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Hey Kia Forum!
I wanted to pass this info along, since I ran into this issue and it appears others may have as well.

I have a 2012 Kia Sorento LX (wife's car) and we really like it except for the light-colored upholstery... we have two kids... (enough said?)
So we ordered a set of Coverking neoprene seat covers for the car - when I was getting ready to place the order, my lovely bride confirmed for me that the headrests were removable. Well, sort of... It turns out they are the active headrests, so there is a cable that she didn't happen to notice *before* we ordered the seat covers. Here is what I did to get the seat covers installed on the front seats.

1) remove the plastic seat backing - there are two metal clips at the top of the backing panel that you need to release by pushing in toward the center of the seat with a flat-blade screwdriver or something similar - I looked on kiatechinfo.com for service manual help on this, and found enough info to get it done - you'll need to push pretty hard to get them to release, but there are just the two clips at the top and then you can pull the seat back off - a little flashlight can help here, but if you try the brute force method to just pull them off you will likely be purchasing new plastic...

2) unclip the fabric clips at the bottom to expose the end of the headrest cable - on my car there is a wide white clip in the center and two narrower black clips on the sides - push the center one upward and toward the seat back to roll it off the seat frame - then use your screwdriver to lightly work the black ones off the frame - be careful, the sheet metal edges are rough and can cut your hands - this should expose the actuator cable

3) pull the cable from the center toward you to get some slack in it, and then work the left end of the cable housing out of the black plastic piece that holds it - you'll notice the headrest will extend, but don't worry... it easily comes back - once the cable housing is free from the holder, use your screwdriver to work the cable end out of its little clip - cut the zip ties free from the seat back and you can then remove the headrest out of the top

4) thread the cable and headrest through the holes in the top of your seat cover and feed the cable back down through the hole it came out of - take your time with this, as I rushed the second one and the cable got fed off to the side and wedged itself into a cranny on the seat frame (was a pain to get unstuck)

5) reassemble in the reverse order of disassembly, remembering to zip tie the cable back onto the seat back before closing everything up - then finish installing your seat covers and enjoy

I disconnected the battery during this because I didn't really know what I was getting into, and I was afraid of setting off air bags while mucking around in the seats - I wouldn't say this is a requirement, but it is a good safety precaution.

As for the Coverking seat covers, they fit pretty well and have provisions for the side airbags in the seats - quality is decent, and they are supposedly waterproof - time will tell how they wear with the kids, but I have a buddy with the same material in his truck and they are holding up well after a few years - in retrospect, I think I would go through the hassle of removing the headrests again instead of dealing with the looks of the velcro closure at the top of the seat for the "non-removable headrest" covers - this looks much cleaner - the headrest covers themselves kind of have a goofy closure at the bottom, but they work...
 

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2015 Sorento
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Just an FYI if you have not read the owners manual, because of some sensors for the SRS or air bag system in the seat they do not want seat covers on the seats.

Not sure if the spots you mentioned for the side air bags will be allright or not. Just thought I would share.

Ill go check the manual just to confirm my info...

Section 3 (saftey features of your vehicle)

"Do not use any accessory seat covers"

"Use of seat cover could reduce or prevents the effectiveness of the system"

So use at own risk.
 

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Hey Kia Forum!
I wanted to pass this info along, since I ran into this issue and it appears others may have as well.

I have a 2012 Kia Sorento LX (wife's car) and we really like it except for the light-colored upholstery... we have two kids... (enough said?)
So we ordered a set of Coverking neoprene seat covers for the car - when I was getting ready to place the order, my lovely bride confirmed for me that the headrests were removable. Well, sort of... It turns out they are the active headrests, so there is a cable that she didn't happen to notice before we ordered the seat covers. Here is what I did to get the seat covers installed on the front seats.

1) remove the plastic seat backing - there are two metal clips at the top of the backing panel that you need to release by pushing in toward the center of the seat with a flat-blade screwdriver or something similar - I looked on kiatechinfo.com for service manual help on this, and found enough info to get it done - you'll need to push pretty hard to get them to release, but there are just the two clips at the top and then you can pull the seat back off - a little flashlight can help here, but if you try the brute force method to just pull them off you will likely be purchasing new plastic...

2) unclip the fabric clips at the bottom to expose the end of the headrest cable - on my car there is a wide white clip in the center and two narrower black clips on the sides - push the center one upward and toward the seat back to roll it off the seat frame - then use your screwdriver to lightly work the black ones off the frame - be careful, the sheet metal edges are rough and can cut your hands - this should expose the actuator cable

3) pull the cable from the center toward you to get some slack in it, and then work the left end of the cable housing out of the black plastic piece that holds it - you'll notice the headrest will extend, but don't worry... it easily comes back - once the cable housing is free from the holder, use your screwdriver to work the cable end out of its little clip - cut the zip ties free from the seat back and you can then remove the headrest out of the top

4) thread the cable and headrest through the holes in the top of your seat cover and feed the cable back down through the hole it came out of - take your time with this, as I rushed the second one and the cable got fed off to the side and wedged itself into a cranny on the seat frame (was a pain to get unstuck)

5) reassemble in the reverse order of disassembly, remembering to zip tie the cable back onto the seat back before closing everything up - then finish installing your seat covers and enjoy

I disconnected the battery during this because I didn't really know what I was getting into, and I was afraid of setting off air bags while mucking around in the seats - I wouldn't say this is a requirement, but it is a good safety precaution.

As for the Coverking seat covers, they fit pretty well and have provisions for the side airbags in the seats - quality is decent, and they are supposedly waterproof - time will tell how they wear with the kids, but I have a buddy with the same material in his truck and they are holding up well after a few years - in retrospect, I think I would go through the hassle of removing the headrests again instead of dealing with the looks of the velcro closure at the top of the seat for the "non-removable headrest" covers - this looks much cleaner - the headrest covers themselves kind of have a goofy closure at the bottom, but they work...
Awesome. Thank you very much this is exactly what happened to me. I appreciate you post and thank you.
 

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Hey Kia Forum!
I wanted to pass this info along, since I ran into this issue and it appears others may have as well.

I have a 2012 Kia Sorento LX (wife's car) and we really like it except for the light-colored upholstery... we have two kids... (enough said?)
So we ordered a set of Coverking neoprene seat covers for the car - when I was getting ready to place the order, my lovely bride confirmed for me that the headrests were removable. Well, sort of... It turns out they are the active headrests, so there is a cable that she didn't happen to notice before we ordered the seat covers. Here is what I did to get the seat covers installed on the front seats.

1) remove the plastic seat backing - there are two metal clips at the top of the backing panel that you need to release by pushing in toward the center of the seat with a flat-blade screwdriver or something similar - I looked on kiatechinfo.com for service manual help on this, and found enough info to get it done - you'll need to push pretty hard to get them to release, but there are just the two clips at the top and then you can pull the seat back off - a little flashlight can help here, but if you try the brute force method to just pull them off you will likely be purchasing new plastic...

2) unclip the fabric clips at the bottom to expose the end of the headrest cable - on my car there is a wide white clip in the center and two narrower black clips on the sides - push the center one upward and toward the seat back to roll it off the seat frame - then use your screwdriver to lightly work the black ones off the frame - be careful, the sheet metal edges are rough and can cut your hands - this should expose the actuator cable

3) pull the cable from the center toward you to get some slack in it, and then work the left end of the cable housing out of the black plastic piece that holds it - you'll notice the headrest will extend, but don't worry... it easily comes back - once the cable housing is free from the holder, use your screwdriver to work the cable end out of its little clip - cut the zip ties free from the seat back and you can then remove the headrest out of the top

4) thread the cable and headrest through the holes in the top of your seat cover and feed the cable back down through the hole it came out of - take your time with this, as I rushed the second one and the cable got fed off to the side and wedged itself into a cranny on the seat frame (was a pain to get unstuck)

5) reassemble in the reverse order of disassembly, remembering to zip tie the cable back onto the seat back before closing everything up - then finish installing your seat covers and enjoy

I disconnected the battery during this because I didn't really know what I was getting into, and I was afraid of setting off air bags while mucking around in the seats - I wouldn't say this is a requirement, but it is a good safety precaution.

As for the Coverking seat covers, they fit pretty well and have provisions for the side airbags in the seats - quality is decent, and they are supposedly waterproof - time will tell how they wear with the kids, but I have a buddy with the same material in his truck and they are holding up well after a few years - in retrospect, I think I would go through the hassle of removing the headrests again instead of dealing with the looks of the velcro closure at the top of the seat for the "non-removable headrest" covers - this looks much cleaner - the headrest covers themselves kind of have a goofy closure at the bottom, but they work...
You are awesome for sharing this information. I had the exact same issue issue right down to the wife mistaking removable for active headrest and coverking. Much appreciated!
 
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