The Problematic 2016 Kia Sorento Is Still Recommended by Consumer Reports

For used car shoppers, the 2016 Kia Sorento might seem like a good option. With two engine options to be had and plenty of interior features to enjoy, the 2016 Sorento presents itself as the kind of SUV that aims to please in far more ways than one. Consumer Reports seems to think so too. 

Although, is it as good as Consumer Reports says it is? If you take what current owners of the 2016 Sorento have to say into consideration, that’s a resounding no. Then why does Consumer Reports continue to recommend this model to used car shoppers? Let’s find out.

2016 Kia Sorento at an event
2016 Kia Sorento at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago, Illinois | Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Kia

What’s wrong with the 2016 Sorento?

There are many complaints about the 2016 Sorento. According to, it’s rife with engine problems. To date, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received 74 complaints about the 2016 Sorento’s engine.

“I have approximately 64,000 miles on my car. A few weeks ago, I noticed that it wasn’t blowing warm air, and asked that the shop take a look at then when I got an oil change. They didn’t notice anything wrong,” one complaint reads.

The complaint goes on to describe the check engine light coming on and the car making a terrible sound. The owner also complained about the presence of white exhaust. 

“We had it towed to the dealer, and they called to report a total engine failure. Unfortunately, I am the second owner so my power train warranty expired at 60k rather than 100k,” the complaint continued.

The 2016 Sorento received plenty of complaints on too. “I will never buy a Kia Sorento again ever, Changed my oil frequently took care of the car, I bought it at 25,000 miles, now at 140,000 miles the engine is blown, The bolts pull the thread out of the engine block now I need a new engine, no help from Kia disappointing,” reads one of the most recent complaints.

The 2016 Sorento has faced its share of recalls as well. It was first recalled for a problem with the accelerator pedal assembly that could prevent it from accelerating. The NHTSA says it was also recalled for problems with its front passenger seat belt, a rear-cross member weld fracture, an inadequately welded driver seatback frame, and more.

What Consumer Reports has to say 

With so many complaints to its name, and several recalls under its belt, why does Consumer Reports continue to recommend the 2016 Sorento? Well, there are a couple of different reasons.

Most recently, Consumer Reports included the 2016 Sorento in its list of Most Fuel-Efficient Used Three-Row SUVs. When test driving a 2016 Sorento equipped with a 3.3-liter V6 engine, Consumer Reports says it averaged 21 mpg. While 21 mpg is certainly nothing to scoff at for an SUV, there are several other vehicles in the SUV segment that offer better fuel efficiency ratings than the 2016 Sorento.

Consumer Reports also cites an upscale look and a long list of available features as reasons to buy the 2016 Sedona. Also mentioned by Consumer Reports is the “the peace of mind that comes with driving an SUV deemed a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.”

That’s not to say Consumer Reports only has good things to say about the 2016 Sorento. Consumer Reports did give it a 3 out of 5 overall reliability rating, citing the vehicle’s power equipment and its drive system as the ‘Most Common Trouble Spots.’ According to Consumer Reports, reliability is better for the 2017 model years and newer too.


The Most Complained About Kia SUVs

Should you avoid the 2016 Sorento?

In all likelihood, yes, you should probably avoid the 2016 Sorento. While Consumer Reports certainly likes to recommend it, and it did make Consumer Reports’ Most Fuel-Efficient Used Three-Row SUVs list, you shouldn’t overlook the many problems that current Sorento owners have faced.