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Kia Sorento Years to Avoid

Discover which years of the Kia Sorento you should steer clear of. Uncover hidden pitfalls and make an informed decision. Don’t miss out!

Looking for a reliable mid-size crossover SUV? Well, buckle up and pay attention because we’re about to take you on a wild ride through the Kia Sorento’s ups and downs.

While this vehicle has its merits, there are certain model years that you’ll want to steer clear of. From engine problems to check engine lights to transmission issues, we’ve got all the inside scoop on what to avoid when it comes to the Kia Sorento.

So, hop in, and let’s dive into the world of problematic years for this popular SUV.

Key Takeaways

  • The 2006 and 2011 to 2016 model years should be avoided due to potential engine problems, like engine stalls, and catastrophic failure. They also suffered from poor fuel economy, excessive oil consumption, and other minor issues that can lead to expensive repairs.
  • The most common problems in the Kia Sorento are related to the 2011-2016 model years, including engine failure, fire risk, and doors not opening from the outside.
  • The 2011 model year has the most complaints about transmission issues, with repairs costing thousands of dollars.
  • The Sorento has plenty of features, automatic transmission, four-wheel drive, power door locks, ample cargo space, and more. They are considered reliable vehicles and mostly trouble-free, except for the problematic 2011-2016 model years which were overall bad models.

Understanding the Kia Sorento: A Brief Overview

If you’re looking to buy a Kia Sorento, it’s important to know which years to avoid due to potential reliability issues. The best Kia Sorento years are the 2019, 2017, 2015, 2021, and 2020 models. These years have strong reliability ratings, excellent safety scores, and notable improvements in features and performance. However, certain years should be avoided.

The worst Kia Sorento years include the 2011, 2003, 2012, 2005, and 2014 models. These years have been plagued with significant engine problems, cooling system issues, electrical system failures, and various other mechanical faults. It’s recommended to steer clear of these model years to avoid costly repairs and potential safety concerns.

If you’re considering alternatives to the Kia Sorento, there are several options available in the mid-size SUV segment. Some popular alternatives include the Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda CR-V, Toyota Highlander, Ford Edge, and Subaru Outback. These vehicles offer similar features and reliable performance that can meet your needs without the potential headaches associated with certain Kia Sorento model years.

Overall, understanding the common problems with specific Kia Sorento model years is crucial when making a purchasing decision. By doing thorough research and considering alternatives in the market, you can find a reliable SUV that meets your requirements while avoiding any potential reliability issues associated with certain Kia Sorento model years.

Notable Kia Sorento Models: The Good and The Bad

The 2011 model stands out as one of the problematic years for the Kia Sorento, with notable issues in body construction, engine, exterior lights, transmission, and electrical systems.

  • Body construction problems: The 2011 Sorento has been reported to have issues with its body construction. This can lead to structural weaknesses and potential safety concerns.
  • Engine troubles: Many owners of the 2011 Sorento have experienced engine failures and other related problems. These issues can be costly to repair and may leave you stranded on the road.
  • Exterior lights malfunctioning: Some owners have complained about issues with their exterior lights not working properly. This can affect visibility at night and increase the risk of accidents.
  • Transmission woes: The transmission in the 2011 Sorento has been known to jerk and shift roughly, especially when the engine is cold. Repairs for these transmission problems can cost thousands of dollars.

These reliability factors make the 2011 Kia Sorento a year to avoid when considering purchasing this SUV. It’s important to be aware of these common problems before making a decision.

Moving forward, let’s delve into some common complaints in problematic Kia Sorento models and explore possible solutions for those issues.

Common Complaints in Problematic Kia Sorento Models

When considering purchasing a Kia Sorento, it’s important to be aware of the common complaints and issues in certain models. Understanding reliability is crucial to making an informed decision.

One of the most common problems reported in problematic Kia Sorento models is engine issues. Specifically, there have been widespread engine failures in the 2011-2016 model years due to metal shavings restricting oil flow. This can lead to complete engine failure or even fire risk if there is an electrical short or cracked engine block.

Another area of concern is the electrical system, which has been known to cause problems in these same model years. Additionally, transmission troubles have been reported in the 2011, 2015, and 2016 models, with jerking and rough shifting being common complaints. The steering column has also caused issues for some owners of 2011-2013 models, with a sticky and unresponsive steering feel that may require replacement.

It’s important to note that not all Kia Sorento models are affected by these problems. The 2007-2010 models and the 2017 model onwards are considered more reliable options. However, it’s still essential to thoroughly research and inspect any used Kia Sorento before making a purchase decision.

A Deep Dive Into 2011 Kia Sorento Issues

To fully understand the issues with your 2011 Kia Sorento, it’s important to delve into the specific complaints and problems reported by owners. Here are some key areas of concern:

  • Understanding engine issues: The 2011 Sorento has been plagued by widespread engine problems, including complete engine failure caused by metal shavings restricting oil flow. There is also a fire risk due to electrical shorts or cracked engine blocks.
  • Electrical system problems: Owners have reported doors not opening from the outside in the 2011 model year. This indicates potential issues with the electrical system.
  • Transmission troubles: The 2011, 2015, and 2016 models are prone to transmission issues such as jerking and rough shifting, especially when the engine is cold. The 2011 model has received the most complaints in this area.
  • Cooling system failures: While not as prevalent as other issues, there have been reports of cooling system failures in the 2012-2016 models.
  • Power steering concerns: Steering complaints mostly affect the 2011 to 2013 model years. Some owners have experienced sticky and unresponsive steering, which may require replacement of the steering column.

Understanding these common problems can help you make an informed decision about your vehicle.

Now let’s explore why you should steer clear of the 2014 Kia Sorento.

The 2014 Kia Sorento: Why You Should Steer Clear

Steering system difficulties, engine problems, and issues with lights and transmission make the 2014 Kia Sorento a model year to avoid. When it comes to engine problems, the 2014 Kia Sorento has had its fair share. Owners have reported widespread engine issues that can lead to complete engine failure. This is often caused by metal shavings restricting oil flow, which can result in costly repairs or even catastrophic failure. In addition, electrical components such as lights have been known to malfunction in this model year.

When considering reliability and safety ratings, the 2014 Kia Sorento falls short. It has received mixed scores and is not considered as reliable as some other models on the market.

Common complaints and known issues for the 2014 Kia Sorento include crank pulley issues that can cause the car to die, jerking transmission especially when cold, and steering issues that make the steering feel sticky and unresponsive at times.

If you’re looking for alternatives to the 2014 Kia Sorento, consider exploring other Kia models like the Sportage or Telluride. There are also crossover SUVs from other brands such as Honda CR-V or Toyota Highlander that may be worth considering.

In terms of long-term ownership and maintenance considerations, it’s important to note that regular maintenance is essential for the optimal longevity of any vehicle. The cost of repairs for Kia vehicles is generally lower compared to other brands. However, if you’re looking for a trouble-free experience without many known issues, it may be best to avoid the 2014 Kia Sorento altogether.

Exploring Alternatives to the Kia Sorento

If you’re considering alternatives to the Kia Sorento, there are plenty of options to explore. Comparing crossover SUVs can help you find a reliable used SUV that suits your needs.

Here are some steps to guide you in finding the perfect alternative:

  1. Research Kia Sorento alternatives: Look into other Kia models like the Sportage or Telluride, which offer similar features and reliability.
  2. Explore crossover SUVs from different brands: Check out popular models like the Honda CR-V or Toyota Highlander, known for their durability and performance.
  3. Consult with car experts or read reviews: Get advice from professionals who have extensive knowledge about different vehicles. Reading consumer reviews can also provide valuable insights.
  4. Test drive different models: Take advantage of test drives to experience firsthand how each vehicle handles on the road and whether it meets your expectations in terms of comfort, space, and driving dynamics.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance for Kia Sorento

Regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of your Kia Sorento. By prioritizing routine maintenance, you can reap numerous benefits and maintain the reliability of your vehicle. Regular maintenance helps to prevent potential issues from developing into major problems that can lead to costly repairs. It also ensures that all components of your Sorento are working efficiently, allowing for optimal performance on the road.

Through regular maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of your Kia Sorento. By regularly checking and replacing fluids, filters, and other worn-out parts, you can keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come. This not only saves you money in the long run but also gives you peace of mind knowing that your Sorento is reliable.

In addition to longevity, regular maintenance plays a vital role in maintaining optimal performance. By keeping up with recommended service intervals, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections, you can ensure that your Sorento operates at its best. This results in improved fuel efficiency, better handling, and overall enhanced driving experience.

Kia Sorento Recalls Over the Years: A Review

When it comes to Kia Sorento recalls, you should be aware of the potential issues that have been identified over the years. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Kia Sorento has had recalls for various safety concerns, including ABS control module, engine fire risk reduction, fuel system issues, steering column and airbag problems, and engine oil supply pipe.
  • Safety concerns in Kia Sorento have ranged from engine failures and fire risks to electrical system malfunctions and steering issues.
  • While the overall reliability of Kia Sorento is considered average, there are common issues reported in certain model years, particularly the 2011-2016 models.
  • Common issues in Kia Sorento include widespread engine failure due to metal shavings restricting oil flow, fire risks caused by electrical shorts or cracked engine blocks, doors not opening from the outside in specific model years (2011-2016), crank pulley bolt breakage leading to engine damage in 2006 models, jerking transmission in 2011 and 2015/2016 models, and sticky/unresponsive steering in 2011-2013 models.

Considering these factors and if you’re concerned about the reliability of Kia Sorento or want alternatives to explore:

  • Consider other Kia models such as Sportage or Telluride.
  • Explore crossover SUVs from other brands like Honda CR-V or Toyota Highlander.
  • Research reliable used SUV options from different manufacturers.
  • Consult with car experts or read reviews to find suitable alternatives.

Navigating Kia’s Warranty and Customer Service for Sorento Owners

Now that you are aware of the recalls associated with certain Kia Sorento model years, it is essential to understand how to navigate Kia’s warranty and customer service if you own a Sorento.

Kia offers a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty since 2008, providing additional peace of mind for owners. This warranty coverage ensures that major powertrain repairs are covered for an extended period.

In addition to the standard warranty, Kia also offers extended warranty options for further protection. These extended warranties can provide coverage beyond the original warranty period and offer added benefits such as roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement.

If you encounter any issues with your Sorento and need to make a warranty claim, it is crucial to contact Kia’s customer service department. They will guide you through the warranty claim process and assist in resolving the problem promptly.

Navigating Kia’s warranty and customer service can be made easier by understanding your coverage, knowing what options are available for extending your warranty, and being aware of the steps involved in making a warranty claim. By utilizing these resources effectively, you can ensure that any potential issues with your Sorento are addressed efficiently and professionally.

Final Thoughts: Is the Kia Sorento a Good Buy?

Overall, the Kia Sorento proves to be a reliable and practical choice for SUV buyers. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating the Kia Sorento:

  • Pros and Cons: The Kia Sorento offers a spacious interior with seating for seven, making it great for families or those needing extra passenger capacity. It also comes with a generous list of standard features, including advanced safety technologies. However, the Sorento may not have the same level of reliability as some competitors like Toyota or Subaru.
  • Reliability Factors: While newer models have improved in terms of reliability, there are certain years to avoid due to potential engine problems and other issues. Avoid the 2011-2016 model years as they have been associated with engine failures and other costly repairs.
  • Performance Comparison: The Kia Sorento delivers decent performance with available V6 engines providing ample power. It offers a comfortable ride and good handling for daily commuting or long trips.
  • Ownership Costs: According to RepairPal, the average annual repair cost for Kia is around $470, which is lower than the industry average. Additionally, Kia vehicles come with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty since 2008, providing additional peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Most Common Complaints in the 2011 Kia Sorento?

The most common complaints in the 2011 Kia Sorento include engine issues, brake wear, and problems with interior accessories. Reliability concerns and safety issues have been reported as well.

What Are the Major Issues With the 2014 Kia Sorento?

The 2014 Kia Sorento has common problems such as engine issues, transmission problems, and electrical faults. Reliability concerns may arise due to these issues. It is important to be aware of these potential problems before making a purchase.

Are There Any Alternatives to the Kia Sorento That Are Worth Considering?

If you’re considering alternatives to the Kia Sorento, there are plenty of options worth exploring. Check out the Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda CR-V, Toyota Highlander, Ford Edge, or Subaru Outback for comparisons in features, performance, and price.

What Is the Importance of Regular Maintenance for the Kia Sorento?

Regular maintenance is essential for your Kia Sorento. It ensures optimal performance, extends the lifespan of your vehicle, and prevents costly repairs. Follow the maintenance schedule, perform routine checks, and address any issues promptly.

What Is the Warranty and Customer Service Like for Kia Sorento Owners?

The warranty and customer service for Kia Sorento owners is reliable, ensuring your satisfaction. They prioritize responsiveness to address any concerns or issues you may have, enhancing the overall ownership experience.


In conclusion, if you’re considering buying a Kia Sorento, it’s important to be aware of the potential issues that certain model years may have.

The 2006, 2011, and 2012-2016 Sorentos have been known to experience engine problems, leading to costly repairs. Additionally, transmission and steering issues as well as paint peeling can also occur.

However, it’s worth noting that not all Sorento models are problematic. The latest fourth generation introduced in 2021 offers improved quality and safety scores.

So, if you’re interested in a Sorento, make sure to do your research on the specific model year you’re considering.

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