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2021 Sorento Mods - Share and discuss

126355 Views 439 Replies 83 Participants Last post by  C-Trink
How about we list and/or illustrate any mods we make in one place.
  1. Hood struts have been done following this mod: Hood Struts 2021 Sorento
  2. Roof rails (X-line in this case). I just received Turtle roof rails after reading this thread: Roof Rails - Sorento 2021 X Line
  3. 2" Receiver Hitch and Wiring Harness. AFAICT there are no aftermarket hitches yet but I had the dealer install the Kia hitch. It took them 2.5 hours as they were surprised to find that Kia had not brought any electricity to the rear of the vehicle (like they do for the Palisade) so they had to run wiring all the way to the engine compartment.
  4. Foot-well lighting. I added lighting front and back, using this product when it was $35: It was easy to install and hide all wiring. The lights turn on with the car. I have them set to match the purple color of the Kia screen but they can be white or any other color. They can also dance to the beat of music which is too much fun for me to handle.
  5. Fumoto / Quick and Clean Oil Changes: I always do my own maintenance and have used this on several cars. Every car should come with one:
  6. NEW: (3/12/21) Radar Detector - Hard Wired with Mirror Tap!: 2021 Sorento Mods - Share and discuss
  7. NEW: Post #141: Conical Air Filter:
  8. NEW: Post #142: Grill Screen: 2021 Sorento Mods - Share and discuss (this shows the how to do the lower section. the upper section is also complete).
  9. NEW: Post #236: Rain Visors: 2021 Sorento Mods - Share and discuss
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Interested to see item #4. ...
Thank you Noshortcuts for the link to the foot well lighting. It is definitely appreciated as Kia Canada simply ignores me, this at least gives me an option.
Cheers from "We The North"
No problem. I will post video or pics later. It really is easy if you go with basic functions, which is what I've done (so far). If you want to customize so that the lights integrate to include a door assist feature that has the LEDs turn white when a door opens and then the light strips turn to your set color when the car starts and then they stay on until you lock the car (all without needing the remote and with no risk of running down the battery, see this! This guy happens to be demostrating on his own Kia:
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My hybrid EX came with hood struts. Did they put hood rods on the gas models?
If you follow the hood strut mod link above there is discussion. There may be some countries that have them but generally no.
Pictures of OPT7 foot-well lighting install. The lights can be adjusted for brightness and change color via an included remote. They turn on with the car at the last setting.
The install is pretty clean. You can't see the light strips without crawling and looking for them and all the the wires are tucked behind panels.
Purple Flash photography Violet Entertainment Visual effect lighting

Automotive lighting Purple Entertainment Visual effect lighting Gas

Hood Purple Automotive tire Lighting Automotive lighting

1) This center console panel (near the gas pedal)pops out from the right side and then slides right to fully detach. Once the panel is installed again, all the wires are hidden cleanly.
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2) There is plenty of room for the control box and excess wiring to be mounted behind the removed panel. I added Velcro tape to the bottom of the control box to hold it steady and be able to remove it if needed.
Cable Electrical wiring Wire Electric blue Metal

3) I used the provided 3M tape to attach the light strip for the drivers side. It's taped to the rear (non-opening) side of the Airbag device.
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4) This is the passenger side light strip. The wire passes easily to the control box from the previous photo.
Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive design Grey Road surface

5) This is one of the rear foot-well lights. They are attached with zip ties to the carpet material that is underneath the rear of the front seats.
Automotive lighting Automotive tire Bumper Automotive exterior Hood
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Has anyone performed their own oil change yet? My '17 Sorento had a drop in oil filter in the top of the engine, but looking at the new TGDI 2.5 I don't see one up there, so I am guessing they went with a traditional spin on filter accessed underneath the engine. Car is new enough I can't find a part number for the oil filter anywhere.
Not yet, but am curious also. Don't miss my tip on the first post to install a Fumoto for clean and quick oil drains.
Accessories (minor "mods"). I like making a new vehicle feel like it's "Mine" by adding mods and accessories...
  1. Rear Cargo Liner (for dirty dogs). Very good fit. Also cargo storage with bunjee to hold it in place:
    Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Trunk Automotive design
  2. Front seat liner (for dirty sweaty driver). Fits better than the online product photos would indicate due to having more material a the top:
    Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive design Car seat cover

  3. Valve Caps (nearly a color match but a poor focus on the intricate cap. In daily life, no one will likely ever notice the caps besides me, LOL):
    Tire Wheel Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting

  4. Black plate holder (with clear cover):
    Car Land vehicle Vehicle Automotive parking light Grille
  5. Rear Storage Accessories (car jack, socket set +, tire repair kit, first aid kit, snow "sock", emergency reflector triangle, jumper cables, tire inflation pump, car vacume.
    Automotive design Automotive lighting Automotive tire Bumper Automotive exterior
    Motor vehicle Bag Gas Automotive tire Luggage and bags


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Seconded, and another thing I had on my list to do when we get the Sorento. The LASFIT LEDs I put in my Outback as back-up lights are, no joke, nearly as bright as my headlights. They were great at camp if we ever needed to back up to the trailer at night.
I added separate back up lights on my truck. I tapped the trailer hitch wiring harness. Mounted under the bumper they don't draw much attention unless you are backing up. I only bought two at the time but I see they are 10 lights for $46, LOL.
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my start / stop worked in the begining but now I can't get it to work. although I don't really care. but its suppose to work.
Mine is not working either. I've added this fact to the quibbles and annoyances page: Quibbles and annoyances - 21' Sorento
The orange ISG light turns orange when the car stops but never green to show the engine is off. WTH.

ISG update - it's "fixed"
  1. I read that resetting the battery can reset ISG on a different Kia forum. I tried what it said: Turn off car for at least 4 hours and then start and stop the engine 4 times.
  2. Now ISG works.
  3. I like the Sorento ISG. It feels seamless and smooth - unlike other cars I've seen that are noisy and abrupt to shut down and slow and chunky to start back.
NEW MOD: Hard-wired Radar Detector (mirror tapped)
Car Vehicle Plant Speedometer Automotive lighting
Automotive lighting Hood Automotive tire Automotive mirror Automotive side-view mirror
Light Product Automotive lighting Automotive mirror Bag

Tire Wheel Motorcycle Hood Automotive tire

Suction mount works VERy well on the plastic behind the mirror so there's no need to mount to the windshield (illegal where I live) or to the mirror stem (whick needs a costly add-on mirror mount).
Automotive design Bumper Automotive exterior Gas Electrical wiring

Wire taps were VERY tight. I had to trim and file the pins to get them to fit the wire harness. The wire harness has three wires and you need to tap wires #1 and #3, not the middle wire.
NOTE: Yes, I know I have black to red and red to black for the taps. I guessed wrong on the pins and didn't want to pull the taps once they were finally in.
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Great post, thank you. I have the same SX as you.

For #6, Anything special to pop that little plastic piece off?

Thank you...
CORRECTION: The plastic piece comes off easily. There is a notch. DONT pry from there. Pry from the headliner at the top and it pops off.
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Has anyone added anything to make their Sorento sound louder? Nothing crazy, but maybe changing the exhaust tip? The XLine has a downward exhaust tip so I feel changing it to a longer or wider one might not be the best, but also I don't take it off road so I guess it might not matter. Also if anyone has changed the emblems? I've heard that the front is just clipped on but the rear is stuck on with adhesive.
Exhaust: I have wondered also about letting the beautiful engine have a bit more voice and decided to shelve the idea given the downward exhaust and see if any purposeful aftermarket kits ever become available.
Emblems: I got new emblems that are black and grey with an older KIA lettering but may not install. The front emblem is on so tightly I don't see how to release it without getting violent. I may wait for the bumper to come off, for whatever reason, and then examine the clips from the inside.
Thanks for the pics and tips. I've been wondering whether I'd still be able to use my Valentine 1 in the Sorento, what with all the radar-based safety systems. I just figured those days were over for me after decades in comparatively "dumb" cars. How's your experience been with it so far?
The R7 with the latest firmware (which is said to have made a huge difference) and with smart usage of the plethora of settings makes the detector mostly silent unless there is a real threat. I love it so far. You can turn on/off any individual band and you can set individual bands to different volumes. You can also set individual bands to be scanned for but always muted. Plus, I set the screen to a purple color to match the Kia screen and my floor lights, LOL.
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Is this the stock US mirror or the "homelink" mirror?


No, My car does not have Homelink. Yes, USA SX Prestige
I was disapointied in the Lamin-X kit that I installed. The headlight films fit pretty well but the fog light films were not even close and much too small and the mirror-light films were not perfect but Ok.... I could have eyeballed the fog lights and cut better shapes from a large sheet than what they sent me!. I had trouble getting a clean install with the hood piece, but that fault was mine and gusty winds. I ended up removing that piece which left a bunch of strips of glue behind that took some work to remove.
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#7 mod: High performance air filter (replacing stock box) with heat deflector and modified cold air intake. I do love the "blow off" sound. Silly, at my age, but true.
NOTE: I took off the cold air intake and removed the front section of it and then reinstalled (just 2 clips) because it looks like it will help (a little) to feed "cold air" towards the filter.
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#8 mod: Radiator protection screen - Installed without removing any parts.
1. cut to shape
2. apply black duct tape to cut ends. This will prevent scratches during installation and rattling noise after installation.
3. fold horizontally and insert through grill
4. patiently and carefully unfold and fit - using both hands reaching through grill.
5. pull forward GENTLY with fingers and needle nose pliers (pliers will break screen if pulling too hard)
6. arrange screen behind grill and orientate for the best fit possible
7. bend the tip(s) of zip tie(s) and insert through the screen and pull back to hook the bent tip back through the screen. (hard to describe but I hope it makes sense)
8. grab the tip(s) of zip tie(s) that were bent and stuck through with a needle nose plier and pull the tip toward you to wrap around grill and secure the tie
TIP 1: don't fold the screen vertically, it will break. You CAN fold horizontally (the way it was rolled to ship)
TIP 2: DO fold screen vertically to cut it. It's cleaner and easier than using a tin snip (true for vertical cuts only).
NOTE: for those planning to use this screen on the upper radiator section - I don't tink it will hide the silver radiatiors behind it (as theorized and hoped)


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While it may pull in more air, it's going to be hotter than the stock box. Being a turbo engine, it's going to get heated up even more and I'd be willing to bet hurts performance.

Now if you could get that intake filter further away and say down next to the fog light, you could pull in cooler air and help performance a little bit.
Perhaps, but I drove today while over 90f outside and performance was not impacted. Also, on my return, I opened the hood and felt around and there is not a great deal of radiatiing heat near the filter. But I'll keep monitoring.
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I think this is about as good as it's gonna get without removing 90% of the front end. Really nicely done. What do you think the odds are of the mesh shifting slightly and causing play in the zip ties? I'm concerned about the ties scuffing up that lower trim. Also, likelihood of a rock impacting the mesh and changing the structural integrity of it? Is there any chance that mesh can find it's way into the engine bay in pieces?
I doubt it will move at all and certainly not enough to do damage. The ties hold it firmly forward. If a rock ever damaged it, I don't think pieces would come off. Because it's mesh, even a broken part is still connected somewhere. And no, there's no access to the engine bay so worst case would be if a piece of mesh damaged the radiator but it already stopped the rock and a piece of screen would not likely have the heft or velocity to damage the radiator.
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Any specification on the heat shield piece you used with it?
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