The Kia Sorento is a popular crossover SUV among Canadian shoppers, largely thanks to its blending of affordable pricing, flexibility, feature content and all-weather capability.
A used Sorento from this era will offer up three seating rows, a 3,500-pound towing capacity, and more than 2,000 litres of available cargo space.
Most models also included all-wheel drive, and engine options included a 2.4-litre, 190-horsepower four-cylinder, a 3.5-litre V6 with 272 horsepower, or a 3.3-litre V6 with 290 horsepower, in newer used units.
This family crossover also featured Bluetooth, a sunroof, heated leather, heated wipers, a motorized tailgate, and plenty more.
Entry levels were called Sorento LX, while the SX and EX trim grades were reserved for mid-range and fully-loaded models, respectively.
Standard checks first
Begin your test drive of the used Kia Sorento with a full check of the air conditioner, all on-board electronics, and all climate control interfaces, remembering that the model you’re test-driving may have a separate rear-seat climate control system as well.
Try all windows and locks, all door handles, all hood and tailgate releases, and work the sunroof through its paces (if equipped).
Problems with any of the provisions above may be a hassle, and pricey to repair, so be sure everything is in working order as best you can.
Most Sorento owners don’t report water leaks from the drainage system of their vehicle’s sunroof, but shoppers are still advised to check, just to make sure.
A leaky sunroof drainage system may be evidenced by dampness and moisture present in the carpeting of the front footwell area. Press your hand into this carpeting (beneath the floor mats), and plan to have the vehicle assessed further by a professional if you note any wetness, or the smell of mould.
If the Sorento you’re test-driving has the push-button ignition and smart key system, stop and restart the engine several times during your test drive.
Any failure to quickly restart, signs of struggling, or (especially) a failure of the ignition button to turn off the engine on the first attempt, could be a sign of trouble with the push-button switch, or (less likely) a problem with the remote smart key itself.
Weak remote smart key batteries can cause similar problems, too. If you detect any issue, be sure to determine why, before you buy.
Keep a close eye on the Sorento’s automatic transmission, noting how it shifts. Especially on newer units from this generation, hard shifting, ‘clunky’ shifts, or any difficulty finding the correct gear are typically signs of a problem with the programming of the computer which controls the transmission, or possibly, a solenoid inside of it.
Have a Kia technician investigate before you buy, if the transmission exhibits any unwanted sounds or sensations during use.
If you detect issues like these later on during ownership of a used Sorento that’s still covered by remaining warranty, have your local dealer inspect and document your concerns as soon as possible.
Owner reports of suspension problems are very rare against overall sales volumes, but shoppers are advised to have their used Sorento candidate’s suspension system checked out by a technician before they buy, for maximum peace of mind — and especially if any “clunking,” “clicking” or “popping” noises are audible from within the vehicle on a test drive.
Just be sure to turn off the radio and listen for them, ideally while heading down the roughest road you can find.
The information presented above is gathered from online owner discussion groups and collaboration with a network of automotive repair professionals.
The above information is not a comprehensive list of all possible issues with the vehicle in question and is instead intended to draw shopper attention to possible trouble spots they may wish to investigate before they buy. In most cases, problems listed above are reported with relative rarity in comparison to total sales volume.
Shoppers are advised to have a dealer-performed pre-purchase inspection on the vehicle they’re considering for maximum peace of mind.