The 2021 Kia Sorento Has a Reliability Problem

The Kia Sorento arrived in the 2021 model year with a fresh look, new engines, an available hybrid powertrain, and added safety features. But is that enough to make up for the 2021 Kia Sorento’s reliability problem? Maybe, maybe not.

2021 Kia Sorento driving down the road
2021 Kia Sorento X-Line | Kia

Reliability is a struggle for the 2021 Kia Sorento

As it turns out, reliability has been a struggle for the Kia Sorento for quite some time. At least according to Consumer Reports. When the second-generation Sorento was introduced way back in 2011, Consumer Reports gave it a three out of five reliability rating. Until 2015, the Sorento struggled to earn anything above that very rating.

Third-generation models fared somewhat better. While Consumer Reports gave the 2016 Kia Sorento a three out of five predicted reliability rating, the 2017 and 2018 Kia Sorento earned a slightly higher rating of four out of five. Unfortunately, the Sorento’s ratings dipped in 2020 when Consumer Reports gave the Sorento a one out of five reliability rating.

As for this year’s model? Unfortunately, Consumer Reports gave it a three out of five predicted reliability rating. While that falls in line with what you would expect from the Kia Sorento overall, that’s still pretty disappointing. Especially if you’re in the market for a vehicle that’s known for reliability.  

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The good news is that J.D. Power gave it higher ratings

Fortunately, it’s not all bad news for the 2021 Kia Sorento. While Consumer Reports gave this year’s model some pretty disappointing reliability ratings, J.D. Power gave this year’s model a ‘Great’ quality and reliability rating. Which, as it turns out, is pretty standard for the Kia Sorento. In fact, for the past few years, the Kia Sorento has earned a ‘Great’ quality and reliability rating from J.D. Power.

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Does the 2021 Kia Sorento’s standard warranty make up for its mixed reliability ratings?

It’s worth keeping in mind that while the Kia Sorento might get some mixed reliability ratings, it does come standard with a pretty stellar warranty. Whether you opt for a base model or one with a few extra features, all Sorento models come standard with Kia’s 10-year/100,000-mile warranty program. This decade’s worth of warranty coverage includes a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, and a 5-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty. Not only that, but it also includes roadside assistance coverage for five years or 60,000-miles, whichever comes first.

RELATED: CNET Had Some Concerns About the 2021 Kia Sorento’s Transmission

You might want to consider these alternatives instead

If you’re a stickler for reliability and can’t seem to overlook the 2021 Kia Sorento’s mixed reliability ratings, then you might want to consider an alternative such as the Mazda CX-9. Unlike the Sorento, the 2021 Mazda CX-9 earned a four out of five predicted reliability rating from Consumer Reports. However, much like the Sorento, it also earned a ‘Great’ quality and reliability rating from J.D. Power

Both the 2021 Hyundai Palisade and the 2021 Toyota Highlander earned four out of five predicted reliability ratings from Consumer Reports too. Both also earned ‘Great’ quality and reliability ratings from J.D. Power. So, all in all, if the Sorento’s mixed reliability ratings are just too much for you? You can rest assured that there are better-rated vehicles out there