really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
71,350 miles
Total Complaints:
25 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace engine (10 reports)
  2. not sure (6 reports)
  3. new engine (5 reports)
  4. has not been fix (3 reports)
  5. rebuild engine (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Kia dealer.

problem #25

Dec 232021


  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

Truly in awe! I have to replace an engine of a car, that never gave a single warning sign until it would not accelerate after giving it gas and a quick blinking engine light appeared. There was no check oil sign, nothing!! Now in order to get my car back on the road, I have to replace the engine. I have only had this car for 6 years!! I have previously owned cars for over 13 years, never having engine problems. I will admit there were times that I replaced oil at 4500 miles, but come on!! Engine Failure! With NO warning!! I hope this next engine replacement gets me at least 3 more years. It is a used with 54,000 miles. I will NEVER purchase another Kia again!

- Taise B., Pikesville, US

problem #24

Oct 262021

Sorento SX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,400 miles

My vehicle went in for service 10/26/2021, it took about a month for them to even confirm it is covered. I got an update Nov 24 2021 that the engine is on back order. I don't even know when the engine will start to ship. Huge pain in the arse the certified pre-owned coverage only covers 10 days of a rental @ $35 a day.

- Shawn V., Elk Grove Village, US

problem #23

Jan 062020

Sorento EX 3. 3L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,999 miles

My wife’s heat started to not work. Then the temperate gauge started to go up. Long story short, my mechanic got the car and found a blown head gasket. Thinking it was under warranty, I had it towed to Crowley Kia. The service department told me that they have seen this issue before. Looks like the head bolts stripped from the block. Needs a new engine.

I bought an extended limited lifetime warranty at Premier Kia in Branford when I bought the car. Crowley Kia contacted them. They wanted a complete Teardown of engine to determine the cause of failure. Cost to do this is 1500 at my expense to only be paid by warranty if it is something that was covered. Well guess what, I had them do it, only to find that the cause of failure is caused by the stripping head bolts which is not a lubricated component of the engine.

Crowley gave me a price of 8900 to put in an engine on top of the teardown cost. $10400 to fix my car for stripped head bolts that this mechanic has seen before. They told me it was a manufacturing issue. I decided to do some research by calling 7 different Kia service departments in CT, all of which have seen this exact issue on my particular engine multiple times! Contacted Kia Consumer affairs, who denied any help. Says it’s not under warranty, there are no recalls... and anything that anyone has told me is hearsay. Funny thing is, I read this exact complaint on this blog and they live in the same town as me!!!! So frustrated!

- Gene B., Woodbury, CT, US

problem #22

Mar 182020

Sorento EX Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,935 miles

I purchased this car after my 2014 Kia Sorento blew a piston driving up Rt 95 near Fayetteville NC. I purchased a 2016 Kia Sorento EX Turbo w/ 66,000 miles. I did all of the oil changes. On May 18 11 months to the day and less than 20k miles a bearing blew and my engine failed. Being going back and forth with the extended warranty that I purchased through Kia. I don't speed or carry heavy loads. Two Kia's in less than 1 year.

- Dennis M., Mays Landing, US

problem #21

Aug 282020

Sorento LS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

My family was driving from Washington state to Texas 8 month ago, her engine lost a cylinder on top of mountain with 3 kids in car, towed vehicle to closest Kia in Spokane Washington. KIA WOULD NOT COVER THE ENGINE FAILURE, AND AFTER REVIEWING OIL RECORDS, MY WARRANTY DECIDED TO COVER A VALVE REPLACEMENT. I drove back up to Spokane to pick up car after 2 months of fighting with them, and on my way back down the car broke down again. I took it to a Kia in Idaho, Poccatello, and they replaced the oil drain plug, and finally made it home with having to dump oil in every 100 miles.



- scottbuehrer2, Brazoria, US

problem #20

Jul 182020

Sorento LX 3.31

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

On July 11th, 2016 I took a trip to VA to see my mother, and when I came back on Monday 13, the car felt sluggish. Checked the oil, it was clean and full, my oil change wasn't due yet. I was scheduled to take another trip to VA the following Saturday to visit my grandson before he went into the military. We left home at 6:30 am, got to Maryland, about 51 miles away from home, and started hearing a noise. I looked into my rear view and saw white smoke. I pulled onto the shoulder and the car shut off. After calling my husband to come and get me, we had the car towed to the nearest Firestone. The guy there told me "Your engine is toast, there is a giant hole in your engine and there is no more oil in the tank, and the pistons had come through and you need a new engine". I called a Kia dealership, they told me that my car should be ok, and that my engine was covered for a lifetime. I am taking the Kia to the dealer and will let you know what happened.

- Denise W., Williamstown, US

problem #19

Mar 152021

Sorento SX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

First hint of trouble was a tendency of the engine to overheat, but thought that was solved by adding additional coolant. However, the V6 needed a new fuel injector, which was covered by extended warranty. However, after that, the engine continued to overheat so took it to Jerry Seiner KIA in Salt Lake. Diagnosis was hot exhaust leaking into the cooling system. They then stripped the engine out only to find that the engine was completely kaput and had to be replaced with a new one from Korea.

So far, the repair has taken >2 weeks (mainly waiting for parts) but threw a spanner into our spring break travel plans. I expect that the engine replacement should be covered by the 10 year/100K drive-train warranty. Any additional costs should be covered by the extended warranty that we purchased. Not sure whether to keep or offload this car once it is fixed. Have doubts about its future reliability even with the 10 year/100K drive-train and the extended warranty as a back-up.

- Martin M., Salt Lake City, US

problem #18

Mar 022021

Sorento EX 3.3L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

click to see larger images

engine failure engine failure

Engine caught fire while my son was driving home. Routine oil changes performed, with no warning lights prior. Car stalled, lights illuminated and engine caught fire. Towed eventually to Kia, complaint filed with Kia Consumer. Contact at Kia consumer requested pictures to send to engineers. Once pics were sent offered me a rental car. Dealer removed engine shield and Kia Consumer told me it was due to lack of maintenance and they wouldn’t cover engine replacement. They told me there was a hole in the oil pan. Once I informed them I had documentation for service they noted I could send it in and they would “see how they could help”.

I'm in the process of gathering paperwork to submit. I don’t understand how almost every CDI engine could be recalled EXCEPT FOR my year??!! I will continue to fight Kia! Just to add when I went to get my belongings out of the car, 2 young workers informed me they have OVER 30 Kia’s waiting to have engines replaced??!!!

- Diana C., Lincoln University, US

problem #17

Jun 082021

Sorento SX 3.3L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

All maintenance records kept. Bought vehicle from Kia dealership. Previously was a new car lease. Vehicle began sporadically overheating. Serviced coolant system, vehicle ran fine for several days. Problem returned, had mechanic perform hydrocarbon block test and found exhaust gasses in coolant system. Diagnosis is that engine had failed head gasket at 78,000 mi. Turns out vehicle has defect workmanship in the cut threads of engine block causing TTY engine bolts to loosen and seal to fail. Mixing exhaust gasses and oil with coolant system was causing vehicle to overheat.

Engine repair cost can easily begin to exceed cost of engine replacement if heads are warped of other components damaged as result of overheating. Owners under original warranty 10/100k usually get an engine replacement. No recall or TSB so far to date. Starting class action lawsuit in Indiana.

- Todd C., Franklin, US

problem #16

Aug 252021

Sorento L/LX 2.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,800 miles

I am sharing a complaint on the 2016 Kia Sorento. My situation could have been much worse, and I like to think luck was on my side. After a weekend of visiting family with a lot of driving, I was driving back from a doctors appointment when I pulled off a major highway. I stopped at a stop light, and proceeded forward as the light turned green. Mind you, I had no indicators on my dash lit up as if anything was wrong with the vehicle. Not one. I try to accelerate, and suddenly I cannot accelerate, and every single light illuminates on my dash. Thankfully, I was off the major highway and in a somewhat decent spot for my car to totally stop working and become disabled. We tried jumping it, nothing worked.

We ended up getting it towed to our mechanic who called my husband and I in the morning after he took a look at it. He tells us the entire engine seized. There was not a drop of oil in my engine. I was not due for an oil change for another 2,000 miles on my car, again which was regularly serviced and taken care of. The car was not leaking oil either. Our mechanic says the estimated cost for repair would be $5,000-$6,200, and that my car needs a new engine. Not to mention, I am 16 weeks pregnant and was driving this death machine around with no indicators it was a piece of crap falling apart, where we could have been in a serious accident depending on where my engine decided to fail. After speaking with the mechanic some more, he informs us (to his knowledge) of a class action lawsuit going on against Kia and their Sorento's having engine issues.

What I don't understand, is how this crappy car company has no open recalls on this POS car. I guess they are okay getting sued and not worrying about fixing this serious issue with THEIR vehicles as innocent people drive them around thinking they are safe. My plan is to get this repaired, get reimbursed for the repairs for filing this claim for the lawsuit, and trading this POS crap car in for something else. I will NEVER buy a Kia car again.

- Katie W., Alexandria, US

problem #15

Jul 092021

Sorento LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,200 miles

I took my Sorento in for a routine oil change and to get two new tires. I told the tech that the vehicle had just started blowing warm air on idle and blowing cold when driving. He set an appointment to get all the work done for four days out. Over the weekend it suddenly overheated as I was pulling into my driveway. I left it there for the rest of the weekend and only drove it to him on that Tuesday. He called to advise me that I had a cracked head gasket and that they don't know why it overheated, but that the crack is small and that I can make it another few weeks. He advised me to call the dealership to check on warranty, but I found out that being the 2nd owner, my warranty expired last year sometime.

I called corporate asking about extensions on the warranty and they advised there was nothing they could do to help me, but perhaps the local dealership would extend a "small" discount for the repair. I got an estimate from my mechanic and he quoted me $3200 to fix the head gasket. That's nearly 2 months of net income for me!! In the span of a week, my car has started sputtering violently upon start and white smoke is coming from the tailpipe until it burns off. The leak is now showing up on the pavement beneath my car. My car isn't old enough for this type of trouble and I still have $7200 left to pay on it! SOOO CLOSE!

And now we're faced with getting laughed at for trying to trade it in with this death sentence or being forced to take out MORE DEBT to fix the damned thing. HIGHLY frustrated. This car was supposed to be driven by us for years and years and see our kids through their high school years. Now we're looking to downsize and will NOT buy Kia products again, although we were loyal buyers, with this being our 2nd Kia.

- famdavidson511, Van Buren, US

problem #14

Feb 012021

Sorento EX 4-cyl 2.4L Theta Ii

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

The engine died while going at 70 mph on a freeway. Black smoke started coming off of the bonnet. Luckily I was on a straight stretch of the road with a curb. I pulled over and towed the vehicle. Next day, local Kia Dealer diagnosed total engine failure. With pregnant wife on board, this was really really scary. I'm a never Kia/Hyundai person for life now.

- Ajit G., Fremont, CA, US

problem #13

Nov 162020

Sorento LX 3.3L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

We bought the Kia brand new. It’s been maintained and takes well care of. It started running hot. Leaking antifreeze. Diagnostic says cracked head! So hubby wants to just replace the engine.

- Davy Ann G., Zoe, US

problem #12

Apr 052021

Sorento SX 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,293 miles

Bought the vehicle from a dealership with 40000km on it. The vehicle was always meticulously maintained and everything was done on time. At 126000 oil started mixing with antifreeze. Blown head gasket.

Took it to Kia, got quoted $12000 🤯🤯🤯 to repair the issue. Unreal. Took it to another shop, where its currently being fixed. My mechanic just had exactly the same Sorento show up with exactly the same issue.

Update from Jul 14, 2021: Update. So after about a month and a half without a car and about $6000 out of my pocket, the vehicle is back on the road. Mechanic said he was able to unscrew two engine bolts with his bare hands. This is unheard of. In the meantime I was trying to get ahold of kia via telephone. A representative advised there was nothing they could help me with. Went on Kia Canada Instagram account, where saw quite few people leaving complaints about their blown engines in the comments section. So I left mine as well. The result - Kia Canada deleted all the comments that people left there, including mine, and also blocked me. (Nothing insulting was said toward kia, just stated the fact that their engines are faulty). Unreal....

- St S., Calgary, AB, Canada

problem #11

Oct 032020

Sorento EX 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

I bought a 2016 Sorento in 6/18. It had 40k on it. Spent about 23k for the car. 10/20 - The engine is done. My neighbor complained of a lot of smoke coming from the exhaust. When I got home I knew from the smell of antifreeze in the exhaust it was not gonna be good news. Confirmed a day later by my mechanic. Head gasket is bad. Since I bought the car used they said the warranty ends at 60k miles.

Mechanic started working on it and stopped and said it's get worse the deeper he goes. Cylinders are a mess. It's only getting worse. He stopped and said we should buy a replacement engine which cost about $4500. 4 year old car and the engine is finished. Mechanic said he's never seen an engine in such bad shape at 4 years old.

Update from Jan 7, 2021: Just ordered a remanufactured engine for $4600. Probably another $1500-2000 to install. Engine companies are all saying the same thing. They are getting a lot of people looking for this engine

- Jason M., Pleasantville, US

problem #10

Feb 222021

Sorento LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,952 miles

THE 2016 Sorento, bought this vehicle brand new in 2015 and everything was GREAT. After the first year, things have slowly but surely started going downhill. Summer 2016 - the air conditioning has stopped working, brought it in and the dealership repaired it (so they say) Summer 2017 - reoccurring issue, now they have found one of the valves loose which resulted in a leak in the system, repaired again Summer 2018 - SAME ISSUE, dealership repaired again! Summer 2019 - The trend continues with this Air Conditioning system. Summer 2020 - The first summer, I did not have to take the vehicle in to repair this problem.

Winter 2021 - The heating system started to act up, I had inspected the coolant and it was low. I filled it up as per the direction of the manual. Noticed that I would need to keep filling up every few days. I brought it into the dealership and they had explained that the Coolant was leaking into the engine. It would cost around $1000 to diagnostic the issue.

Lucky me, the warranty has just expired at over 60 months. My vehicle is at 80k. Took my vehicle to my mechanic who looked into the issue and found that the piston head has lost all of its tread and warped due to a faulty rod being loose which eventually caused my gasket to fail and leak coolant.

KIA will do nothing about this issue as my vehicle is out of warranty, but it would seem that it's a result from poor workmanship.

- Scott H., Toronto, ON, Canada

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

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