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2013 Sorento EX - FWD V6
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I apologize if this is a topic that has been endlessly discussed, but I've researched a standstill in my decision process. I've decided on a 2013
Kia Sorento with a 6 cyl... my sticking point is the FWD vs AWD... it's not the upfront cost as much as on-going maintenance and (especially)
the reduced gas mileage.

Can anyone offer any insight that might help in making a decision? Is there anyone who has purchased a FWD only to realize/felt they should have gotten AWD?

I live in central NJ.

Thanks!

Tom
 

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2013 Sorento EX V6 AWD
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The AWD comes in pretty handy in the winter. As for the mileage difference, I'm not really seeing a huge impact. I'm in northern NJ and am getting about 20mpg around town and I got 28.5mpg on a long highway run up to RI and back. I wouldn't expect there to be much in the way of additional maintenance. Kinda pointless to take the mileage hit on a heavy truck and not get the benefit of AWD.

Best,
 

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2013 Sorento EX - FWD V6
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Discussion Starter #3
The AWD comes in pretty handy in the winter. As for the mileage difference, I'm not really seeing a huge impact. I'm in northern NJ and am getting about 20mpg around town and I got 28.5mpg on a long highway run up to RI and back. I wouldn't expect there to be much in the way of additional maintenance. Kinda pointless to take the mileage hit on a heavy truck and not get the benefit of AWD.

Best,
Thanks Sauron... Do you have a 4 or 6 cylinder?
 

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2013 Sorento EX V6 AWD
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Thanks Sauron... Do you have a 4 or 6 cylinder?
6cyl. Loving it. The 4 cylinder isn't even worth contemplating. There just isn't enough torque to lug around a 2 ton vehicle, especially if you're stuck in city traffic from time to time. It's painful.

Best,
 

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2011 Sorento AWD V6 SX Cherry Black
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If the added initial costs aren't your overridding issue, by all means consider getting the AWD for the V6. The V6 has overwhelming torque/hp that allows the FWD to spin on the wet, snow, hill or fast starts, etc. unless you use utmost care. The mileage difference is insignificant. The fun is 100% better. Great punch off the line w/o wheel spin, great handling around curves, etc., in all types of weather, particularily if you are carrying loads or towing, and lastly, a higher resale value when sold. And you don't even notice it is there, working when needed. As far as wear, the AWD is covered by the 100K warranty, though I have not heard of any real problems- but of course one should follow the oil change schedules.
 

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Sorento SX 2013
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another point worth mentioning

the AWS is ON/OFF selectable

so on good days, you can turn AWS OFF to save on Gas, and only turn AWS ON when the weather is wet or snowy, or if you happen to go off road onto Mud roads

Unlike Subaru's Car & SUV that are permanently always ON
 

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2013 Sorento EX - FWD V6
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Discussion Starter #7
another point worth mentioning

the AWS is ON/OFF selectable

so on good days, you can turn AWS OFF to save on Gas, and only turn AWS ON when the weather is wet or snowy, or if you happen to go off road onto Mud roads

Unlike Subaru's Car & SUV that are permanently always ON
Thanks... I didn't know that. One other concern is that I've been told that tires on an AWD vehicle need to be replaced in 4's... so if you blowout one sidewall on a good set of tires, you're in for an entire set... is this true?
 

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2012 Kia Sorento SX, 2003 Honda S2000
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another point worth mentioning

the AWS is ON/OFF selectable

so on good days, you can turn AWS OFF to save on Gas, and only turn AWS ON when the weather is wet or snowy, or if you happen to go off road onto Mud roads

Unlike Subaru's Car & SUV that are permanently always ON
The AWD is always in "ready" mode and when wheel slip is detected will kick in. You have the option to "Lock" it (up to 30MPH I think) but this should NOT be done for long trips or fast speeds as it is not good for the vehicle.

When I got mine I calculated the cost of gas mileage over 100K miles and added that to the initial cost to make my decision... maybe you should do the same? Also worth noting, the warranties cost a bit more when you do the AWD models if you are planning on going that route.
 

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2012 Kia Sorento SX, 2003 Honda S2000
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2013 Sorento EX V6 AWD
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Sorento SX 2013
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The AWD is always in "ready" mode and when wheel slip is detected will kick in. You have the option to "Lock" it (up to 30MPH I think)
Yes, Thank you, that's what i meant to say by On/Off , you can Lock it on AWS for bad weather or road conditions

at least it's still better than the Subaru design IMO
 

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2013 Sorento EX V6 AWD
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I wouldn't say better. It's a very capable AWD system. After owning Audis for a dozen years or so, I've come to appreciate the merits of full-time AWD. Both the Audi quattro and Subaru systems are like billy goats in the snow. If all you care about is mileage, then just buy the FWD version and shed the extra weight. The "on demand" system draws minimal power from the engine if it's not being engaged. The mileage loss is mostly due to the extra weight, I suspect.

Best,
 

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Race Blue MY12 Skoda Octavia RS TDI Manual
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Increased fuel consumption is due to extra weight of the rear drive shaft, etc.

Apparently, in the US, the V6 FWD model is prone to intense torque steer.

Due to the amount of power in the V6, the AWD system would definitely help in takeoff (i.e. no tyre chirp)

If you get AWD, you'll have AWD. If you get FWD, you won't have AWD.
Thats pretty much what it boils down to.
 

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2013 Sorento ex luxury, 2014 Subaru Crosstrek XV
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If you get AWD and never really need to use it you probable won't regret it to much, but if you don't get it and the time comes when you need it you will regret not having it. For me it's worth it just to know it there.
 

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2014 Kia Cadenza SXL Smokey Blue/white
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If you get AWD and never really need to use it you probable won't regret it to much, but if you don't get it and the time comes when you need it you will regret not having it. For me it's worth it just to know it there.
AWD is like an insurance policy, you pay for it hoping you'll never need to use it but glad you have it when you need it. Kind of simplistic way to view it but a fairly accurate assessment.

I prefer having it available to use when needed.
 

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SORENTO 2012 V6 EX AWD SUNROOF MOONROOF
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Thanks... I didn't know that. One other concern is that I've been told that tires on an AWD vehicle need to be replaced in 4's... so if you blowout one sidewall on a good set of tires, you're in for an entire set... is this true?
I think what some mean regarding AWD, is that tires should always be the same size, for example don't put 18' the front and 19' on the back, just replacing a mildly worn tire of the same size is ok.
Also with AWD must be towed correctly, some tow company's don't care.
So if AWD pay special attention to Parking violations or else they could ruin your transmission by towing you incorrectly.

Like other users mentioned the AWD only kicks in if needed.
Don't keep locked all the time and avoid sharp turns when locked (on paved roads)
Get the AWD its really nice to have if you need it, snow so on, or for status.
However you wont notice a difference in everyday driving nor will anyone else as even the AWD runs in 2x2 most of the time.
Get it if your budget allows, or ask another dealer if he can match the 2x2 price with a AWD my bets he will.

Get the V6 is amazingly powerful and the consumption is extremely good for almost 300 horse power! sic I posted some pictures here
 

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Also with AWD must be towed correctly, some tow company's don't care.
So if AWD pay special attention to Parking violations or else they could ruin your transmission by towing you incorrectly.
that's is very good information

I wasn't aware of it at all, I'd have expected the dealer to mention that at the very least as an FYI even if it's not in the manual
 

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Where to start. I had wanted a FWD version, but I bought at the end of 2011 and if you wanted a top trim (in and around the Philadelphia area) you could only find AWD. I didn't want the AWD because I didn't want the losses to fuel economy, and I thought it was mostly a gimmick.

After having the car for nearly a year I can say that I am happy to have an AWD (should really be called auto 4WD) system. It *may* come in handy one day in poor traction, it reduces torque steer, it is helpful with towing, and it will boost resale value.

I still think that the AWD system is primarily a gimmick. With the Sorento's ground clearance and a FWD setup I think one would have to try very hard to find a traction situation in which the FWD could not get the car going but the AWD could. That is a fairly narrow band of conditions there. You cannot turn "off" the AWD, you can lock the coupling device similarly to how you would use 4 high in a truck, but the multiplate coupling unit will overheat if you do it too long (car will shut it off if you leave it on too long) or go too fast (car will also shut it off if you go too fast). When it is coupled it is *not* like an AWD vehicle, it like a 4WD vehicle in 4 high. These do not have a center differential, they just mimic one by locking and unlocking a clutch pack very rapidly in order to permit some slip.

The poster above that mentioned your drivetrain is at risk for towing is correct. You will need to be towed ideally on a flat bed, but can be done on a dolly very slowly for very short distances. There really isn't any extra maintenance for an AWD vs FWD. Change out gear oil from the clutch pack and rear diff, but that is like a 15 minute job every few years. I also have no idea how these people get the mileage they claim. I am getting 18.5 lifetime on mine over ~7K miles split fairly evenly between city and highway. Anyone claiming to get 28mpg on the highway either has a magic car, drives really slowly, or doesn't track their mileage well and was taking advantage of a downward grade or tailwind. I have hit ~26 mpg on the highway with cruise at ~55mph. I can't imagine actually ever driving that slowly on the highway though to get that mileage. You're a menace on the road moving that slowly.

The AWD system subtracts fuel economy via 2 methods. The first is it adds weight to the car, I think its about 150 lbs on the sorento, but I am too lazy to compare specs at the moment. The second is it increasing the amount of rotating pieces and hence drivetrain friction. Everyone always claims that on a vehicle like the Sorento you save so much mileage by keeping it in FWD primarily, but I have no idea how that could work mechanically. When torque is sent rearwards the only thing that changes is that a multi plate coupling device engages, so at most you have a tiny bit of extra drivetrain friction between those clutches. I have a hard time believing that kills 2mpg from the overall fuel economy of the vehicle. Your rear half shafts and diff are always spinning. The center prop shaft is always spinning.
 

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2011 Sorento LX 4cyl AWD 2012 Sorento EX V6
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I could be wrong, but I think there is some misinformation in this thread!

The AWD system cannot be shut off. It reacts to wheel slippage and sensor inputs. I believe it's the borg-warner system same or similar to what's used in Hyundai and Acura applications.

The duration and degree of rear wheel drive is dynamic and determined by the split-second conditions the vehicle is experiencing. I believe there are at least some electric inputs which MUST be true in order for the AWD to engage.

AWD can be set to lock ON, which I assume overrides the usual input sensor logic and applies some predetermined ratio of front/rear power, let's say 50%/50%

Even the AWD 4x4 lock is ruled by vehicle logic and should disable itself at certain speeds or angles.

If my assumptions are correct, then towing shouldn't pose extra risk since the front to rear clutch wouldn't be engaged. (Although I personally would rather have a flatbed tow any day over riding on the hook.) I just don't believe it's the same risk as towing a 4x4 cherokee for example.

My assumption then carries to the fuel economy. Most regular speed dry surface driving would be FWD mode, so the only extra fuel would come from the slight extra component weight, and maybe the slightest of drag from the AWD differential.

The AWD comes in very handy where there's ice and snow. I've felt it engaged in dusty corners or places with loose sand or gravel on the road surface.

My guess is that slick rainy road surface would also engage the AWD, but less often.

I have one short steep slope that absolutely requires the 4x4 lock when it is icy.

If I lived in Philly, I'd probably get AWD. If I lived in Texas I wouldn't.

Apologies if any of what I saying here is incorrect, please correct me if someone knows better about the Kia AWD specifics.
 

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I could be wrong, but I think there is some misinformation in this thread!

The AWD system cannot be shut off. It reacts to wheel slippage and sensor inputs. I believe it's the borg-warner system same or similar to what's used in Hyundai and Acura applications.
Its the Borg Warner iTM3e system, exact same as in the Hyundai Santa Fe, very similar to the VTM4 system (though still identical) in Honda Vehicles, VERY different from the SH-AWD system in Acura vehicles. It is very similar to the system Subaru puts in its automatics with the 4EAT transmission (think Subaru Forester).

The duration and degree of rear wheel drive is dynamic and determined by the split-second conditions the vehicle is experiencing. I believe there are at least some electric inputs which MUST be true in order for the AWD to engage.

AWD can be set to lock ON, which I assume overrides the usual input sensor logic and applies some predetermined ratio of front/rear power, let's say 50%/50%

Even the AWD 4x4 lock is ruled by vehicle logic and should disable itself at certain speeds or angles.
Near as I have been able to tell that is all completely correct.

If my assumptions are correct, then towing shouldn't pose extra risk since the front to rear clutch wouldn't be engaged. (Although I personally would rather have a flatbed tow any day over riding on the hook.) I just don't believe it's the same risk as towing a 4x4 cherokee for example.
I have never been able to get a good diagram of the AWD coupling unit, but I know a guy who had his Santa Fe (same vehicle as Sorento) towed and it destroyed the multiplate coupling unit. I don't know if it has some sort of pump to cycle gear oil through it or what, but it would seem that it remains coupled enough to wreck the crap out of the thing if towed improperly. Ironically some jeeps have a special "neutral" setting that can be used to tow them without issue to the front drivetrain components.

My assumption then carries to the fuel economy. Most regular speed dry surface driving would be FWD mode, so the only extra fuel would come from the slight extra component weight, and maybe the slightest of drag from the AWD differential.
Extra weight and extra friction from the additional rotation through the drivetrain. Note that I see no mechanical reason that it should get worse mileage when the clutches in the coupling unit are engaged vs. not engaged - FWD mode vs AWD mode. The only difference between these two states would be whatever small amount of additional friction occurs within the coupling unit itself. The rest of the drivetrain components are already always rotating.

The AWD comes in very handy where there's ice and snow. I've felt it engaged in dusty corners or places with loose sand or gravel on the road surface.

My guess is that slick rainy road surface would also engage the AWD, but less often.

I have one short steep slope that absolutely requires the 4x4 lock when it is icy.

If I lived in Philly, I'd probably get AWD. If I lived in Texas I wouldn't.

Apologies if any of what I saying here is incorrect, please correct me if someone knows better about the Kia AWD specifics.
I agree, its not a bad thing to have, helps with resale (especially in the north). Will make a difference on slick hills, or if you find yourself in a nasty parking spot. Also good on the beach if you drive on sand. Unlikely to do much for you off road since the ground clearance and tires would prevent you from going into anything too nasty off road. I get pretty lousy mileage, but I suspect that has more to do with how I drive than the AWD vs FWD issue. AWD can also help get going if you tow, not a bad thing. All that said I still think it is a gimmick for 99% of people out there. But on those few occasions where it is called for you may be happy to have it.
 
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