really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
74,200 miles
Total Complaints:
21 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace engine (20 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Kia dealer.

problem #21

Nov 132020

Sorento Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

This was the blown head gaskets under the extended warranty. It was fixed for my portion of 335.00 - then 5 months later the rings went out completely. The cost to replace engine with a used 63,000 engine was $8700.

Fast forward to 06/2022 and the rings are gone again from the used engine with a 90 day warranty and my extended warranty has expired. Washington State. Buyer beware. Now on to additives and my $11,000 used car has cost me 19,000.

- Ea K., Bremerton, WA, US

problem #20

Aug 162022

Sorento SX 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,118 miles

I was on vacation in the Gaspé area (about 950km away from home)... the engine (V6 3.3L) failed completed... it had a terrible knocking noise, and I just managed to get the vehicle to the Kia dealership in Gaspé.

The Kia dealer told me the engine is blown, and would cost over $25,000 for a new engine replacement!

I had to rent a car, for my return home (cost $1400 CDN), plus have my Kia Sorento transported (by truck towing / transport service - which cost $2600 CDN).

Now the vehicle is at a local Kia dealership, which they tell me that a replacement (rebuilt) engine would cost $11,500 CDN (which includes parts, labour and taxes).

I am now looking for a less expensive alternative, or possibly a trade-in deal to get another vehicle.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

- timster54, Pointe-Claire, QC, Canada

problem #19

Apr 292022

Sorento EX 3.3L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

I bought a used 2014 3.3L V6 Kia Sorento EX. I hadn't even driven 1000 miles and it started over heating. Took it in and thermostat was replaced. Fine for about a week and then started over heating again. Was told that I had a blown head gasket. OK - I understand just bad luck and sometimes that happens. During repair they discovered head bolt threads were stripped from aluminum block and I would have to have an engine replacement. Kia quoted me a price of 11,500.00. I still owe 13,000.00 on the car because I had just bought it. I don't know what I am going to do. It has been a financial disaster that I can't recover from.

- Millie M., Hodgenville, KY, US

problem #18

May 082022

Sorento LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

The car began to have a knock. We took it to our mechanic who stated the engine was blown. Called the local dealership and Kia both. SO SORRY - you're the second owner and there is no warranty. Estimated cost to replace engine is over $7K.

- Eric S., Lincoln, US

problem #17

Oct 092021

Sorento 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

I was driving at the time that my check engine light came on the dash board. I immediately stopped the car tuened off the engine and proceeded to look under the hood for any obvious issues. I didn't see anything so I tried to restart my car with no luck. The car have never ran again. I still owe on this car and it no longer runs. I have taken it to 2 different mechanics and they both stated the engine has locked up on this car.

- Gail A., Gallatin, US

problem #16

Dec 232020

Sorento LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,500 miles

We only bought this car 3 years ago and today we were told that the engine fell apart and the it would cost 13,000 to fix it! The thing that is frustrating and scary is that there were no warning lights, nothing to indicate that there was an issue. We took it in for regular maintenance and would have addressed any issues if we knew about them - it was one minute it’s fine, the next the engine needs to be replaced!

We will never buy a Kia again and we will recommend to everyone - from people I see in the grocery store to close friends that they should run away from buying a Kia and find anything else! I also see that I am not the first to have this issue either, it is a common problem! What a really expensive life lesson for us that Kia is a terrible investment!

- Jessica P., Parker, CO, US

problem #15

Dec 072020

Sorento LX 3.3L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,048 miles

The problem started after I decided to start taking the Sorento LX V6 3.3L into the dealership shop to make sure it gets serviced by the "right professionals". It has been at least two consecutive and maybe three times that I have had oil changes at this Kia dealership. I was told that there was very little oil left in the motor. I was confused as this was the first time I have heard this and I have used Good year, Firestone and a couple of other local shops service the car previously. The vehicle was making rattling noises coming from the engine shortly after getting an oil change so I took it back to the dealership shop. The service Advisor tells me that I'm low on oil. I said, how could I be low on oil when I had it serviced here at this shop?

The first time they found a leak that they admitted the technician overly tightened the bolt and cracked the gasket and therefore leaked oil. It damaged two alternators and was reimbursed for one through KIA customer care. The issue was fixed as there was no longer a leak. But, again the service Advisor said my oil was low at time of oil change. Again, I was like how can the car be low on oil when your shop is servicing the vehicle? There is no warning lights, no service lights, no engine lights to let me know that the vehicle is low on oil. Next service date was Nov. 11, 2020. It was Dec 7th and approximately 500 miles over the suggested miles for service. My son and daughter called me to inform me that the car is dead on the side of the road. I assumed it was the battery so I called AAA. The tow truck shows up and shows me the battery has plenty of charge. He tries to crack the motor and a weird sound comes from the motor and doesn't turn.

I have the car towed to the dealership shop as they have been working on it the last few times. I know I'm at 155,048 miles and no longer under warranty but we recently paid $2300 for a new timing chain as they recommended so what could go wrong!? It turns out the vehicle is bone dry out of oil. Appears the pistons and motor is shot. My options are pay $8100 for a new motor that is on back order and only get 12 months of warranty or buy a replacement vehicle. They of course accept no responsibility and simply tell me that I am outside of warranty. I think I'm done with Kia. And unfortunately I recently bought a 2020 Kia Telluride SUV in August of 2019.

- Daniel S., Denton, TX, US

problem #14

Sep 222019

Sorento V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 86,130 miles

I had the engine blow in my Kia sorento, due to a Factory recall in the engine block, Kia is refusing to honor the recall or give me any compensation, the car has been in the shop for 5 weeks now, no replacement car, no offers from kia for aid, nothing! I still have yet to get it back, I had to take it to an auto body shop as Kia wanted almost 9 grand for it, when this is also a rebuilt 0 mile engine, I am furious with kia, and never recommend them to anyone...

- Edward S., Edwardsville, KS, US

problem #13

Jul 302018

Sorento LX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

The engine was inspected under the warranty recall. The service guys told us we could replace at the time or wait to see what happens. They thought the vehicle seemed ok. I was driving on the freeway , less than ten minutes from home when the vehicle shut down. Smoke entered the cab and fire was seen coming from the engine compartment under the hood . I coasted the car past an off ramp and started to exit the vehicle. IT WAS VERY DANGEROUS MOVING THE CAR OUT OF TRAFFIC. I could not see through the windshield and had to roll down my window. The engine seized and the smoke stopped. The car would not restart. I called a tow truck and had the car towed to my home.

The car was taken in to have the engine replace under warranty. We paid an extra $600 to replace all the belts and hoses as well. The car has been running well.

Another warranty for a high pressure fuel hose was done April 2019.

The car has been to all oil and warranty updates. We maintain it per dealer specs.

I still love my Kia Sorento and hope that the car continues to run with all warranty work. I hope they fix all engine problems, as the Telluride has just hit the market.

- Christie S., Morgan Hill, US

problem #12

Nov 172018

Sorento LX 4.6L Gdi V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,118 miles

My first documented attempt to have my engine replaced due to the sc147 recall was at 96,700 miles or before. The dealer did not fix the problem and my Kia was brought in to the dealership 4-5 after that with my complaints of engine symptoms related to the sc147 recall. Not until approximately 116,000k did my engine completely shut off while I was driving on the highway.

Dealer again kept my Kia for 8/9 days before releasing back to me without a repair due to the service manager not being able to replicate the problem. Service manager also told me I most likely had a rodent in my engine or I used bad gas and that was the cause. I was charged in this occasion for a engine flush and an oil change. I was not issued a rental car for these days in service either.

Then at 118,118K driving on the highway again at a high speed, the engine knocking started and rapidly turned into a violent thrashing under my engine while attempting to exit the freeway. During rush hour, I was forced to hit the exit guardrail in order to exit. No damage to the body of the car but terrifying as my 3 year old was with me.

Kia had told me that I needed a video of what occurs in order to diagnose the problem, so I took a video of all this happening. My video clearly indicates my rod bearings going out before destroying the engine. The vehicle was towed to the dealership on a Saturday night after hours. Monday they rented me a car but offered Zero explanation for what had happened. Weeks went by with no updates on the condition of my vehicle or what would be done to fix it. After about 25 days in service out of the blue they contacted me from the dealership and told me they replaced the engine. The service manager still insisted a rodent lived inside my engine although the cost of replacement was covered under the extended warranty. Upon picking up my vehicle, it was missing all the windshield wipers, paint was severely damaged and my heater no longer worked. I seriously felt like Mickey Mouse had put my car back together.

After filing numerous incidents with NHTSA about my engine failures and attempts to get it fixed, Kia Motor America gave me a case manager at approximately 116K when my engine initially failed. She was horrible and never got back to me about getting me a rental vehicle the 1st time this happen or never followed through with my complaint of severe paint damaged sustained at the dealership and never completely explained the Consumer Affairs Buyback program offered through KMA.

I got a replacement Case Manager, he was better but very slow to get back to me although always polite. Through my second case manager I was able to negotiate a "good faith offer" to help with the inconvenience of this ordeal. However, I declined it due to the fact It did not cover my car payments while in service, plus the cost of paint damage.

I requested the car be bought back after hearing reports of POST ENGINE REPLACEMENT engine fires due to incorrectly replacing the engine. I have no faith that the mechanics at my dealership replaced my engine properly. I feel like I'm Prime Candidate to catch fire due to fuel pipe leak or something related to the replacement of my engine. I won't even fill my gas tank up out of fear!

At this point I've driven my Kia with the replacement engine for approximately 3,000k and just received a letter from KMA with 3 options I can choose from their consumer relations buyback program. I've been working with case worker number 2 since December 6, 2018 for this offer, it finally came March 3, 2019. Here is where I need help on making a decision.

I live in California and looked up the formula used by manufacturers to reach their mileage deduction for time "in use", it's outlined in the California lemon law. Although my car does not fall under the terms of being deemed a lemon, the deduction for miles in use is what they want to agree too. I frankly think this is bull. They are saying that at 118,118K is the first attempt was made to correct the problem and I bought the car with 35,311k so the miles it was in use by me was 82,808K in which they are charging me 19 cents for one of those miles! (this is not a leased car, I still owe money on my loan ). So they want to deduct approximately $15,870 off the repurchase price for time in use.

My first problem with this is that the entire engine was replaced at 118,118K. I was given my car back and told by the service manager that it's like having a new car. Why should I have to pay for the use of a car when the motor mileage was replaced and had zero use ? I understand normal ware and tear on the car for a deduction but not on a engine that was replaced. How should I go about this or should I let this go because it's some sort of gray area!?

Secondly, I still feel like I have a leg to stand on when it comes to my first attempt to have the engine replaced when I was experiencing the symptoms of the sc147 recall at 96,700K !! Certainly not 118,118 when My engine finally wore out. If there has to be a mileage use deduction shouldn't it be at my mileage I first reported engine troubles, the end result was at 118,118K, the whole time between 96,700k and 118,118k my car was in service for over 50 p!us days and I repeatedly came in to get help for my engine.Each time I was told it was a good engine and I and my family were safe!!

What should I do? What would you do? Option 1 from KMA is to replace the car for the purchase price $22,999. LESS half of the $15,870 for mileage use - I would have to give them a cashiers check for $7,935 and continue with the terms of my current loan for the new vehicle!(I owe over $8,000) I can only have a KIA car as a replacement. Option 2 . Take the repurchase price they offered me. This includes them taking $15,870 for miles in use out of the original purchase price but they also will also pay off the rest of my loan. Option 3 : keep my car in the condition it's in and take a cash good will offer ? ( it covers the cost of the paint damage and a few car payments I made while the car was in service - I definitely feel it's not enough for all the problems and life threatening situations I have been in!!) Those are my options and I only have 30 days from the letter to decide.

Should I counter offer them asking for my deduction for miles in use to be recalculated to either my documented first attempt to correct the recall OR should I only have to pay for the miles that I put on AFTER the engine replacement??? WHO ELSE IS GOING THROUGH THIS!?!?

- Gina L., Simi Valley, US

problem #11

Dec 242018

Sorento LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

I took my 2014 Sorento in for recall checks on Friday December 21, 2018. I was told there was 3. 2 were part replacements and 1 was the metal check in the engine where they told me they did a "complimentary" oil change. They said everything checked out an sent me on my way. We noticed immediately one of the head lights was out, but my husband fixes those no problem, so we didn't pay it any mind. It was Christmas weekend so we didn't do much besides drive a few miles to the store, so the car mostly sat until Christmas Eve. He were headed to see family, not to far maybe 15 miles at most. We noticed the engine making noises that didn't sound great but thought we would at least make it through the day. NOPE! Engine completely friggin died. There we were on the side of the road 3 kids in the car at 10PM on Christmas Eve. Kia has had my car now for 24 hours and I haven't heard a word.

- Brooke Lauryn M., La Plata, MD, US

problem #10

Dec 052017

Sorento LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,211 miles

Purchased my wife a 2014 Kia Sorento back in November of 2017 at our local Kia dealership. The SUV looked like new and only had around 50,000 miles on it. I was the second owner and looked like the previous owner took care of the car. Took it home and not three weeks later the engine blows.

Last time I drove it without any issues was on my way back home from work on the freeway. Got home, parked overnight, then the next morning as we started our routine, I hear this small ticking coming from outside the car. I though I had a rock on one of the tires and was ticking as I drove forward. But the ticking continued at the stop sing. We drove one more block and the ticking turned to louder as a tap. Then I figured the cooling fan must be hitting a hose or something under the hood. Drove another block, right before getting onto the freeway and the tap turned to a loud knocking noise. That's when I knew it was more than the fan. The engine was a goner.

I drove back home, as the car began to die due to the problem. Parked it at home and called the Kia dealership. Thank GOD this car was still under the 60,000 mile warranty and the replacement of the engine cover under this. Had I drove it 7,000 more miles, I would have had to pay this out of pocket.

- Fernando R., Georgetown, US

problem #9

Sep 212017

Sorento EX 4W 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,400 miles

I have been trying to get a slight miss repaired since the first oil change. Eighteen (18) injectors, 4 new tires (could not balance original tires) later, I took the new service manager for a drive. He agreed there is something wrong with this car. Took it in for scheduled repair (again) on 8/13/17 and on the morning of 8/14/17 when the mechanic started the motor, the parking lot filled with smoke from exhaust. Motor blew in their shop.

Good news: covered under warranty. Bad news: will be rebuilt with a new short block (back ordered until unknown @ this time) and original heads. The short block is the only new part assuming all other components are reusable. This work will be done by the same mechanic's that could not solve the problem over the past 4 years.

Note: this car only has 12400 easy miles, stored in garage, oil changed due to time not miles. This near new Sorento already has 17 items listed on Carfax and someday will have a rebuilt motor someday. Kia has NOT been customer friendly! Unfortunately, this case does not qualify for the "Lemon Law" in the state of Oregon.

- snsshidewayss, Hammond, US

problem #8

Jan 152016

Sorento ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

I had all of my receipts from my oil changes. However, I was told by KIA that they would not honor the warranty because one of the oil changed used an after market oil filter instead of a KIA oil filter. My car smoke upon acceleration and has very little power. I was told there is sludge in the engine and I need a new one. I just cannot afford an $8,000 repair. I will never trust KIA again. This was my very first brand new car and I am upside down in payments. I owe more than it is worth. I am stuck and this is so miserable.

- vaedra, Alexandria, VA, US

problem #7

Sep 022016

Sorento LX 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,782 miles

Purchased 2014 Kia Sorento in December of 2014. First three service jobs were completed at the dealership. On 9/9, I noticed smoke coming out tail pipe upon acceleration. Husband checked oil, said it was fine but said it needed changing. I knew I was about 2K over recommended oil change. Took to Jiffy Lube to have oil changed on Monday 9/12, when pulling into Jiffy Lube, smoke is billowing out the back of the car. They checked oil said there was no oil. They put oil in it and I went straight to dealership.

After a 3 hour wait at dealership, I was told my engine is gone it is burning oil due to sludge. I proceeded to tell them there shouldn't be any sludge I had oil changed every 5K miles or so. I did realize I was about 2K miles past my service. I was told the warranty would not cover engine because I was over the recommended mileage and to even be considered under warranty I would need to produce receipts for all service done on the car. My husband changed the oil the past three times and I did not have any receipts. I was then told warranty is null and void. I mentioned I received a letter a week earlier from Kia stating a known issue with the engines and the warranty had been extended. He said provide receipts where your husband changed the oil.

I contacted the owner of the dealership, he owns 5. Supposedly, he was out of town for a week and I was told the GM would call me. I never received a phone call from anyone. Needless, to say I traded within a few days. I LOVED my Sorento and had sent Kia of Auburn several customers after I purchased my car, one of which had to have her engine replaced. I will NEVER buy another Kia/Hyundai product and will share my experience with anyone and everyone that will listen!

- Karen C., Opelika, AL, US

problem #6

Jul 302016

Sorento SXL 3.3L V6 Awd

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,506 miles

I was driving my vehicle to Amarillo,TX and the trip is about 100 miles from where I live. Shortly after I left home my A/C stopped working and would only blow warm air, I had an appointment the following week to get the 60,000 mile service, so I just added to the things they would have to look at because it was working intermittently prior to that. About 55 miles into the trip while my cruise control was set my vehicle started losing power, there was no warning lights or indicator that there was a problem. I pulled over to the side of the highway and noticed smoke coming out of the hood. I wasn't in a town and it was 95 degrees outside. While on the phone with Kia roadside assistance a state trooper pulled up behind me, roadside assistance told me that it would be 90 minutes to get a tow truck to me and at that time the state trooper told me he could have one there in 20 minutes, so instead of waiting on the side of the road for 90 minutes I let the trooper get a tow for me. The vehicle was towed to the same dealer that I bought it from, this happened on a Saturday, so they couldn't look at it until Monday. Kia did not have a loaner vehicle and since I was stranded and due to the time, I had to rent a vehicle from the airport, which was $300 a week. Monday they called and told me that it would need a new engine and they had to see if Kia would cover it, 5 days later they said they would cover it, but in the meantime I am still having to pay for a rental. My car was towed there on 30 Jul and was not finished until 24 Aug. It is now 7 Sep and I am still waiting on a decision from Kia to reimburse me for the tow and rental expenses. I was told that Kia would reimburse $25 a day if I rent a non Kia vehicle and $35 a day if I rent a Kia, I did not find a rental for less than $50 a day. I live in a small town, the closest rental agency is 30 miles away and there is only one agency in the area, so I'm lucky if they even have a car available, let alone it being a Kia. I have more I can say but I think people can get the picture. I loved my car, but after my experience with how they do business I will never buy a Kia again.

- Jenna S., Portales, NM, US

problem #5

Apr 292016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,500 miles

Kia has yet to say that they will honor the warranty. My husband changed the oil and they are trying to determine if my husband put some other substance in the car. He has been changing oil for 50 years - I think he knows what he is doing. We are still waiting for an answer but after reading the four other comments about blown engines, I am not too optimistic. They have said it is an $8000.00 repair!!! They have given me a free loaner though.

Update from Jun 7, 2016: Kia notified us that are repairing our car at no cost to us. They installed a new engine and had it back to us in record time. Kia informed us that they could fine nothing wrong with the car that they felt was their responsibility but they were fixing the car out of "good will"!!! They said it was not properly maintained!!! Are you kidding me? when was the last time a large corporation did something like that out of "good will"? They have a problem with that engine and they know it and they don't want any one screaming "lawyer".

- Marie I., Brandon, FL, US

problem #4

Dec 102015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

I purchased the Kia Sorento new June 2013. I had my first oil change at the dealer at about 5700 miles on or about November 2013. The dealer told us that Kia had the best warranty and only suggested oil changes at 7500-10,000 mile intervals. I purchased the oil and my father changed the oil 2 more times once in July 2014 and again September 2015. This vehicle was purchased for my wife who gave birth to our son three days after purchasing the vehicle. It was not driven often because she did not return to work until October 2013. As a teacher she only worked until May 2014 and did not return to work until September 2015. She worked less than 10 miles from home therefore our mileage was low. Around December 10, 2015 my wife said the car was “acting funny”. I told her to come home and I would have my dad look at it. When she came home the car appeared fine no lights, no warnings, no sounds that wasn’t normal. The next day we were driving and the car it just stopped on the side of the road. We had it towed to the dealership. The dealer took several days to tell us that the engine was blown because we didn’t change the oil enough. We were not due for another oil change for 5000 miles. After a month of waiting Kia told me they were not fixing under warranty. I have spoke to many people, dealerships, junk yards, mechanics... all say after only 30000 on the car no way it should have that much engine sludge to blow the engine even IF it was never changed. (But it was I am not an idiot I know a car needs oil changes this isn't my first car and I wasn't born yesterday!!!!!)

So here I am with a car that is due to come off lease in June, I have a second child due to be born in June and we had to go buy another car so we could WORK... I have a 5000 bill for an engine that came from a piece of crap company. I see so many with same issue and wonder what do I have to do to start a class action lawsuit against KIA???


Fact: Kia has had a previous class action lawsuit for the 2004-2009 Kia Sorento due to engine issues.

Fact: Toyota had previous class action lawsuit for their engine sludge issues.


- Jason W., Mishawaka, IN, US

problem #3

Nov 262014

Sorento 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,400 miles

2013 KIA Sorento was driving fine when suddenly it died. I was on the Interstate in Holiday traffic. No lights indicating a problem. Fortunately I was able to get it to the side of the road. Had it towed to closest KIA Dealership where I was told the Engine had blown. Still under Warranty, however KIA will not honor it. When the engine blows, there should be SOME indication, before it happens. Had I not been able to maneuver to the road side, any number of horrible accidents could have occurred.

- Paula S., El Paso, TX, US

problem #2

Oct 292014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

As stated by the previous person that had a blown engine, mine was the same thing. I was sitting at a light and accelerated to go when there was a pop and the engine started loosing compression. I immediately pulled over to the side of the road. I had the vehicle towed to the KIA dealer that I bought it from.

I was informed that the engine was blown and because my husband changed our own vehicles oil (he has been changing oil for his own vehicles for over 30 years and never had any problems) it was no longer under warranty. To repair it, the cost will be over $6000 of which I don't have. A 25,000 vehicle that is useless!

I bragged how I loved my KIA and virtually sold three of my friends into getting one. Now I am not a happy KIA owner!!!!

- Jamie H., Vandalia, OH, US

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