Do Kia Sorentos Have Transmission Problems?

Kia is well known for producing and selling sporty vehicles that boast a wide variety of off-roading capabilities and features and a stylish exterior. Kia Sorentos are one of their most popular SUVs. But, like all cars, Kia Sorentos have their fair share of issues, so let’s take a look at what some of them are.

Kia Sorentos have reportedly had transmission problems in the past, but only with certain years and certain models. A few years to avoid include 2004, 2006, and the years 2011 through 2014. Many of these transmission problems manifest in the form of gear grinding and delays.

Sure, the Kia Sorento has its bad years and sometimes has issues; but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a reliable choice if you know which one to buy and which ones to avoid. Below you will find a few of the pros and cons of buying a Kia Sorento as well as what to look out for when you get one. Hopefully, this info will put your mind at ease and make your decision a little bit easier!

Kia Sorento: The Potential Issues

As mentioned above, not all Kia Sorentos face the same problems. There are certain years during which Kia did not do super well such as 2004, 2006, 2011-2014, and a few others. The one thing that all these years have in common is that each of their vehicles has reportedly had issues with the engines, airbags, electrical, seatbelts, and transmissions.

For these reasons, avoid those years when possible. You will still want to do your research before investing in a Kia Sorento, but know all Kia’s other years and models are reliable and popular. Here are a few things you should know about Kia Sorentos.

Kia Sorentos often suffer from shift flareups and delayed gear changes. This could be caused by shifts and changes in pressure, or simply faulty hardware (which is the most likely culprit). You may notice the gearshift sliding into second, third, or fourth gear of its own accord. It might also cause the gear shift to make clunking noises when you try to change it.

Kia Sorentos also suffer from gear failure. If you shift into drive, reverse, second, or anything else, there is a chance that it will jump into neutral instead and refuse to move. This often causes the check engine light to come on (though that could also be indicative of a faulty electrical system). If this happens, you will want to get your Kia Sorento checked out by a mechanic.

It might also be that a Kia Sorento’s gears have some issues with delays. The car might jerk forward or backward when you shift the gears and it might vibrate a little while you’re driving. While this may not seem like a big deal at first, you should get it taken care of as soon as you can so it doesn’t morph into something worse.

Kia Sorento: The Pros and Cons

Those issues sound awful and expensive, but there are still many good things about the Kia Sorento. If you are still trying to decide whether this car is a good option for you, take a look at the following pros and cons.


New and improved fuel economy is one benefit of getting a Kia Sorento. Kia has had some bad years when it comes to gas mileage, but every year they have made great strides toward improving their vehicles. The newer Kia Sorento models are quite fuel-efficient and have some fuel economy levels that can be hard to beat.

Kia has worked hard to improve the engines of the Kia Sorento. Three engine types are available depending on the vehicle: the traditional hybrid engine, the turbocharged engine, and the plug-in hybrid engine. Each of these engines has its strengths and weaknesses, but they also cater to different types of people, which means you can choose the engine that best suits your needs.

When it comes to the latest and greatest, Kia spares no expense. The interior of the Kia Sorento rivals the Kia Telluride, one of their most luxurious SUVs. The Kia Sorento offers different styles of seat upholstery so its passengers can be comfortable wherever they sit and for however long they have to drive.

You will not be limiting your options if you choose to invest in a Kia Sorento. There are a dozen different trim packages that you can choose from, almost all of which come with standardized AWD drivetrains. You won’t be disappointed if this is the car of your choice.


The Kia Sorento might seem like all that and a bag of chips, but the truth is that they have their fair share of flaws. One of these flaws is the stiff ride quality. If ride quality matters a great deal to you, the Kia Sorento is not the best choice. That stiffness sometimes means it won’t matter if you have leather seats because your ride will be slightly uncomfortable.

The cabin is spacious, but unfortunately, the third row has a high floor which makes it difficult for tall passengers to sit comfortably. Plus, that coupled with the small side windows can make the rear of the cabin feel extra confining, even a tad claustrophobic. But, if you decide that that is a worthwhile price to pay, then it won’t seriously impact you.

The Kia Sorento has its fair share of problems but what car doesn’t? There are plenty of years of the Kia Sorento to choose from so it’s not like your options will be limited. You will have to do a little research to make sure you aren’t buying a Kia Sorento from one of the problem years (as mentioned above) but as long as you do that, you won’t face many issues.

Kia’s Sorento is a great SUV for the money. So long as you get the right years, the car will serve you and your family for many years to come without too many problems.

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