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We’re back with our detective hats, pipes, and magnifying glasses to investigate the Kia Sorento and its potential transmission problems. We aren’t saying that it does have transmission issues, but we’ve heard a few rumors about it. So, let’s see what’s going on with the 2023 Kia Sorento

Does the 2023 Kia Sorento have transmission problems? 

The 2023 Kia Sorento parked out in the wild
2023 Kia Sorento | Kia

The 2023 Kia Sorento might have transmission problems, so that’s why we’re doing a little investigation. Our first clue is related to a recent recall. In 2022, over 69,000 2021 – 2023 Kia K5 and 2021 – 2022 Sorento models were recalled due to a transmission issue. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) reported that the transmission oil pump could fail. It leads to a complete loss of power while driving and could increase the risk of injuries and accidents. 

But Kia remedied this issue by inspecting affected models and replacing the transmission as necessary. Kia also updated the transmission control module software. 

These repairs were performed at no cost to owners. This is a good and bad sign. While the Sorento did have a recall, the issue was quickly corrected. Also, it was for the 2021 and 2022 models, not the 2023 Sorento. 

Does the Sorento have a reliable transmission?

According to Yocanic, the Kia Sorento does have a reliable transmission. A few of the most common issues include transmission slips, delayed shifting, banging into gears, getting stuck in limp mode, and no reverse or drive gear. 

However, once problems occur, you can check your transmission fluid level and correct it if necessary. You can also contact a local Kia dealership to ask if there’s a recent Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) or software update for the Sorento. Typically, these problems are easily solved with an update. 

Some Kia models may experience erratic gear shifting and randomly jumping to neutral. The transmission may shift to neutral while the vehicle is in motion then it could fail to go into drive or reverse. Typically a check engine light illuminates when this occurs. 

The possible cause for this problem could be related to faulty input or output speed sensors that create misleading solenoid codes. Replacing both sensors is an effective and straightforward solution. 

The Sorento can experience missed gears and hard shifting at intermittent times. Replacing the transmission fluid sensor or resetting the adaptive learning procedure can help. The Sorento may experience irregular shift patterns if drivers with different habits use it. 

Is the Sorento getting more reliable? 

The 2023 Kia Sorento took a tumble in reliabilty rankings
A 2023 Kia Sorento | Kia

While the 2023 Kia Sorento has corrected various issues, its reliability ranking has taken a slight tumble. It had higher rankings before it was redesigned in 2021 with new engine options, off-roading upgrades, a new exterior design, revamped interior, and updated tech. 

But it’s not uncommon for SUVs to have a few issues when the first model from a new generation arrives. Also, there were recalls to address problems like the faulty oil pump. 

According to CarComplaints, the new generation has fewer reports of problems than the older models. Also, the 2022 model only has two complaints of transmission problems. The 2011 model has the most complaints and 40 reports of transmission problems. 

J.D.Power gave the 2023 Kia Sorento a reliability rating of 81 out of 100. This puts it in the above-average category. Scores between 70 and 80 are average, while anything between 81 and 90 is above average. The 2021 model had a score of 77, so it is improving.

The Kia Sorento transmission problems seem to either be related to the recent recall or a thing of the past. Have you experienced any trouble?