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Kia Sorento Reliability – Is Kia Sorento A Good Car?

Kia Sorento Reliability – Is Kia Sorento A Good Car?

Reliability ranking is away automotive experts use to rank vehicles based on the number of times they go to the mechanic for unexpected repairs. To come up with these rankings, these experts use data from millions of records based on customer reviews and visits, so they repair shops. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

There is reliability ranking many reliabilities ranking available online. The biggest one is the J.D. Power dependability study, Which provides reliability ranking every year by looking at customer reviews from the last three years. Another more generic reliability ranking is the RepairPal. This ranking provides an overall vehicle ranking based on the car make and model despite the year. 

In this article, we provide a summary of the RepairPal reliability rating for the Kia Sorento. Also, we will look at the 2020 results of the J.D. Power dependability study, which focusses on the 2018 Kia Sorento reliability. In this summary, we provide detailed information about the different matrix included in Each study and the Kia Sorento scoring for each metric.

What is vehicle reliability, and how does it work?


Before we even start the discussion about reliability rating, it is important to understand what does it mean for vehicle reliability. Vehicle reliability is a way that automobile experts use to rank the vehicle based on how many times an owner takes his vehicle to the mechanic for unexpected repairs or breakdowns. That's why these experts use different factors, including the cost frequency and severity of these unexpected repairs. 

The main goal of reliability rating is to give the consumer an idea of how often they will have to deal with odd repairs. Since the topic of reliability might be subjective, automobile experts came up with unique ways of breaking down vehicle reliability.

There is a lot of reliability ranking across the Internet. The biggest and widely used study is called the automotive rating, which was conducted by J.D. Power. More specifically, the study is divided into a couple of sub-studies including The Initial Quality Study (IQS), The Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), The Automotive Performance Execution and Layout Study (APEAL). The core result of J.D. power studies is summarized in the vehicle dependability study. 

The Vehicle dependability study represents the core of the J.D. power reliability scoring. The study is based on the total reported complaints per 100 vehicles for cars that were sold three years ago. This means that the 2020 study results represent the analysis of vehicles sold in the 2018 year. 

That being said, J.D.'s power dependability rating changes every year and focused on certain model years. To get a more general understanding of reliability rating for a certain make model, there is the RepairPal ranking. 

Repairpal rating is a measurement for vehicle reliability by car by make and model using a database consisting of millions of reported complaints from different customers. This rating analyzes three main metrics, including cost, frequency, and severity of unpredicted maintenance or a certain vehicle.  

Kia Sorento RepairPal reliability overview

In this section, we will focus the analysis on the results of their repair pal reliability ranking for the Kia Sorento vehicle. According to repairpal.com dependability ranking is based on three metrics, including cost, frequency, and severity of unexpected vehicle maintenance.  Below is the breakdown of Kia Sorento reliability results.


  • Cost



The first factor is related to the total and will cost for unexpected repairs. It is important to note that annual cost alone does not tell the whole story about vehicle reliability. This is because the average annual cost will vary depending on your vehicle make model year and depending on the dealership that you go to. To get a complete picture, it is important to combine the frequency and the severity of damages that required this maintenance. 

Repairpal reliability study showed that the average total annual cost of maintenance for Kia Sorento is about $533. this number leans towards the low end of average annual costs all vehicle models, just about $652.


  • Frequency



Frequency represents the average number of times a certain vehicle was brought to the mechanic shop for one year. This metric is calculated based on analyzing data from millions of vehicles around the world. RepairPal took into consideration removing small routine visits to the mechanic shop like oil change tire replacement etc.

Similar to cost results RepairPal reliability study showed that the average number of repair shop visits for the Kia Sorento leans toward the low end when compared to any other vehicle model. Kia Sorento showed about 0.29 visits here a year as compared to 0.4 visits per year for all other vehicles. 


  • Severity



The last metric in the RepairPal reliability study looks into maintenance severity. Since severity can be a little subjective, RepairPal experts came up with thresholds that are based on the average annual repair cost. They suggested that if the repair cost was three times higher than the average annual repair, then the problem is considered severe. It is important to note that the threshold is much higher for luxury brands to account for higher parts and labor costs. 

Repairpal reliability results showed that the Kia Sorento had about 11% severe maintenance per year. Yes or until it is still lower than the average annual maintenance severity for all other vehicles, which was about 12%.     

Based on the results summarized in the metrics above, Kia Sorento is considered a relatively reliable vehicle with a rating of 4 out of five or above average.

2020 Kia Sorento J.D. Power reliability overview

Since we looked into the Repairpal liability rating results, it'll be interesting to compare it to the most recent J.D. Power reliability results for the year of 2020, which analyzes 2018 vehicles reliability.

J.D.'s power reliability study has a few different metrics that they look into. These metrics include quality and reliability, driving experience, resale, and dealership experience. Scoring criteria is a little bit different than the RepairPal as well. Instead of looking at yearly average values, they provide point-scoring up to 100, with 100 as the best and zero as the worst.

Below is a breakdown of the 2020 results for the 2018 Kia Sorento vehicle:


  •   Quality and reliability 



The quality and reliability metric looks at any malfunction and the vehicle parts starting from the engine to the infotainment system. The 2018 Kia Sorento received a score of 86 out of 100, which is considered “great.”


  • Driving experience  



The driving experience metric reflects the owner's thoughts of the vehicle design comfort safety performance. Generally, your vehicles receive higher driving experience scores as they have a long list of safety and high-tech features. The 2018 Kia Sorento received a 76 out of 100 points for a driving experience which is considered “great.” 


  • Resale  



This metric is evaluated and proposed by J.D. power to reflect the amount of money of vehicles will over the next three years. According to this study's result, the 2018 Kia Sorento received a resale score of 83 out of 100, which is also considered “great.”


  • Dealership experience 



The last factor in their J.D. power dependable to study is related to the dealership experience. This metric represents the owner's experience every time they visit the brand's dealerships, including the facility's customer reviews work quality and others.

Based on the details provided above about the J.D. Power Dependability Study results for the year of 2020, Kia Sorento sword 82 out of 100, which is considered “great.” 

Kia Sorento Recalls

There have been several recalls for the Kia Sorento throughout the years. In this section, we provide a list of most reported recalls about the Kia Sorento along with the affected years. 


  • Fire hazard due to fuel leak at the fuel pump connection 



Kia recalled certain vehicles due to an issue with the fuel pump installed improperly. This issue resulted in fuel leaking into the pump connection and causing hazards of fire. several years got affected by this recall including years from 2012 to 2017 


  • Loss of vehicle steering due to issues with the steering column 



Kia recalled certain vehicles due to improper installation of the who has a bar that could cause the steering column just great, forcing the driver to lose steering ability. Only the 2018 Kia Sorento got affected by this recall.  


  • Issues with the side curtain airbag causing it to detach during deployment 



 Kia recalls certain vehicles from the 2018 Kia Sorento Due to problems with the side curtain airbag. These problems might allow the airbag to detach during deployment. To get the problem resolved, Kia requested dealers to replace the side curtain airbag.  


  • Engine stalling due to issues with the crankshaft 



Kia recalls certain vehicles from the 2017 Kia Sorento model year due to improperly heated crankshaft that could cause the engine to stall and fail. To resolve the problem, dealers had to check the crankshaft and replace it if necessary.  


  • Engine failure due to a machine error  



Kia recalled certain vehicles due to expected problems that could affect the engine. These problems are due to premature wear in the engine because of machining errors. To get the problem resolved, dealers had to check to inspect and replace the engine if needed.

Several years got affected by this recall, including 2012 2013 and 2014 from the Kia Sorento.   


  • Issues with the driver's seat frame 



Kia recalled certain vehicles from the 2016 model year due to issues with the driver's seatback frame that could cause it to break and accidents. To resolve the problem, dealerships had to inspect and replace the driver's seat frame if needed, free of charge.  


  • Shift liver comes out of the park in the automatic transmission without using the brake  



Kia recalled certain vehicles from 2011, 2012, and 2013 due to issues with the shift lever interlock. This issue might cause the shift lever to come out of the park unintentionally. To get the problem resolved, dealerships had to replace the brake shift interlock free of charge.   


  • Issues with the front passenger seat belt buckle   



Kia recalled certain vehicles of the 2016 Kia Sorento due to problems with passenger seat belt not latching properly. To get rid of the problem, dealers inspected and replaced the passenger seat belt buckle without charge.  


  • Electrical fire hazard in the rear or front doors 



From the 2011 Kia Sorento model due to problems with electrical wiring in the front and rear doors, these problems could cause fire hazards to get rid of the problem dealers had to Inspect and replace necessary parts.  



Vehicle reliability is very important not only for automakers but also for customers. It provides customers an idea about unexpected maintenance in certain vehicles. As a result, customers can make informed decisions about whether to buy a certain vehicle or not.

There are many reliability rankings available online; however, only a couple of them are trusted and widely used. The biggest root liable to study is called the J.D. power dependability study. The only limitation of this study is that it provides liability results in a yearly basis. Thus, I only look at the J.D. Power dependability study results. You might only get information about certain model years.

To get a broader liable to ranking about certain model makes there is there RepairPal livability ranking.

To provide a comprehensive understanding of the Kia Sorento reliability rating, we included detailed information from the repair pal RepairPal ranking results Addison to the most recent reported results of the J.D. Power dependability study for the 2020 year. It is important to note, however, that the J.D. Power dependability study results for the year 2020 represent the reliability of which 2018 vehicle models, as it looks at three years analysis window for each vehicle.

According to both studies, the Kia Sorento has considered a reliable vehicle with a great ranking is on the J.D. Power dependability study, and a 4/5 ranking based on the RepairPal reliability study.