more energy required to accelerate, period. a 3800 pound car will never get the mileage of a 3000 pound car if the two are using identical technology proportional to size. The best gas mileage will always be had by smaller cars, what we should be
    optimistic about is the more realistic ownership of a well-tuned large vehicle.

    "was able to use my cruise almost the whole way going"
    "Set my cruise on 60 for 15-25 miles and got a WOPPIN 15.9 MPG"

    Cruise control doesn't help gas mileage, unless there is some advanced version of it I'm not aware of that uses GPS to calculate road contour. As
    an extreme example, imagine going down a hill into a valley and then up another hill. Is it better to have cruise control braking the vehicle on the way down to not exceed 70 and then power its way up the next hill, or let the weight add to your speed going down to hit the incline base at 75? But 16 MPG is too low, something must be wrong. If Kia can't find it (and they have a small vested interest in that they work for corporate, not you) ask around to find a solid independent mechanic to help. I'm not sure I will do any of my service through KIA or any dealer.

    "Some gas stations use a cheaper quality gas which effects all vechicles MPG"

    very possible. good point.

    "I get between 22-24 mpg in what I call "mixed" driving, which is about half on the freeway. While I know it's too early to really gauge the real mileage,"

    Just to point out again, the EPA combined rating that is actually printed on the window sticker very clearly, is 25.

    "i do think the car companies set up the cars to get best mileage under epa tests standards making it harder for the average person to hit the numbers"

    Partly true. Well, what should the standard be? Who is the average person? If the EPA does it right, then car companies seeking to max their EPA ratings will of consequence be helping the average person hit their best numbers. If otherwise, the implication is that the EPA has unrealistic
    standards, not that car companies are doing something wrong.

    "alot of weight for a 4 cyl in a sorento. look at other forums equinox etc. all people with 4 cyl engines get poor mileage"

    The Sorento is 191 HP and 3,800 pounds. Back in the day, my '73 Cutlas Supreme, 350 ci V8 with Edelbrock 4-barrel put out 180 HP. Looks like it
    weighed 3559. Sorrento GDI 4 is not underpowered at all. I've seen estimates of 0-60 of 8.8, faster than my cutlas, and some (technically) sports cars are in the 7's. 3,800 pounds is a lot of weight, period, it takes X amount of exploding force to accelerate it no matter how many cylinders.

    If you're accelerating the vehicle all day long, it takes a lot of power. The smaller engine or more efficient GDI engine can maintain velocity withou
  • mpghobbyistmpghobbyist Posts: 5
    edited September 2012
    [guess that post was too long, continuing here]

    ...maintain velocity without wasting as much fuel as a larger engine. The open question is if real engineering, realistic driving conditions, and habits can take advantage. All-in-all the 4's still get better gas mileage than the 6's, enough to justify? It's close, the Sorento GDI4 is the only crossover I drove that had enough throttle response that along with lower price, and est. 2-4 MPG better seemed worth it.

    "still average 27 when they say up to 32. don't count on really good gas mileage. Traded in a Nissan Altima that was getting 32 and if I knew
    Consumer Reports says the 4-cyl Sorento gets 20 mpg average"

    CR says 20 combined (RAV4 22, CRV 23), but that's for the non-GDI 4. The 150 mile round trip they report 25. They also report they CAN get 28 (EPA 21/28) and I wager when the GDI 4 review comes out they'll get 31 or 32 in ideal conditions. And the Altima, though it gets 32 on the 150 mile trip, gets 26 combined. I admit that's fantastic, but just pointing out the "26" and the "20" pair, and that you might have also been turned off by CR's 26 combined rating if 32 was the expectation.

    I admit that the EPA ratings are disproportionally not met among the gas-saving crossovers when compared to sedans and eco cars, which often exceed. If i wasn't going from a sports car to a crossover I'd probably be less satisfied then I am. But technology is moving in right direction and owning a modern SUV with today's gas prices is more viable than most older models.
  • So after I filled it and went to set the trip odometer I realized I made a bad assumption about watching the trip miles and the gas mileage on the same screen (so that also means it's useless to take picture of it). Since there was a few miles on the car, I overestimated and I think the other poster who said it's off by 11% is about right. That is pretty bad. Makes sense now that I'm resetting the MPG in different circumstances to see what it says. On freeway with rolling hills (in either direction) for 10-15 mile stretch I can get it to show 36 MPG pretty easy driving between 55 and 75+ (depending up or downhill), so it definitely is capable of 32 on freeway with 10% error. city of course is the killer. going to work on that next.
  • I just got my 2013 LX FWD GDI with about 1600 miles driven so far. The highest average read I got the car to read is 34.8mpg. I notice that the average MPG displayed on the dash is not even close! It's typically saying 29 (I drive about 60% highway, 40% city), but when I do the math (and i use the pocket garage app on iphone) it is averaging between 24.5-25 mpg. I think the error is more than 11%.
  • We had a 2011 Kia Sorento four cylinder which we reluctantly drove over 28000 miles before giving up on Kia all together. The mileage was bad from the beginning and never improved: 18-19mpg in town and 23-25mpg on the road. It was possible to get nearly 27mpg if we were willing to drive 55mph on the freeway. When new, we were given the usual song and dance about driving it another 5000 miles and the mileage would improve. Having driven many cars over many years, I have never owned a car that the mileage improved more than a 1/2 mile per gallon; my GMC diesel truck did improve about 1 mile per gallon after 15000 miles. This obseervation held true with the Kia.

    We traded a Saturn Vue on the Kia; the Vue averaged over 2mpg better overall with considerably better mileage on the road and slightly worse in town. It was a disappointment to have less power and worse mileage for our trouble.

    What finally pushed us to unload the Kia was the inept service department in our home town. After 27000 miles, the tranmission clunked when we put the Kia in drive. We were leaving in a couple days on a 3000 trip. The first person we spoke to in the service department told us "They all do that after a while." That seemed unreasonable so I asked the service manager to look; he and a service tech determined it was a broken motor mount. They didn't have the part but promised it would be in in two days, but as you might expect, it didn't arrive. They did send us an email stating that it was okay to drive the car on this trip with a broken motor mount, (ugh) and the part was being overnighted, why I don't know. We called ahead to the dealer in Dubuque and had them contact our local dealer to verify serial numbers and part numbers so we could get it fixed upon arrival. Long story short, it didn't have a broken motor mount, but there was a service bulletin out which the Dubuque service man used to correctly diagnose the problem and fix it. They also had to order the third brake/ignition interface switch which had been replaced twice at our local dealer, but aparently incorrectly installed. When we left Dubuque all was again well except the mileage. If we lived in Dubuque, we would have kept the car; at least they have a good service department. On the way home, the AC dripped into the passenger foot area and soaked my wife's pocketbook. Our local dealer once again (ugh) failed to please. They said they idled the car for three hours and decided that it leaked because we didn't use max (recirculating) air; if we used max air it shouldn't happen any more. When asked why the problem should start after 28000 miles and not before, they had no answer. The GM was unavailable to discuss any of this.

    We went next door and traded it for a Pruis V. It gets an honest 40-44mpg as advertised; we get a little better because of our driving habits which didn't help in the Kia. It also has 34.3 cu ft of cargo space behind the second row of seats (Kia has 37), and has more passenger leg room. We will save about $1500/yr in gas at our present usage and gas prices so will recoup most of our money in 5 years. I am waiting to see if any suits come up for Kia and their mileage claim in comparison to the pitiful actual results. I would also encourage you to give Prius V a look if you don't need the ground clearance. (5.7 vs 7.2 inches)
  • the mileage computer in our Kia read about 10-12% high as to actual also; I guess when you have a problem , you need to "help" any way you can. :(
  • mcknigalmcknigal Posts: 5
    edited September 2012
    I'm now up to 18,500 miles on my 2012 Sorento GDI, and am trying to schedule a "test drive" with the dealer. Their plan is to do a 75 mile trip to see for their own eyes what the MPG should be. I'm very skeptical of this, but plan to have either me or someone I know be in the car for the test drive.

    All I know is that I've *consistently* averaged 22.2 mpg for the life of the car. The absolute best fuel economy I have gotten is 26mpg on an all-highway trip. My driving is 50% highway anyway.

    There has been no break-in period, which they told me there would be. Personally, I think this is absolute B.S. ... modern engines shouldn't require a break in period.

    Here is my mileage tracking chart:
  • I to am waiting on a lawsuit. I have two letters into the president of kia in Atlanta. I recieved a color brochure on how to drive for better mileage. I mailed it back to him.
    Love the vechicle, hate the mpg, esp. as advertised
  • kia sorrento 6000 miles 17.6 average MPG for city and expressway. Kia said get a diagnostic test at a kia dealer WHICH I WOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR! Looking for class action suit. Told to go to same pump same time of day to record and keep track.
    Class action suit available???I'm in.
  • Just got back from Ohio and the mpg was horrible. I am at 30,000 and it is a 2012 so they can't tell me I don't have enough miles on it. I am at the point of looking for another vehicle with the mpg as this one is killing me on gas. I haven't seen a class action suit yet anywhere. Don't waste your time with Kia corp as I too got a brocher and laughed at it . They just lied to all of their Sorento owner bottom line. I don't think any of the dealers get on to this website or I would think they would look it to it. :mad:
  • I have almost all of the comments and several things stand out. Some people are getting excellent mileage, close to advertised and others something akin to aweful. Lets assume everyone drives differently but the kind of differential here seems way out out of whack. Couple of ideas, for starters the gauge calculations seem to be wildly unpredicable, such as mileage changing radically while sitting at idle, also seems there is now real concrete discussion as to whether the software may vary from one owner to the next. It seems also that with some folks break in made a difference and others it did not. If there is one thing that is consistant, its that there is nothing consistant. Reasons may be driving techniques, computer logic learning (if any), type and brand of fuel and others. The responses from KIA service are also whacky, one place states one thing for break in another something far different. I purchased the Sorento for my wife, parting with a Volvo S60 5 cylinder that consistenly got poor mielage until the tires were changed out and some BG44K was used. Got a 2.5 MPG boost to 20.3 around town and 28 or so on the road. I expected the same or slightly better from the GDI 4 cylinder.

    One thing of note, the idle of the GDI is very erratic, sometimes smooth as glass other times down right rough. Dealer did an update that improved it but still there seems to be the same problem but to a lesser degree. Is anyone else having this issue? I wish the computer had an instant MPG read versus the average. You can tell a lot more from that. I am riding this out for a while and see if it gets better with some decent gas. Currently getting 17 around town on short trips. One more thing, where is your temp gauge sitting when driving? Mine is below center which seems odd.

    Good luck to all!
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