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Debuting in 2002, the Kia Sorento has been around for nearly two decades and not every model is created equally. This spacious midsize SUV is known for its practicality and reliability. However, the worst Kia Sorento model years to avoid received the most owner complaints.

What are the worst Kia Sorento model years to avoid?

The worst Kia Sorento models to avoid are primarily from older generations and include the:

  • 2011 Kia Sorento
  • 2012 Kia Sorento
  • 2013 Kia Sorento
  • 2014 Kia Sorento
  • 2015 Kia Sorento
  • 2016 Kia Sorento

2011 Kia Sorento

One of the worst Sorento years is the 2011 model. After driving this vehicle for an average of 77,000 miles, owners have reported the engine stops. This is the number-one problem facing the 2011 model, costing about $4,600 to repair.

In addition, owners have reported that the airbag light turns on and stays on after the SUV has reached an average of 92,000 miles. The issue costs roughly $2,020 to repair, according to

A 2011 Kia Sorento, one of the worst Sorento model years, parked next to a brick wall
2011 Kia Sorento | Kia

Another common 2011 Kia Sorento problem is that the vehicle might jerk when shifting. The issue typically begins around 79,000 miles. And it costs about $2,000 to repair.

Overall, the 2011 Sorento has racked up over 1,300 complaints reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

2012 Kia Sorento

After driving the 2012 Sorento for about 84,400 miles, owners have faced catastrophic engine failure, where the engine overheats and sometimes loses bearing.

That’s the most common and the worst problem for the 2012 model, and it costs owners an average of $6,560 to repair.

Normal engine failure is experienced after 124,000 miles, and owners are charged the same price to repair it.

Also, like the 2011 model, the 2012 Sorento has experienced airbag light issues. The light might turn on after 82,000 miles, costing owners $800 to fix.

This model has accumulated over 700 complaints on its NHTSA page.

2013 Kia Sorento

The 2013 year is another Kia Sorento model to avoid. A blown engine motor has been reported to be the most common problem in the 2013 Sorento.

It happens after around 83,000 miles. Drivers have said the engine makes a grinding noise and smokes before quitting. Repairing it costs about $5,300.

Moreover, the vehicle’s exterior paint begins peeling at around 71,000 miles. A new paint job costs owners $1,000 on average.

And similar to previous models, the airbag light stays on after 105,000 miles, costing $2,100 to fix.

The NHTSA has received over 800 owner complaints about the 2013 Kia Sorento.

2014 Kia Sorento

Like the 2013 model, the 2014 Kia Sorento could have engine and gasket problems once the odometer reaches about 74,000 miles. Repairing the issue costs an average of $8,900.

Similarly, owners have complained that the car’s paint starts peeling after around 72,000 miles. A new paint job costs $1,700 on average.

Furthermore, the A/C heater might fail after 67,000 miles, costing $800 to repair.

This model year has nearly 750 complaints on the NHTSA website.

2015 Kia Sorento

Like previous model years, the 2015 Sorento also experiences engine failure, most commonly after 84,000 miles.

Additionally, the car might die after about 89,000 miles. Repairing the engine costs an average of $6,500.

Owners have also reported the 2015 Sorento to have shifting problems after 55,000 miles, costing $3,000 to fix.

In all, this model year has racked up over 550 complaints on its NHTSA page.

2016 Kia Sorento

The above models are among the most troublesome, but the 2016 Kia Sorento is the worst model to avoid.

In addition to experiencing engine failure after 84,000 miles, it could consume excessive fuel after only 68,000 miles.

Engine failure is this model year’s most significant problem, costing $6,800 to repair. Furthermore, fixing the high fuel consumption usually requires a new engine gasket kit, which costs $5,700 to replace. deems this model year the worst because of those engine issues.

Also, some owners have complained that rodents chewed through the vehicle’s wiring after only 27,850 miles. Replacing the wiring costs about $630.

Overall, the 2016 Sorento has notched over 750 owner complaints on the NHTSA site.