Consumer Reports Thinks You Should Avoid the 2012 and 2013 Kia Sorento

Many individuals and families simply cannot afford to purchase new vehicles, but there is nothing wrong with buying used . . . unless you purchase a used model that is unreliable and will cause you all kinds of headaches. One popular car reviewing site specifically tells prospective used car owners to avoid the 2012 and 2013 Kia Sorento. Why? Let’s find out. 

Consumer Reports recommends you avoid 2012 and 2013 Kia Sorentos

Consumer Reports is typically known for giving noteworthy vehicles their stamp of approval by putting a checkmark next to the word “recommended” on vehicles they believe provide a good value and are overall excellent choices. The Kia Sorento had yet to receive that designation from CR (until 2021), instead getting a recommendation to avoid buying certain years altogether.

Consumer Reports has conveniently created a list of over 100 models of cars that you should avoid buying due to their below-average reliability ratings. You can use their tool to find cars by its manufacturer to see if they make this infamous list.

It’s fascinating to investigate all the makes and models that CR has deemed unreliable, and it’s a quick way to evaluate whether you want to spring for that used 2016 Honda Pilot (you don’t) available at your local used car dealership. 

Unfortunately, Kia has a fair amount of vehicles to be avoided on the list, and of course, the 2012 and 2013 Kia Sorento are present. Why should you steer clear of these used SUVs?

Common problems with the 2012 and 2013 Kia Sorentos

A model stands next to a black 2013 KIA Sorento on display at The 21st Indonesia International Motor Show
The 2013 Kia Sorento | Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

RELATED: The 2021 Kia Sorento Has a Family-Related Shortcoming

Consumer Reports also has the power to survey real owners to see what problems occurred with their vehicles to help others avoid the same fate.

According to Consumer Reports, the 2013 Kia Sorento suffered frequently from in-car electronics problems, like faulty backup cameras and infotainment systems that cost hundreds of dollars to replace, as well as very severe engine problems that occurred relatively early in the 2013 Sorento’s life. 

Some 2013 Kia Sorento drivers also report that the vehicle has given them major suspension issues, such as frequent alignment problems, faulty ball joints, and wheel balance woes. 

The 2012 Sorento suffered from similar problems, also plagued with electronics issues like frozen infotainment systems, unreliable navigation systems, and more. The silver lining for the 2012 Sorento is that major engine problems were less common than the 2013 version, but it still had its share of minor engine problems, according to Consumer Reports. Some owners saw oil leaks, pulley problems, and other less costly, but still annoying, complications and headaches.  

Should you avoid all Sorento model years?

Typically, the Kia Sorento is a just fine SUV that has gotten decent reliability and owner satisfaction ratings from Consumer Reports, especially in more recent models. The 2015-2019 models all scored at least a three out of five in terms of reliability and owner satisfaction, though the 2020 Kia Sorento dropped the ball again with predicted reliability of just one out of five. 

You don’t necessarily have to avoid all Kia Sorentos, but the SUV has just not received consistently high ratings from most critics over the years. There are simply better options that provide more bang for your buck in its class. 

Even still, if you’re particularly attached to buying used Kia Sorentos, it’s probably best to stick with the model years between its glory days of 2015-2019 where it was at least getting decent scores from Consumer Reports. If you can afford to buy a fully redesigned and finally CR recommended model – the 2021 Kia Sorento – you’d probably be better off.