Kia Sorento (2003 – 2009) Review

Kia Sorento (2003 – 2009) At A Glance


+Has the hardware and ability for serious off-roading. Easy-going, pleasant drive. Useful tow car. Owners like them. Excellent value.

-Doesn't handle as well as a RAV-4 or X-Trail.

On average it achieves 83% of the official MPG figure

Real MPG average for a Kia Sorento (2003 – 2009)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

22–35 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a towing vehicle for a small budget?

"I want to buy an SUV which tows at least 2-tonnes, it must be auto and ideally have 4WD as well. I tow a horse trailer which has a 1600 kg MAM and travel about 250 miles per week to work. But I only have about £4000-6500 to spend. I have looked at the Kia Sorento (would be about a 2004-2006 model with 80,000-100,000 miles at this price), Hyundai Santa Fe (can find slightly newer than the Sorento), also Tiguan, Shogun (possibly a bit too much for what I need), Land Cruiser (same as Shogun, but a lot pricier). I have avoided anything Land Rover due to reliability issues I have read about. Are there any you would recommend for this purpose in this price bracket, any you'd strongly avoid, or any I may have not considered? Thank you."
You're certainly thinking along the right lines - we'd be avoiding Land Rovers at this price, too, and the Kia Sorento/Hyundai Sante Fe/Mitsubishi Shogun/Toyota Land Cruiser all sound like more sensible options. Have you considered a SsangYong Korando? They're very popular with the towing fraternity due to their two-tonne towing capacity. You should be able to find a fairly tidy 2012 model within budget. We'd also recommend a Honda CR-V. Certain models can tow up to 2000kg. It should be a very reliable choice, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Best used 4x4 for towing?

"We are looking for a used car to tow a horse box long distances. The vehicle must be capable of pulling 2000kg plus. We have a budget of around £5000 and have been looking at the Kia Sorento 2.5 diesel (2004 to 2006 model) as it seems to fit the bill in terms of towing capacity. Would you recommend buying this car? "
This model Sorento is starting to fall apart. Reliability definitely not guaranteed. But it is at least a chain cam engine. Can't guarantee reliability of any big 10 year old 4x4 in this sort of price bracket.
Answered by Honest John

Which used car is best for towing?

"I am planning to buy a 2006 KIA Sorento automatic with 67.000 miles on the clock from a dealer. What should I look out for and check? The car will be used for towing my caravan."
Look in front of the caravans being tugged down our motorways and you will see a fair few old model Sorentos. It's not all perfect, though. Avoid the big wheels and low profile tyres. And check out the entry in
Answered by Honest John

What car is best for carrying dogs?

"I need to replace our expensive to run 2007 Kia Sorento . It must accommodate up to three large dogs and cope with winter weather and rural roads for our family dog business. I have £22,000 to spend and am drawn to the Skoda Octavia Estate with DSG. What do you think?"
In my view it is basically stupid to destroy a good car by carrying dogs in it. Far better to keep a decent car for personal use and buy an ex-police dog van with proper cages and ventilator. These regularly come up at West Oxfordshire Motor Auctions on Tuesdays, usually based on Mondeo or Focus estates and sell for £1000 - £2000.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Kia Sorento (2003 – 2009) cost?