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The Kia Sorento provides several trim levels and seating for up to five or seven, catering to various needs and desires. Depending on the trim, this dependable midsize SUV brings the desired qualities and features for a night on the town, a weekend getaway, or an adventure into the wilderness, provided the trails aren’t too harsh. When shopping for a used Kia Sorento under $20,000, four model years stand out as the most reliable, making it easy to find an example with the desired features.

(Note: Regardless of a used car’s reliability score, obtain a vehicle history report and have a trusted mechanic perform an inspection to uncover potential problems before purchasing. Also, prices may vary depending on trim level, mileage, overall condition, and location.)

What does the 2017 Kia Sorento offer?

2017 Kia Sorento interior: front seats, steering wheel, and dashboard
2017 Kia Sorento | Kia

2017 is one of the most reliable Kia Sorento model years. According to J.D. Power, the used average price range is about $12,000 to $21,000, and the average Quality & Reliability score is a “great” 85 out of 100.

Also, the 2017 model year boasts Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. That means you’ll enjoy modern connectivity in an SUV that’s several years old. The 2017 Sorento is equipped to provide peace of mind with advanced driver-assistance features, including automatic emergency braking, available on some trims. This model year also introduced the SX Limited, a range-topping model adding more luxurious features.

The 2018 Sorento is similar to the previous model year

Regarding reliable Kia Sorento years, 2018 is similar to the 2017 model. However, because it’s newer, the 2018 Sorento has a higher average price range of $14,300 to $27,000. So, finding one under $20,000 might be more challenging, but it’s worth the search. The 2018 Sorento also earned a “great” Quality & Reliability rating of 84 out of 100 from J.D. Power.

Furthermore, the 2018 Kia Sorento took a couple of steps forward in technology. This model year brought a 7.0-inch touchscreen on all trim levels, making it easier to see icons and settings. Additionally, the EX and higher trims have blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alerts as standard equipment.

The 2019 Kia Sorento has a slightly lower reliability score but more features

2019 Kia Sorento: A reliable used Kia Sorento model year
2019 Kia Sorento | Kia

As the models grow newer, the number of available examples under $20,000 is fewer. The 2019 Kia Sorento is among the more reliable model years of this SUV, but the average price ranges from $15,700 to $29,500. This SUV received an 81/100 Quality & Reliability rating from J.D. Power. That’s the lowest score in the “great” range.

If you need a three-row SUV, the 2019 model could suit you. This model year offers third-row seating as part of the standard package. This feature was previously optional and makes it easier to carry up to seven passengers. Another appealing upgrade for this model year is the available V6 engine, which became available on all trim levels. Kia also upgraded the front and rear fascias, giving the Sorento a new and improved look.

Is the 2020 model worth considering?

Of these four model years, the 2020 Kia Sorento is rated the lowest in Quality & Reliability, with a score of 79 out of 100 from J.D. Power. This year has an average price range of $18,300 to $30,400, making it more difficult to find one in good condition under $20,000, but it’s possible.

The newest of these four reliable Sorento model years includes an updated eight-speed automatic transmission, which improves fuel efficiency and performance. Kia also added standard rear occupant alert and forward collision avoidance assist on all trims.

Which Kia Sorento model year is the best fit for you?

Four of the most reliable Kia Sorento model years under $20,000 are 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. The 2017 version has the lowest price range for use-car shoppers searching for an SUV on a budget. It also has the highest reliability score of the bunch. However, the 2019 and 2020 models have standard third-row seating, an optional V6 engine, and more advanced driver-assistance systems.