2007 Sorento EX Test Drive Transmission Question - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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2007 Sorento EX Test Drive Transmission Question

Hi all. I am so glad I found this forum. My son and daughter-in-law own a 2007 Sorento LX and love theirs. I didn't even consider it until my wife mentioned it was so easy to get into and out of and it is compared to her Buick.

My wife and I took a 2007 Sorento EX test drive today. Throughout our est 15 mile test drive (interstate and major city streets), the transmission bumped, jumped, slipped, and generally didn't really know where to be at any given point. We mentioned this to the saleslady who told us that many people had test-driven that vehicle today. The manager came by and said that the transmission on the vehicle has some kind of computer chip on it that "eventually learns" how the primary driver "drives" and those bumps and slips were "normal". He said it was because so many people drove the car today, lead footers and light treaders, the computer chip was confused about normal operations. Is this bullsh*t or what? I wonder how long "eventually" is? Didn't seem normal to us because it was very noticeable.

The car was msrp at 27500 plus $2000 dealer add-ons like pin-striping etc crap that Consumer Reports tells us readers to not pay for. Through the end of the month, this particular dealership will pay me $9000 for my trade-in (2000 Buick Century 65K in good condition). Another KIA dealer across town is giving $10000 for a trade-in. I think it must be a little local dealer war of sorts. 19K + TTL for a 2007 EX Sorento with all the bells and whistles sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Finance will be through my local credit union so that's not an issue.

Anyway, we also test-drove a 2007 Saturn Vue later on. The difference between the two (other than the almost constant transmission bumps on the Sorento) was like night and day. Terrific road noise in the VUE was barely audible in the Sorento. Tons of stuff standard on the Sorento are extra on the VUE. But gas mileage highway is a paltry 23 (Kia) vs pretty good 28 (Saturn). FYI regular gas here is headed in the $3.25 or more direction. Saturn will give me $3500 for my trade-in (about normal Blue Book wholesale value).

From reading other posts on this board, it seems other folks are having similar if not worse transmission issues with their Sorento's. Anyone have a Sorento with a transmission with no troubles?

Another question..........the gearshift console has a - and a + on the right hand side of the console. We thought it was AWD. It's not, the dealer says but wasn't helpful to offer further info. Can someone explain this to us dummies in regards to use, etc.?

The Sorento EX is a dream to drive (other than the tranny bumps) and even in view of the gas prices, this would be a fun car to drive around town and long distances. Thanks in advance for ANY advice you folks can give us old middle-aged people.

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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 02:09 AM
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The Sorento transmission is an excellent piece of machinery, one of the finest on the market today. Move the lever to the right and it becomes a manual gear box that lets you shift up (+) or down (-) and even compensates for driver errors like too high or too low rpm for a given speed. Very useful if you are on a downhill slope so you don't need the brakes all the time. The test drive would have had a different outcome had you read the owners manual first.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 02:11 AM
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I would suggest another test drive in a different Sorento.

Yes, the trans does "self learn" (adaptive transmission), but if that dealer knew his stuff, and really believed it was different testers causing the problem, he would simply pull a fuse and reset the trans to default before each test drive!

I think the "-" and "+" you mention are the 'tiptronic' shift - push the lever to the side and you have 'manual' change (sort of - in 'manual' trans will downshift automatically depending on speed so when stopped you will be in 1st. Upshifts are up to driver except you get auto-upshift at max revs).

Not sure about US 07, but earlier models have 2 versions with 4wd options on dashboard rotary switch. Manual 4wd selection has 3 positions (normal-4 high-4low), Auto 4wd has 2 positions (auto, 4low). Note that with manual 4wd version, the 4high selection must not be used in regular driving only in slippery conditions such as ice/snow/mud. (There is/was a 2wd only model as well)

Hope this quick synopsis is some help.

<edit - cees obviously beat me to it>


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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 02:21 AM
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cees, don't know about you but round here you would be very lucky to even find the manual in a demo car - let alone having time to read it! Definitely think it's down to the salesman to know his product and to help/guide his prospective customer - or perhaps he has all the commission he needs for the month.


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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 08:31 AM
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Like gee6 says, I would suggest you get in another Sorento and test drive it, preferably one that has less than 20 miles on the odo. I test drove 2 different Sorentos, a demo EX with 200 miles on it, and a grey EX with 8 miles on it. Neither one had any trans shifting issues. I purchased the grey one.

The first 500 or so miles were very smooth, then when the temps dropped to the teens, the trans started to act up. My dealer erased the computer's memory, and it was smooth after that, but after awhile it started acting up again. I now have almost 3K miles, and it is happening occassionally. There are rumors flying that Kia is aware of it and is working on a software fix. It will be fine for a week, then bump slightly one day, and act smooth afterwards.

Other than that, we haven't had any issues.

Also, you may already know this, but a Sorento has a real 4WD system compared to a Vue. The Vue is mostly front wheel drive, and its AWD kicks in when the front wheels slip. For the money, you are getting a real truck with the Sorento, I purchased mine for its 5000lb towing capacity, 4WD system, warranty, and price, and you cannot beat that.

p.s. My coworker had a Vue 4 cylinder with CVT trans. The trans had to be replaced at 32K miles. Dealer told him that it is common, but the Vue's Honda V6 and 5 speed auto is much more reliable. So, if you end up with a Vue, be sure to steer away from the CVT trans.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 09:58 AM
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Smith66,
You want to know about Transmission problems? Read my nightmare story with KIA service and the Sorento tranny. I honestly believe it's a software issue but its not top priority for KIA at this time. Instead, the DPSM replaced the tranny and torque converter. However, after 600 miles on the new trans. the problem is slowly returning suggesting a software issue.

KIA is sending a 3rd party quality company down this Wednesday to review our problem. This is the last step before they must replace the entire car or refund our money (Lemon Law). Stay tuned!

https://www.kia-forums.com/kia-sorent...n-problem.html

Hope this helps!
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Thank you all for the replies so far.

rhill...........how are those other 5-6 Sorentos to family that you've recommended holding up? Similar difficulties or true success stories?
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 04:15 PM
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and dont forget you have the limited slip diff in the back on the sorento which helps both in 2 WD and 4 WD mode off road. My vehicle has been perfect ...bought an ex demonstrator with 1000 miles on the clock does 25 miles to the imperial gallon
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 05:28 PM
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I bought my 06 demo 2 weeks ago, 14,000+ miles, and have had no issues with anything. Since it's alittle high in mileage, I alternate between that and my Elantra. I love it, it rides really nice, not like a "truck", but has the 4wd and load room.
I haven't had any issues with the tranny.
Hubby showed me the + - sport shifting when I was driving one day, he says it's not a new concept, just not on alot of vehicles. I think it's neat...
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 07:08 PM
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Smitth66,
All are holding up just fine...except the known rotor warp problem. No compliants other than that. It seems the rerdesigned '07 may have issues (new motor/tranny) but all other years seem to be hanging in...I used to be the best spokesperson KIA ever had until my '07 started to have issues. I do like the extra HP and look of the '07 but am extemely dissapointed in KIA's behavior and how they treated us. Feel free to ask any questions..
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