Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 Kia Sorento VS 2012 Toyota Rav4 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2012 Kia Sorento

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2012 Toyota Rav4

Safety Comparison

Compared to metal, the Sorento’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Rav4 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Sorento and the Rav4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Kia Sorento is safer than the Toyota Rav4:




4 Stars

3 Stars



5 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

298 lbs.

306 lbs.

Neck Compression

11 lbs.

16 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

752/467 lbs.

681/931 lbs.



4 Stars

2 Stars




Chest Compression

.4 inches

.9 inches

Neck Compression

60 lbs.

92 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

356/165 lbs.

405/302 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Kia Sorento is safer than the Toyota Rav4:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

214 G’s

243 G’s

Hip Force

402 lbs.

455 lbs.

Rear Seat


3 Stars

3 Stars




Spine Acceleration

59 G’s

75 G’s

Hip Force

1130 lbs.

1153 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

2 Stars




Spine Acceleration

43 G’s

78 G’s

Hip Force

952 lbs.

1102 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( IIHS) performs roof strength tests. In that test the Sorento earned the top rating of “Good” because its roof supported over four times the Sorento’s weight before being crushed five inches. The Rav4 was rated lower at “Acceptable.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the Sorento is safer then the Rav4:



Overall Evaluation



Head Restraint Design



Distance from Back of Head

28 mm

40 mm

Distance Below Top of Head

-8 mm

42 mm

Dynamic Test Rating



Seat Design



Neck Force Rating



Max Neck Tension



(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

For its top level performance in frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard Electronic Stability Control, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Sorento as a “Top Pick” for 2011, a rating only granted to 98 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Rav4 was not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty Comparison

The Sorento comes with a full 5 year/60,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Rav4’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Sorento 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Rav4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Rav4 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Engine Comparison

The Sorento’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 7 more horsepower (276 vs. 269) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (248 vs. 246) than the Rav4’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Kia Sorento V6 is faster than the Toyota Rav4 4 cyl.:



Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

3.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

10 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.1 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.6 MPH

81.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Sorento gets better fuel mileage than the Rav4:




2.4 4 cyl. (191 HP)/Auto

22 city/32 hwy

22 city/28 hwy

4 cyl./Auto


2.4 4 cyl. (191 HP)/Auto

21 city/28 hwy

21 city/27 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

The Sorento has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rav4 (18 vs. 15.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Sorento’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Rav4:



Front Rotors

11.8 inches

10.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.2 inches

The Sorento stops shorter than the Rav4:



60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Sorento has larger tires than the Rav4 (235/65R17 vs. 215/70R16).

The Sorento LX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rav4’s standard 70 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sorento LX has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Rav4.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sorento’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the Rav4 (106.3 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Sorento is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Rav4.

The Sorento EX AWD handles at .78 G’s, while the Rav4 pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sorento EX AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the Rav4 (28.1 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 30 seconds @ .52 average G’s).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Sorento offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Rav4 can only carry 5.

The Sorento has 10.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Rav4 (149.4 vs. 139.2).

The Sorento has 2.5 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, 3.5 inches more rear hip room, 3.4 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.3 inches more third row legroom, 1.1 inches more third row hip room and 1.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Rav4.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Sorento’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Rav4’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.

Ergonomics Comparison

When two different drivers share the Sorento (except LX), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Sorento’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Rav4 Base doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The Sorento’s standard power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Rav4’s power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

The Sorento (except LX)’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Rav4 doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sorento SX/EX V6 has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Rav4 doesn’t offer rear vents.

With optional voice command, the Sorento offers the driver hands free control of the radio, cell phone and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sorento is less expensive to operate than the Rav4 because typical repairs cost much less on the Sorento than the Rav4, including $49 less for an alternator, $112 less for front brake pads, $401 less for a starter and $974 less for a fuel pump.

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