pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
50,900 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
  2. new engine (2 reports)
  3. replace engine (2 reports)
  4. has not been fix (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Kia dealer.

problem #9

May 232020

Sorento 3.3L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

click to see larger images

engine failure engine failure

Driving down the road and all we heard was a load pop and the motor died. We coasted about a 1/4 of a mile then had to push it about 500 feet into a driveway. Walked up to the house, knocked on the door, turned around and we saw smoke. At this time the headlights and flashers were still on so we didn't think nothing of it and pop the hood to let the motor cool down so we can get it towed. We start taking too the homeowner's and all of a sudden the vehicle erupted in flames. We had enough time to get our phones out and that was it. Total loss. Kia values my husband's and my life at $500 dollars. They currently have a lawsuit of $758 million dollars against them and my life is worth $500

- Melissa H., Mt Olive, US

problem #8

Mar 142019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

It was annoying that the car had very little miles, but thankfully it was just me and my dad in the car. We were able to pull off the side of the road safely. There was no warning, no lights came on. The motor just let go while we were driving down the road. Thankfully there was no traffic behind us, and we were safe. On the positive, the dealership was amazing. They had the tow truck at the car within 2 hours, and a loaner to us immediately. We are going on our second week without our car, but, we are not walking. We are happy Kia is standing behind their product, but a little disappointed that the engine failed so quickly.

- Juli P., Owensville, US

problem #7

Mar 052019

Sorento LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,500 miles

There is a recall for Sorentos up to 2014. I don't see anything yet for 2016 yet. My 2.4l spun a rod bearing at 92500 miles. There was no indication of the problem beforehand. I took off from a light and it went. I drove 20 minutes to the dealer but it was already un-repairable. So far Kia is covering it under warranty. They are installing a re-manufactured engine right now. The service manager told me it was due to an inferior finish on the crankshaft rod bearing surface. I'm not sure how he knew that without tearing it down unless it is a problem Kia is aware of but hasn't recalled yet.

Update from May 29, 2019: 5/29/19. Still in loaner car. It's been 3 months and I was just informed it will be 1-4 more months as I am now waiting for a new motor off the line?

- Ken D., Kenosha, US

problem #6

Dec 142017

Sorento V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,068 miles

Car started making loud clicking noise upon acceleration and oil light blinked on and off. Checked oil and added oil treatment and supreme gas. Called to report issue with Kia. Told to continue driving not to worry under warranty. While driving to dealership next day, engine light came on and car stalled at acceleration, noise worsened and car shut completely down in rush hour traffic leaving me and my small child stranded. Kia roadside service showed up an hour later and towed vehicle to Bowie MD Kia dealership.

After calling dealership maintenance department to ask about the car. AJ the person I spoke to immediately started the conversation with " we will need all maintenance receipts or we will not honor warranty". She said no record of service with them. The car is less than 2 years old and only 39000 miles. Asked for supervisor who was even more rude and threatening saying if oil wasn't changed every 5k miles they won't pay for repairs. I told service supervisor that I had used them for service and oil change during recall for bad frame 10 months earlier and changed myself the next time. The call turned into total attack on me, the customer seeking help to determine what was wrong with the car. I explained I was a disabled Veteran and needed the car to travel for Christmas and the reason I bought Kia was because of warranty assurances.

Before supervisor would even agree to diagnose they cause he required $115.00. I did some research online and found hundreds of articles about an identical issue with earlier Kia Sorrento models with the exact same problem. The supervisor alluded to the engine likely failing and that Kia would not honor warranty. I find the entire experience to be suspect because the supervisor I spoke to made all of these assumptions without even looking at the car or having diagnosed the problem.

I have never had this bad of an experience with a vehicle in my entire life. It seems the small print in the warranty is nothing more than a scam to sale high price vehicles with faulty engines. I will update this post once I have resolution of some sort.

- dhoodiehood, Annapolis, US

problem #5

Nov 042017

Sorento ES 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

My car started hesitating and cut off, momentarily, while driving. The "check engine" light came on, while I was 300 miles from home. I called and had the car towed to the nearest dealership, which involved me having to rent a car, since it was a weekend and I had medically necessary appointments come in up the following week. After several days, the dealership told me that my car had been repaired incorrectly, during a recall, and the part failed. The dealership indicated that I would have to pay the $800 charge for repair, which made no sense to me, since it was a recalled part, installed by Kia, that failed. I also was told that I would also have to pay for the rental, since the part was not covered under warranty, which I feel it should have been. The matter has not been resolved at this point in time!!!

- Isaac M., College Park, US

problem #4

Oct 092017

Sorento LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

I was driving home from work in my 2016 Kia Sorento. I was on Normandie Ave in Torrance a very busy highway with my 2 kids, all of a sudden my vehicle stalled on me. I tried turning it back on and no luck, vehicle did not start. I did call Kia free road assistance and the tow truck never showed up. My mother called her triple A and was picked up. My vehicle was towed to the nearest Kia dealership. After the next day I called the dealer to ask what is going on with my vehicle and the guy mentioned that there is a recall in my vehicle engine and he gave me a PO number for me to go to enterprise for rental until my vehicle is fixed. Now I received a phone call from Kia stating that my vehicle will not be fixed by Kia. They're saying that it was because of not changing the oil. I have all my receipts that my vehicle had all oil changes up to date.

Update from Nov 3, 2017: My car has been at Kia dealer since oct. 9, and its not getting fix.

- lwalker310, Long Beach, ca, US

problem #3

Jan 302017

Sorento 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,525 miles

click to see larger images

engine failure

This is my work vehicle and I drive approximately 1100 miles a week. The mileage at the time of failure was just over 62,000 miles

I will explain carefully what happened. the engine was serviced regularly however last two services were not at the dealership. As I do with all my vehicles I added Valvoline complete oil system cleaner to the engine as per the instructions which in my other vehicles do a great job cleaning the engine. I replaced the oil and filter.

The problem however occurred in stages. The car started driving sluggishly for about a month. I serviced the engine and the problem continued. I took the vehicle to the dealer and they added a detergent and ran the engine for most of a day. When I returned for the vehicle nothing more than that had been done.

Annoyed, I instructed them to change the oil and I took the vehicle and left. (They later told me that they had added more detergent to the new oil and I had left with detergent in my engine) Then after servicing a second time about two weeks later, and changing spark plugs, I test drove the vehicle to see if there was any improvement, and there was a loud clicking in the engine started as I reached back home. I tried starting the vehicle the next morning and it would not start. I removed the bottom pan from the engine and the filter in the oil pump was clogged. There was a surprising amount of sediment in the bottom pan also.

Apparently, the engine had not been getting distributing oil even though we are servicing the car regularly and from the metal shavings in the oil it was clear that the engine had seized.

It seems that the bottom pan has the outlet at the "side" of the pan (see image) and did not allow the dirt and debris to run out properly when the oil is being changed. The sediment build up at the bottom of the pan was being picked up by the oil pump that sits low in the pan and it was eventually clogging up the pump's filter. So all this time, even though the engine was full of fresh clean oil, there was no oil circulating in the engine.

The dealership was very secretive about what was wrong when they had it for the day and as (they claimed) my warranty had run out at 60,000 miles. (they had never gave me a copy of it.). If I had not opened the oil (bottom) pan and looked at the problem myself I would have never have known that this design flaw ( inefficient outlet for the oil) was the cause of the problem.

I came online and looked for other complaints about the KIA Sorento and found that there were quite a few similar issues and even an engine recall up to 2014. My vehicle has been out of use for the last 10 months and the cost to replace the engine in my country (according to the dealership) is US$12,000 (understandable with shipping, duties and such included)

I am not sure what my options are because I am paying every month for the loan The vehicle is being sold here for almost US$50,000 (vs US$22,000 in the USA) and my monthly payments is US$900 per month (5 years). So that does not leave me the option to find the money to replace the engine.

Because it is a newer model I have not been able to find a second had engine as yet.

I have never contacted KIA but so as per other complainants, that has not yielded much fruit. I will try at some point soon though.

So that's my story. It would be nice to know if my observation about the design of the bottom pan and the position of the internal oil pump is helpful to anyone else in figuring out whats happening to their Sorento engine that has also failed in a similar fashion.

For those for whom the problem has not developed as yet however, you must remove and clean the bottom pan each time you service your engine to avoid the build up of sediment in the bottom pan.

- John C., Saint John, Antigua and Barbuda

problem #2

Jun 192017

Sorento 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

In Sept of 2015 my husband surprised me with my very first brand new car at the age of 42 years old. It was a car which I had mentioned so many times to him that I LOVED and wished I could one day buy one. It was the Kia Sorento 2016 blue (my favorite color) and had 12 miles on it and the plastic still covering certain items in it when my husband showed up at our home with it for me. I could not have been happier and have absolutely loved every minute of owning our Kia Sorento. In February 2016 our 11 year old son was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer called DIPG. At the time of his diagnoses we were told that the emanate death would occur 9-12 months from then since there is no cure. My Kia transported our son back and forth to many doctors’ appointments and hospital trips and provided him a comfortable form of transportation. On January 15th our son now 12 year old son passed away. As you can imagine this last year of our lives has been more than a struggle to get through and since January even more difficult since every day we miss our son with every breath we take.

Late June 2017 my car started to make a noise on a Saturday night on my way home from work so I stopped at Auto Zone where they hooked it up to a little computer and informed me that the car was “misfiring” and to take it to the dealer so that they can look into the situation. On Monday morning I drove directly to the Rock River Kia located 226 N Alpine Rd Rockford IL where the service manager greeted me and took possession of my KIA to determine the issue. The next day I received a call from the service manager Justin telling me that my car was in need of a new engine due to “sludge” in the engine and it would cost about $8,400. I provided Justin the service records of the oil changes I had completed on my car and even he agrees that they were made within the “recommended” time frame. However KIA denied fixing the car under the warranty.

Having just buried our son you can imagine we do not have $8,400 laying around to have the car fixed that we are still paying $630 a month to have. I am at a loss of words on how KIA can deny fixing my car under warranty when I have fully upheld my part and responsibility of maintaining this car to my best ability. Up until this point I have and would have continued to recommend a KIA to my friends and family now I do not feel the same way. So I "escalated the issue with a specialist within the Kia Corporation" This really did nothing but provide me false hope that this company would stand behind their product. All this "escalation" did was delay for 3 MONTHS the same decision of Denial they originally stated.

I wanted to fight this claim with an attorney because Kia all but called me a liar and the mechanic place I had oil changes done at a fraud.... Kia's warranty is the only fraud I see here. Again 55,000 miles and ALL of the recommended oil changes.... we were able to remove the car after 3 months from the dealership (towing at my expense) even though I drove it there... and an auto shop was able to find a used motor and install it for $6,400 which has once again completely maxed out all of our cards however it was this or pay $600 a month for a blue yard ornament.

Shameful that an corporation does not care more for their customers... Guess they are not concerned about repeat clients or good word of mouth...

- Amanda M., DeKalb, US

problem #1

Jul 272016

Sorento LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,890 miles

I have a small business which requires extensive travel by vehicle. I originally considered the Sorento because I had a Hyundai which provided me with good service. However, my Sorento now has a inoperable engine at 27,000 miles, after giving it "tender loving" maintenance. The dealership is reluctant to help and the dealership appears to be trying to "get out of" the help mode and blame me for the issue. I am very disappointed in the manufacturer support and I am considering getting an attorney to sue both the dealer and the manufacturer.

- guit*r#, Monmouth Junction, NJ, US