9.5

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$6,590
Average Mileage:
74,850 miles
Total Complaints:
22 complaints

Most common solutions:

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

problem #22

Jun 252021

Sorento V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

After some knocking under the hood, the engine stopped. I was able to pull over to the side of the road. Had car towed to mechanic, who said the engine was seized. Plenty of oil in the engine.

- Larry D., Colorado Spri, US

problem #21

May 272021

Sorento LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,000 miles

After spending $4100 last summer (July 2020) on a new timing belt and other repairs, the engine started knocking this summer. I took it in to have it looked at and the technician told me the engine had failed and it would cost $11,000 - $15,000 to repair. I had never heard of a repair being so expensive!!! This is outrageous for several reasons:

1) There was a known issue with a cold start in 2015 Sorentos that needed to be corrected (TB185). This was never mentioned to us, so that we could have it corrected.

2) Many, many 2015 Sorento and other engines were recalled due to a manufacturing issue, however the V6 engines were not included. The technician said "these engines also fail but not nearly as often as the 4 cylinder engines". Who cares?? If they were manufactured with issues they should be repaired.

3) I contacted service and Kia America but they were unwilling to correct the issue and didn't even respond to several of my emails (which conveyed frustration, of course).

4) A 2015 car with 147,000 miles should not be a junk car.

- Carrie H., Watkinsville, GA, US

problem #20

Mar 012019

Sorento 3.3lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I have had the maintenance done on the car as it should be. Oil and filters changed every 3000 to 4000 miles since I bought the car new. No warning lights came on, and that night it failed. The vehicle shut off and then started again making a knocking sound. Vehicle was taken to Kia dealer in Cumberland MD and they said the bottom end was shot.

They informed me the could get a used motor with 80,000 miles and put it in for $5,500,00. I spoke with the dealer to see if they would assist in the cost of the replacement with no luck. I called Kia corporate to see if we could resolve the issue with no luck. I explained to Kia that there had to be an issue with the engine. I had just paid vehicle off in 2019 when this happened and could not go without a vehicle for a day. So I ended up buying a new vehicle and it definitely wasn't a Kia.

- Shannon B., Keyser, US

problem #19

Nov 042020

Sorento LX 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,927 miles

We purchased our 2015 new and have serviced it as required, at 118,927 miles the car smelled of coolant, so we had it checked. We were told that there was a leak at the head, caused by the failure of the head bolt. Now they want $7,767.62 to replace the engine. We own a 2004 Silverado 300k + miles and the bolts on the head are fine, so why can't Kia make a product that last for the value of their customers investment?

All the complaints I'm reading about are due to the POOR design of their product and the use of inferior materials. Along with the engine problem, we have had the seat trim on our power seats break in the same manner more than once. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!! You are being WATCHED and what COMES AROUND GOES AROUND. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ DO THE RIGHT THING:-{

- nokluu, Haslet, US

problem #18

Jan 272021

Sorento LX 3.3L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,500 miles

I have had my Sorento for 5 years now. For some time there has been a tick, but it was always called a "GDI" valve tick. About a week ago I started hearing a loud knock. No CEL, no oil light, no warning at all but when I looked I was about a quart low. I added the oil and the knock smoothed out a bit, but as the week went on the knocking got worse. Checked the oil again there was plenty and it was changed not too long ago, well within the recommend schedule.

When I was driving home from work the there was a noticeable lack of power and hesitation. I get home park get out and the knock is loud once again look there is oil. At this point I’m pretty sure I’m dealing with a wore out, or spun, bearing. I planned to take it to the dealership the following morning. I go start to I can pull it to a place a tow truck and get to it and “KNOCK KNOCK SCRETCH DEAD” engine is completely seized at this point.

I’m currently waiting for a response from KIA, but I will go ahead and assume since I’m the second owner and while not at 100k yet this will be another case of “not maintained”. I’m not sure how many bearing failures you have to have before the recall is extend to the V6.

Update from May 10, 2021: Same as the 4 cyl, there was an oiling issue that caused a spun bearing and in turn, seized the engine. After months of working with the local dealership and a Kia case manager, we agreed to share the cost. I would pay for labor they would pay for the parts. Delay after delay the dealership got a new short block mid April and had it installed in a few days. I picked the Sorento up on a Thursday knock was gone, of course, power reported and it drove smooth. The next day I'm driving to work and CEL for the all too common P0018.

Recall this is what started my contact with a dealer years ago. I take it back to the dealership and was told that the sensor, Valve Timing Control, was not part of the repair. I pointed out that this is a sign on bad oil pressure and can lead to another failure. Kia and the dealership both handwaved me away. I have since sold the Sorento and cut my loss. I'm hoping there will be a long term recall as they did with the GDI 4cyl from the era and I can be compensated for the 4,000 I paid in repairs.

- Keith F., Charlottesville, VA, US

problem #17

Jun 032020

Sorento V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

My car started to lose power. I drive long distance a lot, from TN to SC and from TN to Orlando, the engine will break down on it own and can’t pick up speed even when I have my foot press all the way down on the gas pedal, it also can’t make it up a hill, it will only go like 20 ml.

One morning I was backing out of my drive way coming down and I saw smoke coming out the back. my engine light come on so I take it to be checked and the only thing they said is a fuel gasket. No repair yet .

- Brenda G., Dayton, US

problem #16

Apr 292020

Sorento SX 3.3L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,050 miles

We purchased a 2015 Kia Sorento SX with the 3.3L V6 engine. The vehicle was great until..... at 124,000 kms or 77,000 miles, my engine started having problems. It would shake when idling during start up and eventually started noticing white smoke coming out of the exhaust. I took it to a local mechanic and he mentioned that the head gasket was blown.

Right away I called the service manager at the dealership where i purchased the vehicle, and he mentioned to me that because I am over the warranty that it would not be covered. He told me to call Kia Canada and see if they could help. Kia Canada had zero interest in helping me and told me that I should have purchased the extended warranty. I decided to call the General Manager of the dealership and see if he could help in any way. He offered to have to vehicle towed to the dealership and he would work with me in helping cover some of the costs.

After inspecting the engine, i was told the head bolts have been stretched and that the head gasket is leaking internally and externally. The cost for a used engine with 68k kms is $7000 cdn or a new engine at $10,000 cdn. Luckily the dealership has offered to give me a fair value for the vehicle without an engine.

The dealership has been great to deal with, but I will never buy another Kia product again.

- Charlie M., Edmonton, AB, Canada

problem #15

Dec 232018

Sorento LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,490 miles

I have a 2015 Kia Sorento LX that I purchased new from a Kia Dealership in Christiansburg Virginia. I purchased this vehicle because of the safety ratings. My husband and I wanted to protect our boys as well as ourselves should an accident occur. I have been involved in multiple accidents due to careless drivers and my body can't withstand another accident. This car came highly recommended with airbags and structure and features so we were sold on it. We were happy with it for a few years. Fast forward to 12/24/18 the entire family was in the car traveling 65 Miles Per Hour. We heard a pinging / knocking noise...sounded a little like a rock bouncing under the hood. Then we started to lose power. Pulled off of road to shoulder. Then the check engine light starting blinking. Turned off engine and called a Tow Truck. It was determined by Kia Dealership it was the faulty connecting rod bearings. Engine seized. I had it in the same shop months prior for an update that should have alerted driver of the connecting rod bearings malfunctioning BUT THAT UPDATE did not work. We receive no prior warning of this. No light came on the console. Only after we stopped and the check engine light came on blinking. Attention KIA....This software update did not work ... regarding the connecting rod bearings. Kia reviewed our case. We had a warranty on it. They agreed to replace the engine free of charge. They agreed to pay for rental. It took 2 1/2 months for them to find another motor and put it in. We are grateful for that, but I am reading Horror news stories of Kia's with replaced engines catching fire, and doing the same thing the original engines are doing with the connecting rod bearings. Even the 2019 models. Really...you would think with all the deaths, injuries and all the engine replacements that the problem design Would be altered to correct this defect. It's like driving a ticking time bomb...you don't know when it will happen, where, or even if you can escape the car after it catches fire. A young man burned up alive in his Kia Soul because the engine malfunctioned and he could not unlock the doors. There are so many real stories about this...another man was burned eighty five percent of his body his wife had to jump out traveling forty miles an hour. I bought this car for it to protect me, I paid thirty thousand dollars for that protection. Now it may be the death of me and my family. If not by fire but being rear ended or struck because of loss of power. I have anxiety and panic every time I drive it. I'm consistently looking at console for lights coming on. I still owe on it. Making monthly payments. Can't afford another car. Have a lot already in this vehicle. I survived cancer twice and multiple car accidents. I bought this vehicle to give me peace of mind while traveling. Instead it has brought turmoil in my life. My 2015 Kia Sorento only had 49,490 when this happened. Kia needs to give everyone money back so they can purchase another vehicle. How many more people has to die or get seriously injured before a motion has to be done to take this off the road. Kia did a great job designing the car structure and feature, but failed with the proper design of the engine. These faulty engines should have been stopped in production years ago....but they continue making them knowing they were at risk to drivers. We need resolution on this issue soon. Kia needs to admit to fault, repay people for these vehicles so that they can purchase another one. Lawsuits are being filed. We have a serious problem and it cannot be overlooked. Kia please do the right thing. Years ago Kia had lawsuits failed because of incorrect gas mileage readings and gave people money back on gas. This is our lives we are taking about here. No money can replace me, my husband or my two sons. Action needs to be taken immediately. Build a modified engine ...or give our money back so,that we can purchase a car that will not put us in danger. PLEASE! Have you burned your tip of your finger while cooking....imagine how much pain you would feel if your whole body were engulfed in fire. This has caused anxiety...stress...loss of sleep, feeling insecure while driving, fear of the unknown in this car so much that I placed a hammer in the car to break the window in the event it doesn't open. I don't need this. No one needs to live like this. Someone help Kia owners. KIA please do something immediately. We don't deserve this! Thank you.

- Jean T., Christiansburg, US

problem #14

Aug 182019

Sorento LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,190 miles

My Kia Sorrento lost power on the freeway and so I took it to a KIA Dealership in Boise, Idaho. The mileage was 90,190, but because the oil level was low the dealership talked with Kia Corporate and denied to cover it under warranty because of the oil level. Here's what they will not acknowledge - I had an oil change on June 1st, 2019 and the issue happened on August 18th, 2019. It had been 7,394 miles since my oil change, however I used synthetic oil which says it is good for 7,500 - 10,000 miles. I have all my records for maintenance and have regular oil changes and other services as provided by recommendations. So far, they have refused to consider any of that information and I asked to appeal there decision. At this time, they have denied to cover the cost of $7,500 to fix the engine. Have others had a similar experience?

- Rob H., Sumner, WA, US

problem #13

Aug 232018

Sorento LX 2.4L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,869 miles

Car stalled on the interstate highway when my wife came home from work. There was no prior warning, the engine just shut off. My wife could not get the car to start. Car was towed to dealer and it was determined that the car required a new engine. Kia replaced the engine and gave us a free rental car during the whole process. The dealer had the car for 28 days.

- sad-kia-owner, Roswell, US

problem #12

Jan 172019

Sorento 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Bought car at a local dealership. Do not blame them at all for the troubles. My car just started spitting and sputtering and I didn't know what was going on. Took car to our mechanic and they stated we had to take to the Kia Dealership. Took down first time and of course they replaced engine - at their expense which I was so thankful for. $8k to replace engine. Took them 3 weeks..gave me a rental. Thought I was good to go...but no...

- Michelle H., King, NC, US

problem #11

Jan 042019

Sorento LX 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,430 miles

My family went to Austin, TX for the week between Christmas and New Years. This is about 4 hours from our home in East Texas. I drove the vehicle there and back. No vibrations, no odd noises, no check engine lights. My daughter drove the vehicle to Dallas 2 days later and while in traffic the vehicle began making terrible noises. She immediately pulled over and called my husband to ask where to take it. He used to live in that area, he directed her to a garage around the corner from where she was. She limped it over there and 30 minutes later they told her the engine was blown because there was no oil in the engine.

I found this unbelievable as the car wasn't due for an oil change for another 400 mil. AND there were no warning lights on in the dash. We called the extended warranty people and they sent an adjuster who agreed that the engine needed to be replaced. After looking at the report the warranty people requested that the garage take the engine apart. After reviewing that information they declined to pay because they said we did not have adequate oil changes and that negated the warranty.

I contacted the dealership and they tried to work with the warranty people and the garage gathering information etc... in an effort to have better information and to work with people I knew I paid $250 to tow the vehicle back to the dealership in our home town. When they got it there they ran compression tests. Normal. They asked our permission to reassemble the engine it would cost $1000. We told them to reassemble the engine to determine what was wrong.

After reassembling the engine it ran fine but had a knocking to it. They had to get permission from the Warranty people to find out what the problem was. They said it was in the lower portion of the engine and that there was metal in the engine. I believe this sounds exactly like the problems that were occurring in the 2014 KIA's. I am still in the process of trying to get KIA or the extended warranty people to pay for it. The current estimate is $7080. NOT including the $1000 I am already being charged to reassemble the engine.

I will keep watch on this page and others for suggestions on who to contact.

Update from Mar 20, 2019: The KIA headquarters personnel were great. They gave us a recall number and instructed us to contact our local KIA dealership. We had the vehicle towed to the dealership, upon inspection and comparison of the problem to the recall, a new engine has been ordered and will be installed on the 28th of March.

- Tina M., Tyler, TX, US

problem #10

Oct 092018

Sorento EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,382 miles

We bought our 2015 Kia Sorento in Fall of 2016. It was a beautiful car and we were very excited about it. Fast forward to Oct 2018 and we started to hear a knocking sound from the engine. As the week progressed it got louder and louder. We never saw any dash lights or warnings that anything was seriously wrong with the car. With that said I felt that we should take it in for a diagnosis. In addition, I also ran the diagnostic tool on my phone and it stated all was good.

After the car went into Kia of Everett, we were told that the engine was toast due do engine failure. The tech stated that there was no oil in the engine! We were shocked. At first Kia stated that this would most likely not be covered by warranty due to a lack in following the maintenance schedule. I was not buying it because no car just runs out of oil even if it is past it's change date by a few thousand miles.

As many others have stated we are in the process of waiting for the inspector to come out and decide if the issue will fall under warranty. The are in the process of taking the car apart and looking in the oil pan and under the heads to see if there are shavings. This leads me to believe that the V-6 model engines, also manufactured in 2014 are part of this huge recall. I am betting on that more of these V-6 models will have engine failure over the next year.

If anyone else knows of 3.2 liter V-6 models with engine failure, please comment.

- Ryan B., Everett, WA, US

problem #9

Jun 232018

Sorento LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,909 miles

Purchased this 2015 vehicle from a regional PA/NJ reseller named CarSense in November 2015 with 15,000 miles. Maintained regular service and oil changes, although not always with Castrol oil, as required for the CarSense extended warranty. Driving on the highway returning from the beach when the engine started a slight knock when accelerating. Stopped and checked the oil level which was fine. Just at 3,000 miles on the oil at the time. No check engine light. Drove further and the check engine light came on and then the engine stalled.

Towed to a Kia dealer and told engine was seized. As I am a second owner the 100,000 mile warranty did not apply. Vehicle was 909 miles over the 60,000 mile warranty and not covered. Escalated with Kia Consumer Affairs who I chased for over a week with escalation requests. Final answer ... we are sorry but the car is out of warranty. Would not offer any relief on either parts or labor.

Replacing the engine to the tune of $5,400.00 including replacing a starter which mysteriously "burned up". We have found many similar stories with engine problems that are most likely related to the 2012-2014 2.4L engine recall.

We will sell this car at our first opportunity and will NEVER buy another Kia or Hyundai product again. We will tell our story to anyone purchasing a new car. It would have been easy for Kia to have a customer for life with a reasonable stance. Their stance while legal is not ethical.

- Shari S., Norristown, PA, US

problem #8

Oct 102017

Sorento LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

My car died while I was on a major highway on travel for work. The engine is dead and the mechanic at the first Kia dealership I took it to said it was a broken rod in the engine and that this the problem I and the symptoms I experienced when it failed (no engine light warning and then sudden catastrophic failure) sounded exactly like the problem Kia was having with it's recalled engines.

I found out through research that my engine was from the same plant and was produced sometime during 2014, but I purchased it as a 2015 model in December of 2014 and once they found out it wasn't on the recall list they tried to blame me for the problem. I am still making payments on a car that doesn't work. I don't have my oil change records past somewhere around 32000 miles (who keeps oil change records?!?), so they are refusing to make good on the engine even though they tout their 100,000 mile engine warranty.

It's clear that they want to weasel out of paying for my engine. I refuse to pay for a new engine when it's clear that they are having similar problems with 2015 Sorentos that they had with the recalled model.

- Ferne F., Egg Harbor Township, NJ, US

problem #7

Jul 272017

Sorento LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

My KIA was operating with no issues. A few days ago the dash lights, specifically the oil light, began flickering but never stayed on. I thought maybe there might be a short in the light as my vehicle itself was not performing any differently. A day later my car engine began making a slight knocking or clicking noise. But, there were no warning lights on. The noise went away. The next day while driving home I was driving on a highway at 70 mph. The noise returned then quickly became louder and then a horrific metal screeching noise came from under my hood and my vehicle engine completely turned off on me while on the highway. I was able to coax my vehicle safely off the highway. I called KIA they told me it sounded like the recall issues they had been addressing. Within an hour they had a tow truck pick up my vehicle and said they would get back to me.

Later that afternoon, the KIA service department called me said my engine is shot and would need to be replaced. Further, it is not under warranty and it is not the engine that is under recall though it meets all the same issues that the engines in the prior years had that had been replaced. He said he would call me back with pricing on engines.

Upon the second call, the serviceman advised he sent me pictures and advised that there was "sludge" in my oil and that my engine was not a manufacturing problem, but a maintenance problem. I told him that was impossible as I have maintained all the maintenance on the vehicle on schedule. In fact, the oil had just been changed three weeks ago! He told me there was no way my oil would like that if I changed my oil three weeks ago.

- Stephanie L., Hallettsville, US

problem #6

May 012017

Sorento V4 Gdi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

My 2015 Kia Sorento only has a little over 25K miles and it is smoking & bucking under hard acceleration. It has also used 5 quarts of oil in the last 3 weeks. By the time the oil light came on, there was no oil showing on the dipstick. Also no "check engine" light.

Took it to the dealer on Monday and within minutes told me the engine had severe engine sludge, the engine would need to be replaced and warranty wouldn't cover it. They did not do a compression test to determine the problem and told me if I wanted one done I would have to pay for it. I had a complete inspection & oil change done in March and they said everything was fine, no mention of sludge.

In reading other horror stories about the GDI engines and sludge buildup, I am thinking the 2015 should also be included in the recall. This car has been well taken care of and any sludge is not as a result of neglected maintenance. I've had this car for 8 months and only put 5K miles on it.

Update from Feb 18, 2018: I filed a complaint with Kia America & they promptly contacted me. She suggested I take it to a different dealership & not even tell them about the experience at the other dealership. I had used this one in the past & had always been treated well there but they are 90 minutes away.

Anyway, I took the car to them and then contacted Kia with the file number as instructed and told them where the car was. After a few hours of checking out the car & talking to Kia engineers, they admitted the engine was bad & agreed to replace it under warranty. They provided me a loaner to drive, (also a Sorento), and a week later I had a new engine.

The dealership did a complete inspection on the car & fixed 8 other problems they found, (including wiper blades), all at no cost to me. This is my 4th Kia & with customer care like this, it won't be my last.

- Gary C., Casa Grande, US

problem #5

Apr 022017

Sorento 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

When shopping for a new car, checked JD Power ratings, reviews and thought that Kia was it. Purchases our 2015 Sorento on 12/31/16, car had 38,000 miles. Fast forward to April 2, 2017 barely 3 months-husband drives it to NC (300 miles or so) and calls me to ask have I had any work done on it. Nope, I say. I drive it 20 miles to the airport and back once a week to commute to work and locally for errands and thats it. He says it sounds like a diesel. Takes it to a service station and there's no oil! Puts in 4 quarts and drives back to Richmond and it burns 2 quarts on the way.

Now this is a car with LOW mileage at purchase, very clean inside and under the hood. Take it to our local Kia here in RIchmond and they say "it has sludge" we need service records. Mind you its still under warranty. Its not time for an oil change, they did it at the dealership where we purchased it and we barely have 3000 miles on it.

We get service record information from previous owner, and they are not complete enough so they are not going to fix it. Previous years 2011-2014 are under recall FOR THE SAME THING! SLUDGE IN THE ENGINES!! THESE CARS ARE P.O.S's!!!

- Buff S., Glen Allen, VA, US

problem #4

Feb 162017

Sorento SXL 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,245 miles

if you need to buy a new car please don't buy kia. there warranty sucks. they will denied you of any big thing. I need it my engine replace and they denied you even with all the receipts of service. I will sue them for bad service and fraud.

- Manny B., Cape Coral, FL, US

problem #3

Feb 162017

Sorento LX 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,620 miles

This problem was very nerve racking. We did have excellent service from Kia corporate and the local dealer, as well as our dealer back home. We were driving at highway speed and were over 300 km away from home, so it was pretty nightmarish. Luckily we had just come in to cell service, so were able to call road side assistance. They are replacing the engine and covering our rental car in the mean time. Even though Kia has been excellent about helping us, I just wanted everyone to know about this potential problem I recommend that you get all service done at the dealer and make sure to check your oil regularly and pay close attention to the clarity of your oil and make sure there are no metal filings on your dip stick. Other than Engine failure, we have really loved this vehicle.

- Willis G., Castlegar, BC, Canada

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