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.

Reliability

We expect the 2021 Sorento to have about average reliability when compared to other new cars. This prediction is based on Kia's brand history and the previous generation of the Sorento.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
00
01
02
03*
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11*
12
13
14
15
16*
17
18
19
20
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

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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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
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