"My only big complaint with my Sorento so far is its ability to retain market value. I bet that I could rebadge this vehicle with one of the social status SUV badges and I could sell it for more than what I paid for it new.
Otherwise, as of this writing, I haven't had one bit of mechanical problem with it.
The fuel economy rating is way off from what the manf claims, but that was before the gov't made them change how they calculate it. Mine avg's 21 mpg Hwy @ 70 mph. City mpg varies too much to get an accurate avg but, if I had to guess it would be around 16-17 mpg.
Changing the oil is a chore due to a skid plate covering the bottom of the engine. Once the skid plate is removed everything is easily accessable BUT, you just can't use any oil filter. You have to make sure that you get one that matches the height of the OEM filter or you further complicate the process. So far the only aftermarket filter I found that fits without a hassle is WIX. Frams are about 5/16" too tall to fit without an extra 10 minutes worth of mechanic work.
The ride is smooth and the vehicle handles as expected for an SUV of it's size, which is very well. I haven't taken mine off-road but people in the Sorento forums swear that these outperform the stock Jeeps, GMC's, Chevy's and other SUV's in it's class. I'm sure they wouldn't lie, expecially since they're on the Internet making these claims.
KIA could improve the interior by adding some extra 12v outlets in the rear, which may have already been done with newer editions, and improving the stereo head unit. They still offer cassette/CD combo. Get with the program and install MP3 ready equipment. Otherwise the sound of the stereo is good as-is.
Bottom line, you can get a loaded-out Sorento for the same price you can get an entry level "Status Quo" SUV, plus you get a much better warranty with the KIA."
"I purchaed mine on July14, 2003 and it now has 60,000 miles on it. Reliability is fine. The most irritating failure that I have experienced was the GM radio that was stock in 2003. After the third one died under warrantee, I cried "Uncle" and put in a Pioneer on my own dime. The fan belts and the timing belt were replaced at 58,000 miles but that is pretty much industry standard. The brake rotors were surfaced at 58,000 miles but that is common to any brand of car so no finger pointing there. And an oxygen sensor failure at 51,000 miles that was covered by warrantee and done while I had an oil change done.
My biggest complaint is gas mileage but that is improving in newer Sorento's. In Kia's defense, in 2003 gas was about $1 a gallon. It is just a rotten surprise that it is $3 a gallon now. Normal mpg for me is 20 to 21mpg highway and somewhere around 10 to 12mpg city. Overall is about 15mpg. My best tank was in Montana on back country roads when I did a tank at 23.4mpg while cruising at about 60 to 70mph. YeeHaw!!! The less you start and stop the better your mileage.
The suspension is set up very tight and gives a stiff ride that most folks don't care for. But does it ever go around corners! Point it and hit the throttle. Off-road the suspension comes into its' own and it all makes sense. For a 4,500# car it handles "whoops" nicely.
The seats are some of the most comfortable I've ever sat on. In 2004 I did a 6,500 mile, 12 day trip, So. Cal. to Ohio and back. What a delight. I did 500 to 600 miles a day and it never bothered me at all.
I have the towing package and tow a small utility trailer for various "home owner" duties and it tows like a dream even with 3,000# aboard.
I am still driving this car and still enjoying it. It won't happen soon but when I do trade it off, I will be getting a pickup truck due to lifestyle changes.
The thing that scares me most about Kia is the dealership network. It seems that dealers get on board to make the money for selling the cars and then they close down as soon as the excitement is over and warrantee work starts showing up. I know of half a dozen Kia dealers that have gone away. Kia Motors needs to be more selective in just who they let become a dealer and make sure that they are in it for the long run.
Would I buy another Kia? Yes. Would I buy another Sorento? Absolutely!"
"I have owned my Kia Sorento since Jan '04 and have 85K+ miles on it. Overall I have enjoyed owning my Kia however I do have some issues...
I, like many others, have had to have my coolent resivoir replaced. Unfortunately when mine cracked it was not under warranty and it was a pricey fix.
I am on my fourth set of tires due to a (known) towing problem with the front two tires. The tires wear on the inside so if you buy this vehicle, keep a very close eye on the inside of your tires and have them rotated regularly. Twice now my front two tires have worn so badly on the inside that the radial was exposed.
I have also0 had to have my drive shaft replaced... Again, a known problem with this vehicle. This was under warranty but I have been told the lifespan of the drive shaft is about 50k miles.
I think my biggest issue with this car, which would keep me from buying another one, is the poor gas mileage. I drive at least 50 miles a day, all freeway, and in a good week I will get 17 mpg. Consumer reports rated the gas mileage on this SUV as "abominibal".
One last "complaint" (which is not specific to Kia) is the fact that the car is still so new in the US that you cannot buy major parts after market yet. All these parts must be purchased from the deal at an over inflated price. Eventually that will change and you will be able to find these parts in your local auto parts store... Until then, be prepared to pay out the nose...
For the things I like about the car... It is a very stylish car for the price. It rivals the Lexus with the body style and when all decked out, it is a nice little car for the value. I appreciate the roadside assistance. I have had to use it twice and it has been painless to use. I love the 100k mile warranty, the biggest selling feature to me at the time...
All in all, the car has been good to me. I have spent about $3500 this year on normal wear and tear maintenance but I do have very high mileage and with 85K miles, things are going to start to fall apart...
Hope this review has helped... If you buy a Sorento... Best of luck and I hope you enjoy yours as much as I have mine!"
"This was the worst vehicle choice ever!! We had it for 3 months and the radiator blew. Then all the window switches stopped working and the AC would not hold its charge. The transmission started going out when we hit 110,000 miles and when we traded it in, we only got $1500 for it. Thought that would be the last time I got a KIA that was build prior to 2005, but my wife tricked me and bought a 2003 Kia Spectra. We have had nothing but issues with that one also."
"Have owned my Kia Sorento since new in 2004 and had no cost except normal wear and tear. The ride and handling are great. Love the chassis and colors, white with bronze trim, and all the automatic features, especially the 4 wheel drive. I lived in town and in the country so it performs well in both.
Hope they improve the gas milage but it falls in the general category of other SUVs to date.
I recommend this make and model and will look into replacing mine with a new one soon."