Kia Sorento (2010–2015)

What's good

5-Star NCAP Crash Safety score. 87% Adult Protection, 84% Child Protection, 44% Pedestrian Protection  and 71% Safety Assist.

What to watch out for

T he underslung full size spare wheel is vulnerable to theft.

No canbus connections for the wiring and cables for towing a trailer or caravan. The cables have to be run from the battery to the rear of the car - a pig of a job. By comparison, The Ford S-Max had proper, "plug and play" connections present in the boot for all the towbar wiring.

KIA service contract does not include an oil and filter change at every service.

21-3-2012: Can be a problem with the cruise control.

13-5-2014: Complaint of Nexen tyres cracking and breaking up on a 2012, two-year old Sorento KX3.

25-3-2015: Report of accessory power and USB socket assembly of 2014 Sorento becoming loose. KIA dealer thought it had been damaged and quoted £261 for a replacement.

3-9-2016: Owner of 2012 Sorento automatic replaced two front tyres at 54,000 miles but felt there was still some life left in the rears. The result was that the automatic four wheel drive system interpreted the disparity as slippage, engaged four wheel drive unnecessrily and destroyed the splines in the transfer case.

27-2-2017: Report of engine block and head failure of 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe in 2015 at around 94,000 miles. (Same chain cam 2.2 R-Type engine as KIA Sorento.) Then a 2nd failure in February 2017 at 125,000 miles. Hyundai dealer's explanation: "The engine was replaced due to a head gasket leak. Upon removing the cylinder head we found the cylinder head and engine block had slight pitting. As this model cannot have the cylinder head or the engine block skimmed it was authorised to replace both parts. The failed part on the 2nd occasion is the engine oil cooler which acts as a small radiator keeping the engine oil cool. It appears the internal seal has blown allowing the oil to be pumped straight into the coolant system creating complete oil loss and filling the coolant and heating systems with oil. This was an original part that was transferred from the original engine along with all other auxiliary parts, 31,000 miles ago. This caused the engine to run without sufficient lubrication causing crankshaft and camshaft damage and all bearings related. In addition the engine got very hot possibly causing damage to other components."

25-6-2017: Report of clutch problems with used 2014/64 KIA Sorento KX2 Nav manual bought at 20,000 miles. Owner lives on steep hill and needs to reverse park into her parking space and this seems to cook the clutch, which may have been failing before she bought the car.

11-7-2017: Complaint of 2nd gear failing on 2011 KIA Sorento with 42,000 miles. Gearbox was sent to KIA transmission centre in Scotland who reported wear and tear due to abuse and turned down the warranty claim.

11-9-2017: Complaint about towing ability of 2011 KIA Sorento 2.2 R-Type. " First journey was horrendous. Felt like I was towing a huge barrel of water. Thought it was a hitch damper/badly packed/dodgy nose weight issue...No...all good. I am now told that the 2010-2012 models have no self levelling suspension and that they gained a reputation for being a very unstable towcar."

19-5-2018: Report of centre propshaft bearing failed on 2011 KIA Sorento 2.2CRDI at 78,000 miles. Replaced under warranty. Also "front lower arm bushes lifting, slight play in ball joints and advise lower arm replacement to cure." This is deemed "wear and tear" and is not covered by the KIA 7 year warranty.

20-6-2018: Report that at 70mph a 2012 KIA Sorento "started to shake & shudder with a loud roaring noise coming from tyres and car became very hard to steer." Likely to be due to a disparity in the tyres affecting the AWD system as in 3-9-2016.

23-2-2019: Report of failing remote keys for 2014 KIA Sorento. Batteries replaced but improvement did not last. Batteries replaced again and still having problems.

16-4-2019: Report frtom Australia of problems with 2.2 R-Type, presumably in a KIA Sorento: T orque converter went out at 210,000km. Rear diff clutch actuator pump motor failed 160,000km.

27-5-2019: Report of timing chain jumping in 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2CRDI at 75,000 miles. (Same R-Type engine as Sorento.) Local garage plans to do a compression check to test for valve damage.

7-9-2019: Lack of power of a 2013/63 KIA Sorento on a holiday visit to Italy diagnosed variously as a dirty fuel filter (cleaned by Italian KIA dealer) and bad diesel turned out to be a faulty throttle sensor valve, daignosed by KIA dealer in the UK.

2-11-2019: Grumbling noises reported from automatic transmission of 50k mile 2013 KIA Sorento auto in first gear. The car has been used to tow a caravan. Referred the owner to


8-9-2010: Voluntary recall of Soul and new Sorento models built between September 2009 and March 2010 due to slight risk of 'mood' lighting wiring loom overheating inside the doors. Only affects 73 Souls and 476 Sorento KX-3s.

19-5-2014: reports via Reuters that U.S. NHTSA safety regulators have upgraded an investigation involving 65,347 Kia Sorento sport utility vehicles after receiving consumer complaints that the optional glass sunroof had shattered. The agency said it has received 26 consumer complaints about sunroofs spontaneously shattering in Sorento SUVs from model years 2011 to 2013. Of those, 24 occurred while the vehicle was in motion. In four cases, occupants suffered minor cuts from the shattered glass, according to NHTSA. "Kia stated in its response that their field inspections identified only one potential cause for the sunroof breakage - external impacts from rocks or other foreign objects encountered while the vehicle was in motion," NHTSA said. The agency said, however, that it upgraded the investigation because it found the number of incidents "concerning." Kia was not immediately available for comment. An engineering analysis is a step in a process that may lead to a recall should regulators determine that a manufacturer needs to address a safety issue.

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