Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Kia Sorento 4x4?
Although not intended to be as rough and ready as the original Kia Sorento, this second-generation model can still cut it off-road, and is often used for towing. Be aware that both activities will increase the rate of wear and tear, though, so look out for telltale signs such as scuff marks on the sills and bumpers, or potentially even signs of mud and dirt on the underside of the car or in the wheel arches.
Also ensure that the clutch doesn’t slip or smell on cars with a manual gearbox, because the dual-mass flywheel can be expensive to repair. Or, to put another way, if you want to use your Sorento for towing, it's worth buying one with an automatic gearbox.
Check under the bonnet and boot floor for signs of repaired crash damage, and be sure to go through all of the electric systems and gadgets, as higher trim levels in particular featured lots of standard equipment.
With the Sorento used by many as a family car, it’s possible that the interior will have had a hard life, so ensure all of the seats fold away freely.
What are the most common problems with a used Kia Sorento 4x4?
The 2.2-litre diesel chain-cam engine has proven to be a very reliable unit, so as long as servicing has been carried out to schedule (every 12 months or 12,500 miles) and there are no ominous noises, there’s no need to be concerned, particularly as many Sorentos will still be covered under Kia's original seven-year manufacturer warranty.
The underbody spare wheels are, however, vulnerable to theft and cost around £600 to replace. Many owners therefore install a secondary locking mechanism for about £130.
Just two recalls were carried out, early in the car’s life. The first was for a fix to the mood lighting on KX-3 models built up until July 2010, which presented a fire risk due to overheating, and the second was for potential corrosion in the contacts for the rear brake lights, which can prevent them from illuminating. This covers models built up until April 2011. Check that all relevant recalls have been carried out on the car you’re thinking of buying.
Is a used Kia Sorento 4x4 reliable?
Fundamentally, the second-generation Sorento is a reliable car, and Kia as a manufacturer has earnt itself an excellent reputation for the durability of its products. This is reflected in the Korean manufacturer’s third place finish out of 24 manufacturers in the 2016 JD Power UK Vehicle Dependability survey, and means that unless the Sorento you’re looking at has led a particularly hard life to date you’re unlikely to experience any significant problems.
Compare that with Land Rover, which finished in last position, and you can see why the Sorento has found popularity with buyers seeking a seven-seat SUV.