Kia Sorento Best and Worst Years (Top Picks!)

A reliable mid-size SUV that was introduced for the 2003 model year is the Kia Sorento.

It is well recognized for being one of the few small SUVs on the market with a third row of seats.

In this post, we’ll examine the Sorento’s greatest and worst model years in great detail.

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Kia Sorento Best and Worst Years (Top Picks!) 6

Kia Sorento Best and Worst Years 

The worst years for the Kia Sorento, according to search results, are 2004, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016. This is because these years tend to share a number of costly faults and problems, such as engine problems, electrical problems, airbag problems, seat belt problems, lights problems, and body/paint problems. Generally speaking, the 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, and 2003 versions of the Kia Sorento are the greatest years for the vehicle. To make sure you are obtaining a dependable and well-equipped Kia Sorento, it is crucial to conduct research on the precise model year and trim level you are interested in.

What Years Of The Kia Sorento Are The Best?

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What Years Of The Kia Sorento Are The Best?

Kia Sorento 2024

The 2024 Sorento is the best option if you desire the newest looks. This fourth-generation vehicle gets a mid-cycle makeover that emphasizes aesthetics.

The most noticeable alterations are seen up front, where the grille and redesigned headlamps look more futuristic than ever.

A bigger screen is added, and the inside has been somewhat changed.

There are two gas engines to pick from, both of which are available with front- or all-wheel drive.

Both a basic 2.5-liter inline-4 engine with 191 horsepower and a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine with 281 horsepower are offered.

2023, 2022, and 2021 Sorento Kia

The 2023, 2022, and 2021 are the initial models of the fourth generation and are excellent choices if you want to acquire the newest features in design, technology, and safety. You’d assume a different company developed this generation based on how different it is from the prior one.

These models all include plenty of legroom, an easy-to-use infotainment system, and an attractive exterior and interior.

The three model years don’t differ significantly from one another.

The LX, S, EX, SX, and SX Prestige trim levels are the five standard ones.

A turbocharged variant (281 horsepower) of the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that comes standard in the LX and S models is also available as an upgrade.

The EX, SX, and SX Prestige models all come standard with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. 

The SX model, which starts at about $40,000, is the most popular trim.

Future Sorento:

  • Edmunds: 3.7 out of 5
  • 4.2/5.0 on the Kelley Blue Book
  • JD Power: 82 out of 100

Future Sorento:

  • Edmunds: 3.5 out of 5
  • 4.2/5.0 on the Kelley Blue Book
  • JD Power:  82/100

2021 Sorento:

  • Edmunds: 3.4 out of 5
  • 4.2/5.0 on the Kelley Blue Book
  • : 78 out of 100 JD Power

Kia Sorento 2020

The final model of the third generation, the 2020 Sorento, lacks the new design but still has a reputation for dependability.

This family-friendly SUV comes with a ton of goodies, a chic cabin with minimal noise, and better-than-expected handling.

The outside lighting and bumpers have received minor changes for this particular model year.

According to owner reviews, the model’s appearance, warranty, value, dashboard, driving experience, safety, handling, and steering are its strongest points.

With EPA ratings of 25 MPG for combined city and highway driving, fuel efficiency is remarkable.

Our top features include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Uvo eServices, which let you locate parking spaces, monitor the status of your car, and send emergency alerts.

  • Edmunds: 4.5 out of 5
  • 4.3/5.0 on the Kelley Blue Book
  • JD Power: 79 out of 100

Kia Sorento for 2019

The 2019 Sorento, the final third-generation model, is a comfortable, convenient vehicle with a ton of tech and safety features.

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With more basic amenities than its predecessors, this SUV is dependable.

An 8-speed automatic transmission for the V6 and updated external appearance are new for this model year.

L, LX, S, EX, EX Sport, SX, and SX Limited are the 7 available trims.

Skip the entry-level models and choose for, at the very least, the EX trim, which has a 3.3-liter V6 engine (290 horsepower), if you need a little bit more power and acceleration.

  • Edmunds: 3.9 out of 5.
  • 4.3/5.0 on the Kelley Blue Book
  • JD Power: 79 out of 100

What Are The Kia Sorento’s Worst Years?

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What Are The Kia Sorento’s Worst Years?

2011 Kia Sorento versus 2017

The most problematic Sorentos were those built from model years 2017 to 2011. Although some of these were classified as “clunkers” by, caution should be exercised when dealing with any of them.

These vehicles experienced a variety of engine issues.

Among the symptoms were the following:

  • Engine squealing
  • The vehicle stalls
  • Engine power loss
  • A lot of oil usage
  • An oil leak
  • Heating of the engine
  • Motor failure

Kia Sorento from 2006 to 2003

Although less problematic than the 2017–2011 batch, the Sorento model years from 2006 to 2003 nevertheless received a substantial amount of complaints.

These were the first versions to be sold in the US, so they were still getting used to things. In terms of features and design, they are also rather out-of-date at this point.

The main problem was that the engine, belts, and pulleys would suffer severe damage when a bolt holding the harmonic balancer pulley to the crankshaft would fail.

Common issues:

  • Crank pulley disintegrated
  • Compressor for the air conditioner failed
  • Tire noise coming from the back
  • Headlights continue to blow
  • Several lighting system malfunctions
  • The harmonic pulley broke.
  • Failure of the crankshaft position sensor
  • Rubbing sounds coming from below
  • Broken pulley bolt
  • While driving, a vehicle stalled or died
  • The tank spew forth fuel.

How Safe is Kia Sorento?

Numerous publications have given the Kia Sorento favorable safety ratings. Following are some salient details from the search results:

  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2022 and 2023 Kia Sorento models “Good” ratings in the majority of categories, including moderate overlap front and side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats.
  • The 2022 Kia Sorento has a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • The NHTSA awarded the 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid SUV AWD a five-star safety certification as well.
  • The Kia Sorento comes equipped with a number of safety technologies, such as lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and lane keep assist.
  • In crash tests, the Kia Sorento was deemed to be a safe SUV.

In conclusion, the IIHS and NHTSA have given the Kia Sorento favorable safety ratings, among other sources. The car contains a number of safety features that can help avoid accidents and safeguard occupants in the case of one. It is significant to remember that safety ratings are predicated on particular model years and may change depending on the kind of crash test used.

Reliability of Kia Sorento

Here is what we know about the Kia Sorento’s dependability based on the search results:

Positive: RepairPal gives the 2023 Kia Sorento a dependability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, placing it 12th out of 26 compact SUVs.

According to J.D. Power, the 2023 Kia Sorento will have a predicted reliability score between 91 and 100, which is regarded as “Best.”

Negative: The Kia Sorento has historically faced engine issues, with engine failure being a common dependability concern in 2011, 2016, and prior years.

The 2016 Kia Sorento is less dependable than previous models.

 Owners of Kia Sorento vehicles have experienced transmission problems.

The Kia Sorento was found to be problematic in a lengthy test by Car and Driver, with various. Although some sources give it excellent marks, others claim that long-term tests have revealed faults with reliability, engine failure, and gearbox troubles. Before making a purchase, it’s crucial to look into the reliability ratings of particular model years. Regular upkeep, such changing the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, can also increase the durability of the car.

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Tips to Maintain Your Kia Sorento 

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Tips to Maintain Your Kia Sorento 

According to the search results, the following advice will help you maintain your Kia Sorento:

  • At the recommended intervals, which are normally every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, change the oil.
  • Make that the levels of all the fluids, including the coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and oil, are checked frequently.
  • Regularly check the battery to make sure it is operating properly.
  • To promote even wear, keep your tires filled to the recommended pressure and rotate them frequently.
  • In order to avoid dirt and debris from gathering and harming your car, keep it clean both inside and outside.
  • Regularly check the tires for wear indicators and replace them as necessary.
  • Regularly inspect the brakes and replace them as necessary.
  • Maintain your Kia Sorento according to the suggested maintenance schedule, which calls for frequent coolant, air filter, and oil changes.
  • To keep the battery charged, run your gasoline or diesel vehicle for 20 minutes every two weeks.
  • To make car ownership simpler and guarantee your Kia Sorento gets the recommended maintenance procedures, think about getting a prepaid maintenance plan.

You can make sure that your Kia Sorento operates well and lasts for many years by paying attention to the advice in this article. The secret to avoiding expensive repairs and maintaining the condition of your car is routine maintenance. In order to avoid further damage, it’s crucial to adhere to the suggested maintenance program for your particular model year.

How Can You Tell Whether Something Is a Lemon?

Purchase a vehicle history report.

There is no better initial step when purchasing a used car than to obtain a car history report. Two well-known services offer this information for little money: Anyone looking to purchase a used car will find the information provided by CarFax and AutoCheck extremely helpful. 

The reports let you know the number of past owners, whether or not it had any accidents, how frequently it required maintenance, and the current title. The final section is among the most crucial since it contains the lemon label, which attests that the car followed the correct legal procedures to be designated as a lemon.

However, in some areas, dealers must inform a customer if the vehicle is a manufacturer buyback, which is a reliable way to determine whether a vehicle has a lemon title. 

However, it is the responsibility of the buyer to conduct a thorough investigation into the vehicle’s history. Therefore, consumers may need help if they accidentally purchase a secondhand lemon because they must inspect it first.

Owner Background

You can view the owner’s history on the vehicle history report, which should indicate whether the manufacturer has purchased the vehicle back. 

While owners can claim a car is a lemon in a legal dispute and ask the automaker to buy back the problematic vehicle, that is a guaranteed technique to determine if the car was labeled a lemon.

 You can also determine if the vehicle was sold or traded before it was given a lemon tag if the prior owner may have missed an issue. It also implies that the car’s persistent issue must be apparent.

Repair Record

Look carefully at the vehicle’s repair record and try to identify any recurring issues. Recurring problems in cars with lemon histories are simple to spot. You can determine whether the issues with the car are minor wear and tear concerns, such as those with the clutch or brakes, or a more severe problem. 

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Check to discover if the repairs were necessary or carried out even when the car was brand new. It can assist in determining whether the car is a lemon or if an incident like a collision or modification caused a misdiagnosed issue.

Are the repairs significant or minor? A severe repair would deal with the drivetrain or suspension, whereas a superficial one would address non-driving-related issues like window or seat controls. 

Severe repairs would be more challenging, but handling a car might not be a hassle if a car was considered a lemon for a less severe cause.

The report also shows whether repairs are being made at a dealership or a general shop. Like you would with any used car, examine the vehicle’s general condition and health and determine whether routine maintenance has also been carried out. 

This will assist you in deciding whether or not you should consider purchasing this car.

Inspection before purchase

Is the car still a good investment? You should get a pre-purchase inspection if the flaws are not too concerning or if you believe the automobile may have been incorrectly labeled as a lemon. 

A mechanic can determine whether the problems are repairable and why the car was considered a lemon. 

A technician can assist you in determining whether or not a recurring issue is indicative of more severe problems or worries about the quality of the vehicle.

Their satisfaction with the car might help determine if it is a worthwhile investment or a lost cause.

FAQ on Kia Sorento Best and Worst Years

Which year of the Kia Sorento is best?

You ask because you’re curious about the greatest Kia Sorento year. CoPilot strongly suggests the 2017 model year as the finest Kia Sorento year. The 2017 Sorento was also included in our list of the top used car models. Please read on to learn the reasons it is our top choice.

What year is ideal for Kia?

The top Kia Soul models were made in 2010, 2018, 2019, 2022, and 2022, respectively. The three worst years for Kia Soul production were 2012, 2014, and 2015.

What Kia Sorento has the best fuel economy?

Fuel efficiency and actual MPG

The Sorento HEV hybrid, which gets an estimated 39 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the interstate, uses the least fuel. The plug-in hybrid’s overall MPGe rating is 79.

Is the Kia Sorento a trustworthy vehicle?

Overall Reliability Scores: How Reliable Is the Kia Sorento? The Kia Sorento’s overall reliability score is 44.25, which indicates that it is not very reliable. The exact rankings of this car in relation to various other cars are shown in the chart below, however as a point of reference, the average overall rating is 57.

How many years are Kia Sorentos reliable? estimates that Kia cars should last 200,000 kilometers.

Lead Writer and Editor at Discover Seldric | + posts

John Valdez - Passionate Car Enthusiast and Accomplished Writer

Meet John Valdez, a dedicated car lover and seasoned writer whose passion for automobiles is as vibrant as his words are eloquent. With a keen eye for detail and a heart that beats to the rhythm of engines, John brings a unique blend of expertise and enthusiasm to the world of automotive journalism.

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