The refined, three-row Kia Sorento continues to be a strong competitor in the midsized SUV class. We liked how its range of features and functionality are bundled together in a tasteful, modestly-sized SUV. The six-cylinder Sorento got a new eight-speed automatic transmission as part of its update for 2019.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2007. ESC standard from 2007. Side and head protection air bags standard from 2011.
Road Test

The refined, three-row Kia Sorento continues to be a strong competitor in the midsized SUV class. We liked how its range of features and functionality are bundled together in a tasteful, modestly-sized SUV.

The six-cylinder Sorento got a new eight-speed automatic transmission as part of its update for 2019. That 3.3-liter V6 engine is punchy and polished, and delivers power effortlessly, and all-wheel-drive versions can still tow 5,000 pounds. The slick transmission and quiet engine returned 22 mpg overall, one mpg better than when we last tested this SUV. The base Sorento comes with a four-cylinder engine.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 8-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.4-liter 4 (185 hp)
  • 3.3-liter V6 (290 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2019 Kia Sorento owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen goes blank

"Occasionally the Sorento's main display screen goes blank. I have not reported this issue yet to my dealer because of the intermittent speaker problem."

Anonymous, CA (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)
Hardware replacement

"The left-side driver's speakers intermittently did not work from the time I bought it. I took my Sorento to the dealer several times to address this but they were unable to resolve the problem. I finally got Kia Corporate Customer Support involved. After nearly a year of elapsed time, and four months of my car in the shop, they replaced a defective amplifier. The audio system now works great. The frustating thing was how long it took for Kia to figure out the problem. I continued to talk with Kia Corporate Customer Support, who offered me a settlement for my troubles. I just received a settlement check, 16 months after I boufght the car."

Anonymous, CA (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Voice control does not understand commands must use touch control."

Anonymous, (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"I have had issues with ability to use apple phone with car despite a number of tries with the dealer, the salesperson and family who are tech savy. Seems to work a little but then when on a trip, or just around town, incoming & outgoing calls will not go thru bluethooth & car but must be handled via the phone only."

Anonymous, NY (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)
Radio

"Volume fades In and out"

Anonymous, (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)
Speakers

"An intermittent problem where driver's side speaker wont play when I start the car. The next time I start the car it plays great. I've had it into the dealer several times and they have yet to fix it. It's in the shop right now, as I write it's been there nearly 6 weeks and they say it'll be another 2-3 weeks while they wait for a new wiring harness to come in. Of course, there's no guarantee that will fix the problem. At least the dealer is paying for a rental or loaner car. Still, it's a pain in the rear for it to take so long to fix a speaker problem."

Anonymous, CA (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)
Steering wheel controls

"Controls for radio and voice controls would stop working intermittently. Occasionally when trying to lower the radio would cause the phone to dial last number called. It took the dealership over a year and 5 visits to finally fix the issue. The distraction of having the phone operate when lowering the radio volume was very distracting and almost caused and accident."

Anonymous, (2019 Kia Sorento SX 3.3-L V6)

"Steering wheel controls for radio station tuning, volume, muting, phone, and voice commands are intermittent. although dealer has seen the issue once they are unable to repair. They indicate it misbehave again when car is brought in. Numerous videos of the problem are not good enough to trouble shoot. When problem occurs it last anywhere form a few seconds to as long as 20 minutes."

Art P., AZ (2019 Kia Sorento SX 3.3-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"The battery failed at 13600 and the rear brake light ad well."

Anonymous, NC (2019 Kia Sorento Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Interior lights

"There is no passenger seat interior light in foot well on this car and the 2016 model we traded in had that light. Makes it seem dark in car at night when getting in & out."

Anonymous, NY (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)
Keyless entry

"Fob buttons worked only part time"

Anonymous, FL (2019 Kia Sorento LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Wiper motor or washer

"The wiper in automatic mode is terrible Sometimes it's doesn't work when raining and sometimes the wipers go too fast during light rain It's very annoying"

Anonymous, NJ (2019 Kia Sorento SX 3.3-L V6)

"It did not turn on automaticly"

Anonymous, FL (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Rain sensor not working"

Anonymous, (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"This has seemed to plague the Sorentos , as it has with my 16,17 and now 19 .Excessive air noise from the drivers door area around the upper "B" pillar area city driving and esp highway. Applying finger pressure around that area makes it stop. The 2014 doesn't have that issue."

Anonymous, (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Could be related to noise when traveling at 55 or higher. Could be a seal is missing or inot properly aligned."

Anonymous, NY (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"front dash boar it come and goes"

Anonymous, AZ (2019 Kia Sorento LX 3.3-L V6)
Wind noise

"Wind noise at highway speeds"

Anonymous, LA (2019 Kia Sorento SX 3.3-L V6)

"The vehicle is noisy when traveling at 50 mph & higher - sounds like a window is open when obviously there isn't"

Anonymous, NY (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"Heat/AC temp control would stop all together. The work the next day."

Anonymous, (2019 Kia Sorento LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The auto control does not seem to control to the temperature selected. It keeps the cabin too cool. It does not adjust properly. The auto control does not control to the selected temp. keeps the cabin"

T N., PA (2019 Kia Sorento EX 3.3-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"The dealer told me that Kia has been shipping Sorento's with an inadequate amount of refrigerant right from the factory. I was told they were having to top up "a lot of them"."

Anonymous, (2019 Kia Sorento EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"LEAK FROM REAR REFRIGERANT LINES; REPAIRED UNDER WARRANTY"

Anonymous, (2019 Kia Sorento SX 3.3-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"Seems transmission wants to hunt for the proper gear at intermittent times when first starting out engine warm."

Anonymous, (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)
Transmission computer

"I first noticed a transmission hesitation problem on my 2019 KIA Sorento EX at 6500 miles.It happens in ECO and SMART modes.Sometimes it hesitates initially from a stopped position but the real concern it hesitates after you pull into an intersection which is very dangerous because it prevents you from driving away from oncoming traffic. This is a huge safety problem. The problem got worse with time. I now have 13,554 miles and the delay/hesitation is longer than earlier. Also after letting off the gas after accelerating the engine continues to rev for a few seconds. The service department said they checked my vehicle and did not find a problem but the "reset" the transmission computer. It did NOT fix the problem"

Anonymous, PA (2019 Kia Sorento EX 3.3-L V6)

"Seems that in Smart transmission mode the initial take off is not always very linear (initially) unless you goose the pedal which causes the car to take off a little too fast sometimes. I believe the transmission computer should be adjusted to always ensure for a more linear steady take off from stop."

Anonymous, AL (2019 Kia Sorento EX 3.3-L V6)

"With the transmission in ECO OR SMART the vehicle is slow to respond from a stopped position and after it does respond, it delays acceleration by about a second which is very dangerous when pulling out in a busy intersection!"

T N., PA (2019 Kia Sorento EX 3.3-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Problem resolved. Dealer replaced trim under warranty. Not a major problem"

Anonymous, LA (2019 Kia Sorento EX 3.3-L V6)

"The trim became detached, below the drivers side door. It looks like it got caught in the door."

Anonymous, (2019 Kia Sorento Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"The paint chips very easily on the hood area and the sides at the rear. Touch up paint does not provide a satisfactory result."

Anonymous, CA (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)
Rust

"Muffler’s chrome tip is rusting after six months on Missouri roads. No other parts, to include undercarriage, is showing indications of rust."

Stephen J., MO (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"The car stopped running and required a tow to the dealer. The dealer was familiar with the problem and paid for a rental vehicle for us to use for a weeks."

Anonymous, (2019 Kia Sorento EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Transmission blew the first 10 days we had the car Kind of lost faith in it"

Anonymous, FL (2019 Kia Sorento Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Within first 6-8 weeks, an check-engine light came on during early morning commute. No change in behavior of the car. Took it in first available appointment. One hour later they offered to replace the transmission, which was completed in three days."

Larry L., CA (2019 Kia Sorento EX 3.3-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"It failed and I got into an accident"

Sam V., SC (2019 Kia Sorento EX 3.3-L V6)

"Seems like the BSW system doesn't alert you until a car is already within your rear quarter pane or more...seems that it should be an audible alert when a car approach is near your rear bumper and closing on you. There is an audible alert only when you signal for a turn and there is a car in your BSW range."

Anonymous, AL (2019 Kia Sorento EX 3.3-L V6)

"Had to get to close to the car in front of you to get the alarm to go off"

Gary H., FL (2019 Kia Sorento SXL 3.3-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"Three different people have been injured by the bottom corner of the front doors. I have been cut in my calf twice, my wife once and my adult son once. The bottom corner curves back toward the interior and apparently protrudes enough to catch your leg if you stand too close when exiting or entering either front door. I wrote to KIA, they sent me to a local dealer and they found nothing out of specs; so nothing was done. It's obviously a design flaw."

Anonymous, FL (2019 Kia Sorento LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"3 people were injured by the sharp outer bottom corner of the front doors. One passenger and two different drivers. Dealership inspected after I contact KIA HQ, but found nothing wrong, so it is a design flaw."

Michael R., FL (2019 Kia Sorento LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Differential

"engine warning light comes on. appt with dealer. service rep says faulty transmission. Completly replace. on warranty incl rental car for 3 days"

Anonymous, CA (2019 Kia Sorento EX 3.3-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"I was not sure if the computer problem was caused by the transmission computer or the engine computer and that is why I checked both boxes. See the transmission computer problem description because it may apply to both."

Anonymous, PA (2019 Kia Sorento EX 3.3-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

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