Which KIA Sorento Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

The Kia Sorento is a mid-size crossover SUV that first debuted in 2003. It has evolved into a highly regarded vehicle with several amenities, including three rows of seating. Kia has sold four generations, with the most recent one debuting in 2020.

We’ll tell you which Kia Sorento years to avoid in this article. We’ll make it simple for you to choose a used Sorento that won’t require you to spend most of your days in the shop for unneeded maintenance. Let’s get started.

Which KIA Sorento Years to Avoid?

Engine issues, electrical issues, lighting issues, seat belt/airbag issues, and body/paint issues are the most typical issues among these model years. These are widespread, with many users experiencing nearly identical problems.

The 2011 Kia Sorento is the one you should stay away from the most. It comes in first place for having the most owner complaints. It has the highest likelihood of developing an engine problem, an airbag and seat belt problem, a drivetrain problem, and braking problems.

An engine that ceased operating at 77,000 miles was the most expensive issue for the 2011 model year. The cost of resolving this issue is $4,600. Other serious issues include an airbag malfunction at 92,000 miles that cost $2,000 to fix and a door problem at 94,000 miles that cost $400 to fix.

The 2016 Kia Sorento is the other vehicle that you should avoid at all costs. It has more difficulties and greater repair costs than other vehicles with lower mileage. Engine issues are the most common, followed by steering issues, body/paint issues, and defective lighting.

At $62,000 miles, the engine had the worst reported failure. The fix cost $6,100. Other owners claimed to have spent up to $600 replacing cables eaten by rats. At 22,000 miles, one user’s automobile stalled during acceleration.

Common Kia Sorento Problems

Kia’s automobile warranties are among the finest in the industry. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t be cautious, especially when it comes to questions of trustworthiness. The following are the most prevalent Kia Sorento issues, which apply to all model years:

Engine Issues:

Sorento’s engine is prone to failure, which is a common dependability issue. The engine failure was mostly seen in 2011, 2016, and 2017 models, and was caused by a leaky head gasket, which caused the coolant to mix with the engine oil. The combination of these substances can seriously harm an engine.

Faulty Doors:

More bothersome than hazardous, unhappy owners reported that the Sorento’s doors will not open from the outside. Additionally, due to malfunctioning door handles, owners who utilize the child-lock feature got even more dissatisfied. The majority of the complaints come from owners of 2011 Sorentos.

Headlight Bulbs Issues:

Hundreds of customers claimed that the headlight bulbs on their Sorentos from 2002 to 2009 were prone to prematurely burning out. Furthermore, additional components of the headlights were allegedly burned, according to some stories. There should have been a recall for this issue of reliability, but there wasn’t one. Replacement bulbs cost $100 to $600 for those who were affected.

Reported Problem Counts of KIA Sorento

In our crowdsourced dataset from carproblems.com, carcomplaints.com, Car Talk Community, and other comparable platforms, the average number of complaints by model year is listed below.

Year ModelNumber of Reported Problems

Which Years are Safe to Buy Used?

For over two decades, the Kia Sorento has been in production. Not all models rolled out from the factory are ideal, much like many other automobiles in their market sector. Some individuals have flaws.

Despite this, there are other options available. This is especially true if you wish to stay away from the ones listed above.

The following is a list of safe Kia Sorento model years:

  • 2003 Kia Sorento
  • 2005 Kia Sorento
  • 2007 Kia Sorento
  • 2008 Kia Sorento
  • 2009 Kia Sorento
  • 2010 Kia Sorento
  • 2015 Kia Sorento
  • 2017 Kia Sorento
  • 2018 Kia Sorento
  • 2019 Kia Sorento
  • 2020 Kia Sorento
  • 2021 Kia Sorento

2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 are the safest Kia Sorento model years to buy. When compared to the other model years stated before, they have minimal complaints.


You already know which KIA Sorento years to avoid and which ones are dependable if you’ve made it this far into the essay. You already know which KIA Sorento years to avoid and which ones are dependable if you’ve made it this far into the essay.

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