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'04 Kia Sorento, bunch of VW B4 TDI's
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first post here, be easy on me.

My wife has a 2004 Kia Sorento and it's been a great vehicle. It has 208,000 miles on it and still runs fine, but is showing its age. Specifically the front axle seal is leaking, I had to weld up the rear axle housing due to rust perforations, and the frame is pretty rotted by the passenger's side rear tire. The body rocker panels are also shot. Otherwise it looks and runs great. Unfortunately we have inspections here in Maine and it won't pass another one. I could probably cobble it together enough to get another sticker, but even that would be iffy.

So we're looking at a new SUV...but which one. We have looked into a few of them, but the mileage or something else always turns us off. Since hers has been so good, we're thinking a new Sorento.

Our primary cars are a herd of VW TDI Passat's, which get great mileage (upper 47-50 mpg) and I can maintain indefinitely. But, they do not have 4WD, do not tow very much, and there is always something to do on them (they have 417,000, 363,000 and 200,000 miles respectively). So we're looking for something that fits what we want to use it for.

Her current Sorento is a V6 and she would like to get one that is able to tow, not that we'd be towing a lot or often. I always used to think the Kia's were shoddily built, but after working on hers, I find I was wrong and they are very well built vehicles. I had a '95 Isuzu Trooper that is still going strong with 348,000 miles on it, it finally had to head south to Kentucky (no inspections) due to the rust on it as well. I would say the Kia is on par or above the Isuzu in terms of quality and design. I am not impressed easily, but was with hers. Anyway....

....Which one do we get? She does not want something used, so a 2012 leftover, or 2013, or should she wait for the 2014 due out in the 2nd quarter of 2013? Her current Sorento is stickered until July, so I am doing research now for when the time comes. In case you haven't been able to tell, I maintain and advise about anything vehicle related...she drives them.

I drive about 40K a year and she does about 30K, but have the TDI's to save on mileage for most of the warmer months (not that the TDI's are bad in the snow, but she likes 4WD in the winter). Still, she does not buy vehicles for trade-in, so this one will be run until it can't be run anymore.

Are there problems with any of the V6 models? How are they compared to the '04 model? I have done a bunch of research online already, and they apparently went from an SUV chassis to a car-like chassis. Any issues with that or the towing capacity? My only fear is getting a new one and not having it be the same quality as the older ones.

I am a regular contributor on and it has been a wealth of information, so I am asking here since you people have real world knowledge of these vehicles.

Many thanks.

2011 Sorento 2.4 w/Manual 6spd
273 Posts
Lots of opinions of course, but I think the debate is so large that we're hesitant to get in to it. Bascially you're asking us to summarize all the topics that are active on this forum, relating to the Sorento and how it compares to competitors.

Every manufacturer and every model will have a small number of problem vehicles, even top ranked Toyota and Honda. Overall I'd say the vast majority of Sorento owners are very happy with their purchase, you can read the sticky thread "....are you happy with your purchase and would you buy one again". Very informative thread, I think it'll answer many of your questions.

I have the 2.4 engine, but have noticed that all of the 3.5 owners RAVE about this engine, lots of power, very efficient and I have not read of any mechanical issues.

There are a lot of good competitors, buying a car is such a difficult decision because all manufacturer's have really improved the quality of design, comfort and reliability of their lineup. Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan and Subaru all have some really great vehicles that compete with the Sorento. Price negotiations play a big role, if you can negotiate a good price on a 2013 Sorento before the new 2014 model is released in roughly 5 months that might be the tie breaker. Honda and Toyota in my experience are not easy to negotiate a good deal, Kia was amazing to deal with and the lower trim levels offered so many standard options it was a no-brainer for us, whereas Honda and Toyota were very stingy with options, making you upgrade to the highest most expensive trim level to get some options that I considered fairly standard.

Kia has a great warranty, and warranty approval is very easy in my opinion, Honda and Toyota have a lesser warranty, as do most other manufactueres.

Those are just some quick points off the top of my head, but the best advice is to read some of the existing threads that cover "would you buy it again", and "3.5L V6 vs. 2.4 L", and ask more specific questions in those threads as you think of them.

I wish you lots of luck with your vehicle search, let us know what you finally decide!!

2013 Silver Sorento EX V6AWD, 2007 Toyota Highlander V6LtdAWD, 2004 Toyota 4-Runner V6Ltd2x4
80 Posts
I have 5,000 miles on my 2013 Kia Sorento EX6 with UVO/ it and so far I won't let my wife drive it..

What I like:

The smooth Power and the sound of the V6, you never know when you might need it....merging onto highways, up steep grades...from a physics perspective alone a normally aspirated 4 cylinder pushing around a 4,000+ vehicle is a challenge...

Why I bought a Sorento: lie, the video on TV originally grabbed my attention, and when I visited the Forums and talked to owners, I quickly eliminated the Ford Escape and the Edge (why? recalls and serious issues with FordSync and other quality-related issues, the Honda CRV (only 4 cylinder and tired design), and the Toyota RAV (another tired design, and do I really want the Ultimate Soccer Mom's car?)...we already owned the previous gen of Highlander and didn't want the bigger one...
Finally, we did the math and we saved anywhere from $10,000 to $16,000 over other brand cars with comparable packages..

What needs improving:

Cold weather rattle, I only have one at the top of the drivers side door/windshield pillar where it joins the headliner to the pillar/airbag, and when the temp goes below 30 F it drives me crazy...I'll fix it this's a great car to work on....

Headlight bulbs are cheap and yellow looking, I've replaced my low beams with HID's and I am now replacing all my interior bulbs with LED's..

I like everything else...and I've had comments from other owners like..."You can tell your car is made well...and "cool design"...I can get my two Choc labs into it with their two brothers with room to spare..

It's been a while since I've been so excited about a car/truck...maybe since I first bought my 2004 4Runner which my older son has up at school now..

Best of luck in your decision...

2013 Forte Koup SX; 2012 Kia Sorento SX; 2012 Kawasaki Z1000
1,006 Posts
ok.. so if you are decided on a sorento; for me in summary...

2011-2013 v6
- the best so far, its naturally aspirated, gas mileage has been ok lots of power - features has all been good;( all the features i have are in some luxury vehicles) and i prefer the styling (mine is an SX trim AWD) i have no complaints at all, some complains due to gas mileage but i dont know could be driving habits
- it has been a good driving and consumer experience... some consumer complaints are minor and easy to fix.. just ask for help in the forums right here..

2014 v6
- incoming... i read everything about it, like more features and the 3.3 v6 direct injection more power and better gas mileage i would think. lighter than the outgoing as they claim
- IMO i dont like the styling, it looks fordish on my first glance
(its not denial, just dont like how the styling turned out i was expecting better.. (i'll wait until 2017)
- anyway, i would also wait and see the 3.3 v6 engine that comes out from hyundai coming soon (the lwb 7 seater santa-fe as they share same engine with the sorento) see how it performs..

i waited for 2011 to buy the 2012 incoming model because (they came out 2010 as 2011model) it seems they had good reviews about the v6 engine and if there are any major complaints of fixes to do.. so that's how i got mine, i usually wait for a year after a new redesign (2014 is 80% new compared to 2011-2013) in and see how it performs overall
thats all i can think of now.. test drive a 2012-13 SX and see for yourself
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