Over the years, Kia has done a great job of shedding its former reputation of putting out bad cars with cheap parts and rampant problems. These days, Kia produces some of the most popular vehicles in the market, including the Sportage, Telluride, and the ultra-capable Sorento. If you’re looking to buy a used standard 3-row (or 2-row), 7-seater midsize SUV, it’s hard to go wrong with the Kia Sorento.
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Is it safe to buy a used Kia Sorento? Absolutely! But like many vehicles, some model years are better than others. The Sorento was first launched in 2003, so used car buyers have plenty to choose from. However, the sheer number of choices will likely make prospective buyers double-take. But we know why you’re here. It’s because you want to know the best year for Kia Sorento.
On the best year for Kia Sorento, CoPilot highly recommends the 2017 model year. We also listed the 2017 Sorento as one of the best models you can buy as used. Please keep reading to find out why it’s our top pick.
2017 Is the Best Year for Kia Sorento
The Kia Sorento lineup has many reliable model years, except for the 2011 to 2016 versions, due to their numerous reliability issues. We went with the 2017 Sorento because it provides a good balance of affordable pricing and a long list of features. Furthermore, this year only had a few complaints from owners and was well-received by critics and experts.
According to the U.S. News, the 2017 Kia Sorento is the #1 Affordable Midsize SUV that combines outstanding safety scores, high reliability ratings, and a well-made cabin. Moreover, you can find many excellent listings for a used 2017 Sorento. Overall, the 2017 Kia Sorento is a solid buy for a used three-row SUV with few compromises.
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How Much is the 2017 Kia Sorento?
The 2017 Kia Sorento is available in seven trim levels: L, LX, LX V6, EX, EX V6, SX V6, and SXL V6. According to TrueCar.com, the average price of a used 2017 Kia Sorento is between $9,940 to $32,786.
If you’re not too concerned with high mileage, you may purchase a base 2017 Sorento L with FWD and 130k miles for the low price of $11,888. In contrast, a lower mileage 2017 Sorento with FWD and 60k miles on the odometer will cost you around $18,997.
For the EX V6 trim, you can find a 2017 EX V6 Sorento with FWD and 107k miles for $15,990. Meanwhile, an AWD model of the 2017 Sorento EX V6 with around 70k miles will cost you about $20k, which is nothing short of a great value. Buyers of an EX V6 Sorento get leather seats, heated front seats, smartphone integration, and multi-zone A/C.
If you’re looking to buy the topmost trim, SXL V6, you can find one in the market with around 40k miles for $27,999. Meanwhile, a practically brand new SXL V6 with AWD and about 16k miles driven can be yours for $30,792. Choosing the top Kia Sorento trim gives you access to features like a 3.3L V-6 engine, driver and front passenger heated cushion, front fog/driving lights, a premium sound system, driver lumbar support, and more.
The Specs of the 2017 Kia Sorento
Whether you go for the 2-row or 3-row model, the Kia Sorento is a good SUV that offers excellent value for your money. One of the first things you’ll notice about the Sorento is its stylish good looks – it’s not exactly going to blow anyone’s mind away, but the SUV is handsome enough for most people. The Sorento also boasts a well-designed cabin that prioritizes comfort, thanks to the improved materials and amenities.
We also appreciated the performance refinement of the 2017 Kia Sorento. Many Sorento trims are powered by a 3.3-liter V-6 engine that produces 290 hp, which gets you up to speed relatively quickly. On the flip side, the base engine only cranks out a weak 185 hp, especially with the SUV’s size. Meanwhile, the available turbocharged 2.0-liter four engine is better than the base powertrain with 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, but segment competitors easily outclass it.
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The base engine offers a fuel economy of 21⁄25-28 mpg city/highway, while the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 is EPA-rated at 19-20⁄25-27 mpg city/highway. Lastly, the top-spec naturally aspirated 3.3-liter V-6 engine has mpg ratings of 17-18⁄23-25 mpg city/highway.
2017 Kia Sorento Reliability and Recalls
RepairPal gave the Kia Sorento a reliability score of 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking 12th out of 26 compact SUVs. Furthermore, Sorento owners can look forward to lower-than-average ownership costs with only $533 for yearly repairs and maintenance.
Over at CarComplaints, the 2017 Sorento follows the widely-considered worst model of the compact SUV, the 2016 year. According to CarComplaints.com, the three worst issues of the 2017 Sorento are:
- Engine failure
- Car wanders at highway speeds
- Lights turning on while parked and locked
As of this writing, the 2017 Sorento is included in four NHTSA safety recalls involving electrical issues, trailer hitches, engine crankshaft failure, and fuel pump issues.
2017 Kia Sorento Safety Features and Ratings
The 2017 Kia Sorento received a 5-star rating from the NHTSA, and the SUV is also a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. Moreover, the Sorento received high marks in the crashworthiness tests but failed in the headlights category.
The standard safety features included in the Sorento are Antilock Braking System, Around View Monitor, Electronic Stability Control, Brake Assist System, and more. Optional features include Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection System, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, etc.
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Other Kia Sorento Years to Consider
All Sorento models after the 2017 version have received positive reviews from critics and customers alike. However, we recommend skipping the models from 2011 to 2016 due to many complaints and mechanical woes. Alternatively, the 2009 and 2010 Sorento models are also worth considering for their excellent reliability track record, and they’re pretty cheap nowadays.
Worst Years of the Kia Sorento
The Kia Sorento is a highly popular SUV, but it certainly has its fair share of problematic years with various reliability woes. Here are some of the worst years for the Kia Sorento, based on reported problems, recalls, and consumer complaints:
2003 Kia Sorento:
- Issues with the crankshaft bolt, leading to a recall.
- Problems with the engine, including failure and misfires.
- Transmission failure reported by some owners.
2005 Kia Sorento:
- Engine problems, including failure and knocking sounds.
- Transmission issues, such as slipping and failure.
- Some reports of electrical problems.
2011 Kia Sorento:
- Numerous complaints about engine failure, particularly in vehicles with higher mileage.
- Problems with the cooling system, including radiator leaks.
- Issues with interior accessories, such as malfunctioning door locks.
2012 Kia Sorento:
- Continued engine problems, including premature failure.
- Transmission issues, such as rough shifting.
- Some reports of brake problems.
2013 Kia Sorento:
- Engine failure, often related to problems with the connecting rod bearings.
- Issues with the steering system, including noises and stiffness.
- Some owners experienced problems with the suspension system.
2014 Kia Sorento:
- Persistent engine problems, including failure and oil leaks.
- Complaints about the infotainment system, including connectivity issues.
- Some reports of brake wear and failure.
2016 Kia Sorento:
- Engine failure, particularly in models with the 2.0L turbocharged engine.
- Transmission problems, including hesitation and failure.
- Issues with the electrical system, such as malfunctioning lights.
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