Kia Sorento Years To Avoid | Top 15 Best & Worst Years 2023

Source: Kia

The Kia Sorento was first introduced in 2002 as a mid-size SUV. Between 2003 and now, that SUV has had 20 different model years. Like any other car, Not every one of the 20 different Kia Sorento models is fun to drive. Therefore, to help you make a more informed purchase decision, we compare the best and worst Kia Sorento models.

Kia Sorento’s years to avoid include 2011-2017; they are considered the worst. The best years for Kia Sorento include 2004, 2006, 2018-2023. This result was concluded from trustworthy sources such as NHTSA, Edmund, JD Power, and Kelley Blue Book.

Here Are The Kia Sorento Years To Avoid

Many Kia Sorento owners have complained about various issues since the SUV was first launched. We suggest you avoid model years from 2011-2017.

7. Worst Year: 2017 Kia Sorento (3.95 Rating)

Source: Autoblog

Despite its many useful features, the 2017 Kia Sorento has never been a reliable car. More than half of the complaints about this car have involved severe issues, such as the complete engine failure or the steering being unresponsive.

There have been nearly 400 complaints filed with the NHTSA, including high oil consumption, broken trailer brake lights, and broken engines. There have been too many complaints, and the manufacturer has not been able to pinpoint the root causes of most of them.

Common Problems:

  • Engine failure
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Steering issues at high speed

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

6. Worst Year: 2015 Kia Sorento (3.88 Rating)

Source: Autobytel

While the 2015 Kia Sorento has many positive user reviews due to its high-quality cabin and standard technology, there are many negative ones due to its underwhelming engine failure, most commonly after 84,000 miles. And after around 89,000 kilometers, the car can stop working. \

Car Complaints reports 35 complaints about the 2015 Kia Sorento’s engine at the time this review was written. There are also noticeable flaws, such as broken headlights and peeling paint.

Common Problems:

  • Engine failure
  • Died while driving
  • Engine knocking

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Worst Year: 2012 Kia Sorento (3.64 Rating)

Source: Motor trend

The 2012 Kia Sorento, like every other car in the second generation, is unreliable. This is due to the vehicle’s poor performance, numerous engine faults, and other defective parts. This model should also be avoided due to the 484 complaints received about its engine.

The engine can be thought of as the “soul” of a car. When it breaks, the car is effectively useless. And even if you choose a secondhand engine, replacement isn’t usually cheap. Be aware that Kia has issued a recall for this model to address engine issues.

This model also presents all the problems that have plagued the Kia Sorento, as you can see by the title of “Beware Of Clunker” from Carcomplaint. If you still want to buy one, you need to conduct a thorough study.

Common Problems:

  • Engine failure
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Engine stalls/dies while driving

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Worst Year: 2013 Kia Sorento (3.54 Rating)

Source: Auto opiniao

The 2013 Kia Sorento also didn’t have an impressive engine. Even the engine has received more complaints than in the 2014 and 2011 models combined. As of this writing, there have been 429 reported issues with the engine of this model alone at 75571 miles on average and tens more with other parts.

There are also 61 complaints about the external light, so it’s not exactly a glowing recommendation. You probably wouldn’t want to risk driving a car with broken headlights unless you rarely use your car after dark. The 2013 Kia Sorento is plagued by a number of issues, one of which is paint that peels off easily.

Common Problems:

  • Blown engine
  • Flaking, paint peeling
  • Airbag light on

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Worst Year: 2014 Kia Sorento (3.54 Rating)

Source: Netcarshow

The 2014 Kia Sorento is also known to have a number of problems. There have been 339 complaints about the 2014 Kia Sorento’s engine and 136 against its electrical systems as of the time of this writing. As a result, this is not a model worth recommending, either.

The 2014 Sorento got the notorious “Beware of clunker” badge due to its bad reliability. Some 2014 Kia Sorento owners have experienced the same issue with the car stalling unexpectedly as they did with the 2011 model year, but there is also a new issue with this model.

According to reports from different owners, the engine blows out and needs to be replaced on average at 74,200 miles. 2014 Kia Sorento owners also frequently report problems with their vehicles’ headlights, door latches, and other electrical components.

Common Problems:

  • Blown engine
  • Flaking, paint peeling
  • A/C Heater is not working

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Worst Year: 2016 Kia Sorento (3.45 Rating)

Source: Motor Pasion

As the 2016 Sorento is one of the recent models, significant upgrades, especially to the engine’s efficiency, is expected. Unfortunately, the 2016 Kia Sorento continues the tradition of significant disappointment that has accompanied every model before it.

There are 388 complaints about the engine on Car Complaints for this model. In addition, the 2016 Kia Sorento still suffers from issues like as dimming headlights and peeling paint.

Numerous drivers have mentioned hearing a knocking sound during acceleration at an average of 29,944 miles. That demonstrates that gasoline misfires, which is one of the causes of engine damage.

Common Problems:

  • Engine failure
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Rodents chewing wires

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Worst Year: 2011 Kia Sorento (3.15 Rating)

Source: CarGurus

Previous generations of the Sorento were built using a body-on-frame chassis, like a truck, but Kia changed that for the 2011 model year. However, numerous problems surfaced once the SUV’s body was redesigned. To this day, the 2011 Kia Sorento is universally regarded as the worst Sorento ever produced.

There have been 278 complaints about the vehicle’s body, 340 about the engine, 118 about the external lighting, 57 about the transmission, and 220 about the electrical system on the Car Complaints website.

One of the most noticeable problems with this model is that the driver’s door cannot be opened from the outside. Numerous people have complained that the car stalls unexpectedly, that the engine leaks oil, and that it won’t start. There is also evidence that the vehicle’s paint is in poor condition.

Common Problems:

  • Dead engine
  • Airbag light on
  • The door won’t open from the outside.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Best Kia Sorento Years To Buy As Used

Listed below are the most reliable models of the Kia Sorento.

8. Best Year: 2022 Kia Sorento (4.05 Rating)

Source: VirgilioOrdaz1

Kia completely redesigned the Sorento for 2021, taking cues for the new look from the Telluride. Adding the PHEV variant to the 2022 Sorento portfolio is the most significant development. The base price is $45,190, and there are two trim levels to choose from (SX and SX Prestige).

This year, many models feature expanded standard features, like the 10.25-inch touchscreen that was previously only available on the highest trim. For a compact SUV, the comfort level of all three seating rows is surprisingly high.

The stylish X-Line appearance option is now available lower on the trim tree, making the SUV more accessible to buyers who want an expressive vehicle without breaking the bank.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

7. Best Year: 2021 Kia Sorento (4.06 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

The 2021 Kia Sorento is the best option for your family. If you want to buy this model, your best bet is the Kia Sorento X Line, which has many convenient amenities for your enjoyment on the road.

The X series has a downhill descent control and a center-locking differential, giving it a rugged appearance. Many people who have purchased this vehicle have remarked on how much space there is inside, all the way back to the third row.

In addition, the SX Prestige AWD’s 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque, earning high marks from reviewers. You should not miss out on this model year, as the SX trim level offers many outstanding and modern technological features at a fair price.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

6. Best Year: 2006 Kia Sorento (4.11 Rating)

Source: Car And Driver

The 2006 Kia Sorento is a good option for compact and midsize SUVs if you need genuine off-road performance without breaking the bank. The Kia Sorento 2006 is a mid-size SUV with a powerful V6 engine.

The Sorento may be had in either the LX or the EX trim. It has room for up to five people and maybe had with either rear- or all-wheel drive. The 3.5-litre V-6 engine produces 192 horsepower and is paired with either a five-speed manual or a five-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Best Year: 2018 Kia Sorento (4.18 Rating)

Source: Car And Drive

The 2018 Kia Sorento is one of the top midsize crossover SUVs in its category. You’ll be pleased to know that it can hold its own against more expensive brands despite its low noise level and silky smooth ride.

The conservative 4-cylinder engine design also provides better fuel economy than typical. You can expect an average fuel economy of 17–21 mpg in the city and 23–28 mpg on the highway.

Remember, for those willing to spend more money, there is a 2018 Kia Sorento with four-wheel drive and 290 horsepower. Finally, the 2018 Kia Sorento boasts a sleek exterior and a modern cabin, complete with user-friendly technology and ample cargo space.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Best Year: 2019 Kia Sorento (4.24 Rating)

Source: Automarketwatch

The 2019 Kia Sorento, with its redesigned exterior, is an excellent midsize crossover SUV for families and a breath of fresh air for used car buyers.

Reasons why this model year is considered among the best, include its three rows of seats, ample cargo room, and relatively good quality interior.

When compared to other vehicles in its class, the base price of a 2019 Kia Sorento is surprisingly low. In light of this, the 2019 Kia Sorento is the nicest of the pricier options.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Best Year: 2004 Kia Sorento (4.24 Rating)

Source: Auto-broker-magic

Among the first-generation models, the 2004 Kia Sorento is the best option to buy as a used car. If, with any luck, you can find this car, don’t wait for the second and buy this car. This car is among the best due to a lot of praise it got.

This automobile is an excellent buy for the money, as it is long-lasting and economical with gas. With this car, you’ll feel pleasure driving with little to no hassle on maintenance. The 2004 Kia Sorento provides a quiet, comfortable ride, has enough power, and looks fantastic.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Best Year: 2020 Kia Sorento (4.39 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

The 2020 Kia Sorento is another reliable vehicle year. Its luxurious cabin and straightforward infotainment system come at a reasonable price. It’s easy to see why US News deemed it the best-value 3-row SUV.

It’s important to remember that this model’s transmission can behave strangely, especially in cold weather. However, it returns to regular performance after a few minutes of driving.

If you’re looking for maximum performance on the road, the V6 engine with roughly 290 horsepower and Dynamax is your best bet. It also offers all-wheel drive.

You can rest easy knowing that you and your loved ones are safe in this model because it has been constructed using only the highest-quality materials.

And that’s not all: it has electronic brake force distribution, hill start aid, electronic stability control assistance for nimble handling on the road, and much more besides.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Best Year: 2023 Kia Sorento (4.43 Rating)

Source: Edmunds

Presenting the 2023 Sorento, a vehicle that has won significant awards for its remarkable performance. The 2023 Sorento’s outstanding performance has earned it the #3 rank among Upper Midsize SUVs from J.D. Power.

The 2023 Sorento has achieved a notable feat, placing third in the class of the Best Midsize SUVs, behind only the Kia Telluride and the Hyundai Santa Fe. This feat highlights Sorento’s outstanding performance.

The Kia Sorento can be had with either a 227-horsepower or 261-horsepower hybrid powertrain, with the former providing an EPA-estimated 37 mpg combined and the latter providing an estimated 32 miles of battery-electric driving range.

If you need a three-row SUV but have a limited budget, consider the 2023 Sorento. The Sorento is among the least costly (SUVs) on the market, with a base price of roughly $30,000.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Kia Sorento’s Common Problems:

Source: 1A Auto

1. Engine Failure:

Issues with the vehicle’s engine are a common complaint from Sorento owners. The engine failure was caused by coolant mixing with the engine oil, primarily in 2011-2016-2017 vehicles owing to a leaky head gasket.

2. Headlight bulbs Need Frequent Replacement:

Dozens of customers have complained that the headlight bulbs in their Sorentos burned out too quickly, and this was most common in vehicles manufactured between 2002 and 2009. Furthermore, it was reported that other parts of the headlights were also melted. Replacement lights cost between $100 and $600.

3. Defective Doors:

Doors that won’t open from the outside have been reported as a common source of frustration among Sorento owners. Some parents have complained that defective door knobs have added to their frustrations with the child-lock feature. Owners of the 2011 model year Sorento had the most issues.

4. Noisy Startup:

Many Sorento drivers have reported hearing rattling sounds when turning the ignition. Low oil levels may be a blame for this problem. If the oil levels are acceptable, though, it’s probably a loose-timing chain tensioner. If the timing chain breaks, the engine will not run and may potentially cause damage to other parts.

5. Faulty Ignition Coils:

Some Sorento owners have mentioned having to repair their vehicles’ ignition coils. If you ignore engine misfiring caused by defective ignition coils, you could do serious harm to your car. It costs around $20 to $140 to purchase a new ignition coil.


1. Is Kia Sorento A Good Car?

If you have a big family, the Kia Sorento is the right car for you. Among the many notable characteristics of this SUV are its plush seating, ample storage space, and intuitive infotainment system.

2. Is Kia Sorento 7 Seater?

The Kia Sorento is a seven-seat SUV with a third-row seating option. You can easily fit passengers and cargo thanks to the flexible folding design of the rear seats.

3. Is Kia Sorento A Hybrid Car?

Yes, Kia Sorento is a hybrid car. Kia has revealed the introduction of the Sorento PHEV, powered by a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder and an electric motor, in 2021. The base price of a 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid EX FWD is $36,690.


Many automakers frequently experience flaws or imperfections with their initial batch of models. However, the Kia Sorento is not like this.

The Kia Sorento’s first-generation cars have multiple complaints regarding various irregularities and defective components, while the second-generation (2011-2015) was even worse. Third-generation cars (2016, 2017) were one of the Kia Sorento’s years to avoid.

Kia Sorento are generally reliable cars and are praised for their extensive interior. The recent (4th generation) models of Kia Sorento are reliable and safe to buy.

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