Six Month Report, my Sorento - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Six Month Report, my Sorento

3,000 mile, 6 month ownership report // 2019 Sorento vs. 2005 4Runner (high end, loaded, leather, "Limited", traded for Sorento at 170K miles)

I shopped hard before buying the Sorento and glad I did. Especially when learning of the grief from Chevy Traverse owners. Traverse or Mazda CX9 had been my other top favorites.

The 4Runner beat it on some things, mainly the V8 and power back window

Good 4Runner things, compared to Sorento:
  • V8, Sorento can't beat the low end torque/towing ability
  • Power Rear Window, good for hauling lumber and the 'all windows down'
  • Hold the unlock on the key fob for a few seconds and all windows and moon roof open (great for hot days)
  • Real roof rack, spare wheel/tire
  • Rear Wheel Drive
  • Easy and cheap do it yourself spare keys

Worse 4Runner things compared to Sorento:
  • Handles like the pickup truck it is built on
  • No modern driver or safety features

Superior Sorento features:
  • Power rear lift gate, saves my back
  • 8 speed auto is flawless (to be fair the conventional rwd 5 speed in the 4R was perfect too)
  • Driver convenience, safety, comfort, nav, audio, android auto, way better handling than the 4R, quiet ride, seat cooling, too many good things to name really...

Sorento things that could be better:
  • MPG (around town stop and go, a little over 18MPG vs. 15MPG on the V8 4Runner)
  • Weight, Sorento is only 100# lighter than the 4Runner with body-on-frame, V8, RWD, towing pkg, real spare wheel, full box frame, roof rack, heavy duty truck underpinnings everywhere) Sorento must have a lot of sound deadening, certainly not as much steel
  • Outside mirror "car in next lane warning lights" not visible in the daytime, not visible in peripheral vision even at night (my 2013 Acura TL has these located on the windshield A pillars, that works good)
  • Limited to two key fobs (is this right?, boo)
  • Driver info display fonts are a little too small, yet there is plenty of room to make them bigger (compass, tire press, etc)
Sorento, truly weird things:
  • The wonderful auto hold brake feature forces automatic electric parking brake upon car shutdown
Warranty/maintenance problems:
  • 4Runner - brakes and exhaust sytem replaced early in its life, needed a normal maintenance timing belt change, a trouble free 14 years
  • Sorento - auto headlight left-right with steering works half the time, other half of the time the warning light shows. I do like this feature and will ask the dealer to fix it.



Thank goodness No Turbo /// 2019 Sorento SX L V6 (FWD)
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 04:56 PM
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Timing belt. UGH
Would never buy another with a timing BELT.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 08:49 AM
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Timing belt. UGH
Would never buy another with a timing BELT.
Yeah, hopefully KIA (along with most other manufacturers) have figured out how to make a decent timing chain/tensioner. I am with you and am not a fan of timing belts as they are a replacement item. That being said, several years of the AUDI 2.0 turbo engine are known for having chain stretch/defective tensioners and an Audi service would tell you them are not "lifetime items". The may go as far as to tell you they should be replaced around 80,000 miles.

That is BS and there are ongoing class action lawsuits and such (I had mine replaced and was only charged 1 hour of labor at 65,000 miles after b*tching out the dealer about how horrible the car is... told them to proactively do it when the engine was out of the car getting new pistons/rings), but it is unnerving knowing they can fail with as little as 60,000 miles!

So while I guess I went on a bit of a tangent, at least with a timing belt folks would have been aware of a maintenance interval to replace it before they grenaded their engines. Again, hopefully the chain/tensioners on our cars last 200,000 plus miles I would expect them to.... but I have learned just because the car has a chain is not a guarantee that all will be good for the "lifetime" of an engine. I for sure will periodically have the tensioner inspected to make sure it isn't getting close to its last few notches.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by BrianC302 View Post
Yeah, hopefully KIA (along with most other manufacturers) have figured out how to make a decent timing chain/tensioner. I am with you and am not a fan of timing belts as they are a replacement item. That being said, several years of the AUDI 2.0 turbo engine are known for having chain stretch/defective tensioners and an Audi service would tell you them are not "lifetime items". The may go as far as to tell you they should be replaced around 80,000 miles.
So while I guess I went on a bit of a tangent, at least with a timing belt folks would have been aware of a maintenance interval to replace it before they grenaded their engines. Again, hopefully the chain/tensioners on our cars last 200,000 plus miles I would expect them to.... but I have learned just because the car has a chain is not a guarantee that all will be good for the "lifetime" of an engine. I for sure will periodically have the tensioner inspected to make sure it isn't getting close to its last few notches.
The newest version of the 3.3L GDI was launched in 2012 with the Azera according to wiki.
With the earlier 2012 vehicles, there should be some owner issues popping up by now with the timing chains given the engine is now 7 years old.
I have not found any info on the web related to problems with the chains or tensioners on the new version of the 3.3L GDI.
Not saying not to worry about the tensioners, but let the evidence speak.
Also, curious on how would you get the tensioners checked periodically? Thanks
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 11:08 AM
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Why does it bother you that the parking brake engages automatically?
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Danno001 View Post
The newest version of the 3.3L GDI was launched in 2012 with the Azera according to wiki.
With the earlier 2012 vehicles, there should be some owner issues popping up by now with the timing chains given the engine is now 7 years old.
I have not found any info on the web related to problems with the chains or tensioners on the new version of the 3.3L GDI.
Not saying not to worry about the tensioners, but let the evidence speak.
Also, curious on how would you get the tensioners checked periodically? Thanks
On the Audi, there is a little port on the plastic cover for the timing chain/tensioner that you can pop out a rubber plug and look in at it. The tensioner has a certain number of notches it can extend.

Once it gets to the last notch and if the chain continues to stretch (the amount of stretch at this point is about 1 link in the Audi 2.0 TFSI), it will eventually jump and throw off the timing likely causing the valves to crash into the pistons. You can also estimate how extended the tensioner is using a high end scan tool that measures the camshaft adaption.

I don't recall how many notches it has (I want to say 7) and I do not know how many notches the Sorento has in the different models, but assuming it is similar to my Audi, someone that knows can look at it and see how far it has extended. Other things can fail related to the timing but that I suppose would be the most likely thing.

I think as you outlined, we don't have much to worry about..... but it can't hurt to have it checked every now and then (I might ask to have mine checked right before 100,000 miles when the warranty is almost up). If it is as easy as the Audi, it would be a 5 minute job.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Why does it bother you that the parking brake engages automatically?
There is already an activation switch (pull up) for the PB. This should not be an automatic function.

PBrake function to apply when parked should not be coupled with brake auto hold.

Unnecessary wear and tear not to mention making a quick stop at the mailbox requires driver door to fully close with seat belt fastened for me to make the 100 ft drive up the driveway to the garage from my mailbox. Otherwise PB will not release.

I do wish the auto hold/brake function would remember its last state (off/on) through a shutdown. Some of the other features stay on if you had them on.

Thank goodness No Turbo /// 2019 Sorento SX L V6 (FWD)

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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As to timing belts, my research shows a higher red line on similar engines that have vs. not having timing belts. Not that it matters at all. Just figure in the cost when buying a vehicle.
I have changed two low mileage car's T belts at 10 years just on general principles but they looked new. Always good to get the included water pump and tensioners.

As to timing chains, I remember trying to restart my '71 Corvette after filling up at a gas station. Crank crank crank...no engine firing at all... timing chain had broken on the start up attempt, a little under 30,000 mi, out of warranty (12k mi was the warranty period in those days). To be fair, the Corvette continued to eat my lunch on repairs until I sold it. Junk.

Thank goodness No Turbo /// 2019 Sorento SX L V6 (FWD)
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 05:49 PM
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I've changed out a couple dozen timing belts on 1st and 2nd generation Miatas, early Hondas and Nissans. If I never have to do another one, it will be fine with me. I know the Honda timing chain is good for at least 221,000 miles (the current mileage of my inlaws Accord w/chain instead of belt) and haven't heard of any timing chain issues with Kia and my 2003 4Runner w/125K on it (V6) hasn't exhibited any signs of wear. I think the industry switched over to timing belts because lighter, quieter and less complex. Unfortunately, the average consumer isn't real good about being proactive in changing it out when indicated and so lots of slammed valves and irate consumers. My NSX was a $2500 job to change the timing belt, water pump and various tensioners.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 08:33 PM
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Thanks Steve807. Nice report and I for one like to hear owners impression. I'll have to remember to do a 6 month story myself. My 2016 just purchased New Years Eve is replacing a 2007 Acura TL that I have owned since it had 14,410 miles on it, so no SUV experience to draw on. Not new to Kia's though as my wife and I have owned a 2014 Cadenza. It sold me on the Kia brand. We are now a 2 Kia family.

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