2011 Kia Sorento V-6, Four-Cylinder Get Identical Mileage

There’s a conspiracy theory circulating among some of our commenters that the new Chevy Equinox gets much lower fuel economy than the EPA estimate listed on its window sticker. A recent blog post by Consumer Reports about the similarly sized and powered 2011 Kia Sorento might back up their claims.

They tested a pair of all-wheel-drive 2011 Sorentos — an EX with a 3.5-liter V-6 and an LX with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder — and both returned a combined mileage of 20 mpg. The EPA rates the combined mileage of the V-6-powered EX at 21 mpg and the LX at 23 mpg.

Consumer Reports states the results might be because of the overall weight of the SUVs. The only other vehicles with similar results were the Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota RAV4, according to Consumer Reports.

Yesterday, I commented that the Equinox was 1 mpg off its EPA-estimated fuel economy in my personal testing. I later went through my notes and found that the Equinox’s mileage was actually better than I usually get in test cars on my daily driving routine. Typically, the cars I test return their EPA estimate for city mileage (I do a lot of bumper-to-bumper driving). The four-cylinder Equinox returned 23.5 mpg after one fill-up and 24.1 mpg after a second. It’s rated at 22/32 mpg city/highway and 26 mpg combined. According to my notes, the weather was fairly good, so no air conditioning or heat was used during the test, which can likely account for the above-average returns.

Update: In my own testing of the four-cylinder and V-6 Sorento I did achieve better mileage with the four-cylinder. However, it was front-wheel drive while our V-6 was all-wheel drive. Both were during freezing winter driving averaging 17.3 mpg in the V-6 and 19.1 in the four-cylinder. However, these tests were over one week each while Consumer Reports purchases its vehicles for long-term testing.

A tale of two Kias: Why more powerful engines sometimes don’t sacrifice mpg  (Consumer Reports)



Thanks for the update on the Equinox Dave. For the two Kias, MPG difference between AWD and FWD vehicles is about 1-2 MPGs isn't it? So it would place the numbers you got in agreement with CR.

for V-6 1 mpg different in both city highway
for 4-cyl same city 2 mpg less in hwy driving


I still say there is no way the Equinox gets 32 MPG on the highway. The Malibu with the same powertrain is rated at 34 MPG, and the Equinox is much heavier and has a much greater frontal area.


KIA can improve the Sorento by adding direct injection to the four cylinder engine-check back for '12.

KIA can improve the mileage of the V6 front wheel drive by changing the gearing to the taller. The axle ratio can change from 3.195 to 2.885.

Derrick G

I must again point out that in Equinox's AWD version, CR got 30 on the highway with the 4, compared to its rated 29. By comparison, the Malibu, which has the same engine but revs slower due to higher gearing, got 38 HWY in CR's test vs. a rated 33 (not 34) by the EPA. The Sorento AWD managed 26 HWY regardless of engine vs. rated 27 I4, 25 V6. So I have to say that careful drivers could indeed eke out 32 HWY in the Equinox FWD I4 with a light foot. I also expect most everything with HKAG's 2.4L Theta I4 to pick up GDI next year, including the Sorento and Santa Fe.



Malibu gets 33mpg and doesnt have direct injection or ECO mode. Malibu is only about 300lbs lighter than Equinox.

The new Tuscon is rated at up to 31mpg which is barely behind the Chevy.

Motorweek compared the Sorento and Equinox I4 models and the Chevy beat the Kia by several mpg in real world driving. I believe they averaged about 26-27mpg in the Chevy.


The link at the bottom doesn't seem to work.

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