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2017 Kia Sorento SX V6 AWD, Tech Package
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Discussion Starter #1
Specifically, is there ANYTHING different mechanically (engine, suspension, cooling, wiring, or anything possibly related) that accounts for the U.S. version delivered with 'Tow Hitch' being rated for 150 lbs (68 kg) less for 'Maximum Tongue Weight' than the Canadian 2017 Sorento AWD V6? Does your Canadian Window sticker actually say 'Tow Package' vs. 'Tow Hitch'? If you have a Sorento, please say if yours is Canadian or U.S. delivered

I have a U.S. 2017 Kia Sorento SX V6 AWD. The U.S. dealer 'window sticker,' under Additional Installed Equipment, lists 'Tow Hitch' $395. The U.S. manual rates the Maximum Tongue Weight at 350 lbs (159kg). For the same 2017 Sorento sold in Canada, the manual says 500 lbs (226kg) Maximum Tongue Weight. I saw on a forum 'somewhere' that the 2017 (I assumed U.S.) manual was revised to 500 lbs. I have found no verification of this, so I doubt it.

The question is, are the suspensions, transmissions and all related parts 'exactly the same' for the Canadian and U.S. Sorento V6 AWD (regardless of model SX, Ex or whatever)? Is the reason just a U.S. Kia corporate understating of the max tongue weight to limit U.S. liability by defacto making the max 'Tow capacity' 3500 lbs, NOT 5000 lbs (if 10% tongue wt/ trailer wt.)? Or 3300 lbs (if 12% tongue wt/ trailer wt.) or 2700 lbs (if 15% tongue wt/ trlr wt.). Regardless of what the Kia manual says about the recommended trailer weight to tongue weight ratio. The entire world of towing is very uniform in saying a 10% ratio is the minimum. 15% is the maximum. 12-13% is the seat spot. Under 10% and your are going to have trailer sway even before any inclement winds, passing big rigs or heaven forbid you are required to make an emergency maneuver due to traffic conditions.

I read that the Canadian version requires the 'Towing Package'. In Canada what is 'added' to the Sorento with that package. In the U.S., that package literally just includes: 1) the actual (Curt?) trailer hitch mounted already (factory or dealer I don't know). 2) a wiring plug at the drivers side rear to plug a 4 pin trailer light harness into. In the U.S the 'Towing Package' notably does not include an external transmission cooler (in addition to the transmission cooler that is part of the lower radiator). It also does not include any addition of beefier suspension components.

So what is different, mechanically between the 2017 Sorento SX V6 AWD and the Canadian? Is it simply that for the litigious U.S. market, they drop the max tongue weight spec to limit liability? To be sure, IF YOU ARE TOWING MORE THAN A 3500 LB trailer behind your Sorento with a very low % tongue weight of 350 lbs, you are going to have dangerous sway. WD hitches void the Sorento warranty in the U.S. A separate 'sway bar' will reduce some of the inherent sway during normal, no wind, no big rig passing, but will likely not help any at all for an emergency maneuver at freeway speeds of 65 mph (let alone the higher speeds that MANY drive would drive a trailer at. If it is inherently unsafe at the recommended 65 mph max, it leaves no safety buffer for those you know will drive 70 or more mph (at least in passing situations).
 

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2020 Sorento EX+ V6 AWD
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201 Posts
Why do you ask the question more than 2 places in the forum ?
 

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2017 Kia Sorento SX V6 AWD, Tech Package
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I also read somewhere that the unibody construction/ design was improved, made stronger starting with the 2016 models. That should improve towing performance, even if Kia did not upgrade the U.S. spec for Maximum Tongue Weight. You're still on your own if you have an issue and are over the (U.S.) 350 lb limit. And if you balance the load on a 5000 lb trailer to have a tongue weight of 350 lbs, you are highly likely to have sway and other issues, big time. That would make the tongue weight to trailer weight ratio ONLY 7%! Trailer towing experts recommend staying between 10% minimum to 15% maximum tongue to trailer wt. ratio.
 

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2017 Kia Sorento SX V6 AWD, Tech Package
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Discussion Starter #4
Why do you ask the question more than 2 places in the forum ?
I did not ask this question in more than two places, but good point to remove the other post. Thank you.
I added to the question posted here that I originally asked on this thread, where it was post #25. I wanted to start a new thread because I am asking a more specific question of Canadian vs. U.S. build than the other thread. I just posted a request for the moderator to delete the other similar post at that thread.
 

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2020 Sorento EX+ V6 AWD
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You can remove you own post, for the difference between US and CAN it's very weird but can't answer why, it's the same truck and i would guess build at the same plant.

edit: we where able to delete on the older forum.
 

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2017 Kia Sorento SX V6 AWD, Tech Package
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Discussion Starter #6
You can remove you own post, for the difference between US and CAN it's very weird but can't answer why, it's the same truck and i would guess build at the same plant.

edit: we where able to delete on the older forum.
Kronyx, My window sticker says my 2017 Sorento SX: "Final assembly in West Point, Georgia, USA. Country of origin: Engine- Korea, Transmission- USA." I bought mine used last year, but you can find and print your orininal window sticker using the VIN# like I did. Does your window sticker say the same thing (or similar adding an entry into Canada as well)? It is very hard to imagine they would build two different vehicles for what are essentially similar markets (US & Canada).

I guess I'll 'assume' my U.S. can handle 500 lb tongue weight, although it would require air baags to support the factory springs from sagging further. My current trailer has +/- 300 lbs tongue weight, so it is not really an issue for this current pop up tent trailer that is 1556 lbs dry and maybe 1900 lbs loaded for camping. We 'might consider a bit larger pop up in the future. My desire to see if the U.S. Sorento AWD V6 can deal with 500 lb tongue weight was never because I wanted to 'max that out -OR- get anywhere near a trailer weighing 5000 lbs. It was wanting to know what the 'cushion' I had for added safety by pulling only up to 'x%' of the vehicles capacity. Hence wanting to know the actual capacity past the conflicting U.S. vs. Canadian specs.

Tongue weight % of max: 300 lbs of 350 is 85%. 300 of 500 is 60%. With 300 lbs TW, Plus ≈ 550 for me, my wife & gear inside the Sorento as cargo weight, the rear end drops 1". Not bad, but I did need to turn over the 2" 'drop hitch' which raised the tongue 3" to make the trailer about level.
Trailer capacity % of max: 1900 lbs is 58% of 3300 (12% tongue wt. ratio). 1900 lbs is 38% of 5000 lb capacity.

Happy trailering everyone!
 
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