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2018 Sorento SX V6 AWD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a used 2018 Kia Sorento SX with AWD and V6 engine last October. My wife and I are planning to move from Michigan to Oregon and so we had a tow hitch installed. To my knowledge this car does not have the tow package. We had planned on renting a UHaul 6*12 trailer but I am now wondering if the car can handle towing that trailer and contents. What I would like to know is what all is included when Kia installs a tow package? The dealership where I bought it does not seem to know which is rather pathetic. The old boy at UHaul thought we would be just fine but of course he is not on the line to replace my brakes or transmission etc if we abuse the car by towing too much weight.

Advice and experience appreciated!
 

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2019 Kia Sorento LX V6 AWD
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The maximum weight Kia says you can tow with your vehicle V6 AWD is 5,000 pounds. But the hitch weight can only be 315 pounds. If the 6 x 10 trailer doesn't have brakes I would suggest you keep the weight much lower perhaps 1,500 pounds or less. With breaks, I still wouldn't pull more that 3,500 pounds.
 

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Sorento LX V6 2018
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There is no official "tow package" other than a Kia installed hitch and wiring. It's no different than having U-haul install a proper hitch and the plug and play wiring. If trailer brakes are involved, it becomes a bit more complex since you need a brake controller and 7pin plug but most trailer places know exactly how to set them up. In the olden days, trailer packages included different rear end ratios, transmission coolers, larger radiators, different pitched clutch fans on the radiator, larger brakes and big boy frame mounted hitches. Serious trucks do come with many of those things but they are almost purpose built vehicles now.
 

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2018 Sorento SX V6 AWD
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tom4416, I hope you are correct but what you say doesn't make sense to me because the owner's manual says with tow package is 5000# and without it the capacity is only 2000# if the trailer has brakes. How would one tow something unless the car has a tow hitch?
 

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2019 Kia Sportage. SX with AWD. 2.0L Direct Injected Turbocharged & Intercooled Gas.
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3.3L DOHC V6
Horsepower: 290
Torque: 252 lb.-ft.
Towing Capacity: 3,500 (with FWD) to 5,000 (with AWD) pounds

You stated you have AWD- Your good for 5K pounds.
Google search - 5 seconds max time and effort.......
 

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Sorento SX FWD 2015
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owner's manual says with tow package is 5000# and without it the capacity is only 2000# if the trailer has brakes. How would one tow something unless the car has a tow hitch?
I agree 100% my 2015 has different numbers but has the same dumb statement. It increases my 2015 SX towing capacity 1500 lbs from 2000 to 3500 with the so called "Towing Package" which is just a hitch and a 4 wire plug. So logically if I did not have a hitch I could only tow 2000 lbs. I guess I have to assume that means if I was using a rope or chain to pull the load it's only 2000 lbs.
 

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2018 Sorento SX V6 AWD
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lou O. have you looked at the manual? My manual shows this:

I did a Google search before posting my initial question but was not finding much. I just did a bit more searching and found this- "Available for both front- and four-wheel-drive variants, the upgrade sees the Sorento’s maximum down ball rating increase from 120kg to 150kg, providing extra versatility for those requiring expanded towing ability.
Developed by Kia Australia, the new heavy duty tow package includes a tow bar, trailer wiring harness, new rating labels and uprated rear suspension springs to handle the increased down ball weight. Kia says the changes do not detract from the Sorento’s locally tuned ride and handling package.
Maximum braked towing capacity remains unchanged at 2000kg for vehicles with automatic transmissions and 2500kg for manual variants.
The complete heavy duty tow pack is available from Kia dealerships for $977.34 plus fitting."

Granted that info seemed geared to vehicles made in Australia but my manual says that without the tow package I can only tow 2000 pounds if the trailer has brakes. The UHaul trailer I am hoping to pull has surge brakes.

Some additional searching does indicate a 5000# capacity but I still am confused by the owner's manual.


Sorento tow capacity.jpg
 

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2018 Sorento SX V6 AWD
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here is another bit of info I just found at this site:

Kia Sorento | Tow Car Awards (thetowcarawards.com)

It’s good to see a 12V socket in the boot, a relatively low load height, and host of towing aids like self-levelling suspension and a trailer stability system, as well as a handy reversing camera with a clear view of the towball.

What I am unsure of is if my car has the self leveling suspension and the trailer stability system since it did not come with a tow hitch or wiring harness. I am guessing that my car does not have those features and therefore I might be limited to towing only 2000# as indicated in the manual.
 

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2018 Sorento SX V6 AWD
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Below is more info from another website which seems to me to say that the tow capacity is 5000# but if one has the tow package it would provide additional safety due to a stronger locking center differential and TVCC (at least that is how I am reading this info). Not sure how this relates to the 2018 Sorento though.

Here is more info from another site:

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2020 Sorento Towing Capacity With Upgraded Engine
The Kia Sorento towing capacity is elevated as you make your way up the trim levels. When you opt for the S V6, EX, or SX trim, you can expect the following from your 3.3 liter DOHC V6 GDI engine:
  • 3,500 pounds towing capacity with front-wheel drive
  • 5,000 pounds towing capacity with all-wheel drive
  • 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque
Additional Sorento Towing and Safety Features
The power and performance of the Kia Sorento engine is paired with advanced tech and safety features to create a seamless and capable driving experience. Drivers who select the LX trim will be strengthened by the capability provided by the Dynamax™ full-time all-wheel drive system. Built with an array of sensors to constantly monitor road conditions, the system will adjust the power distribution on the fly to increase vehicle traction and driver control.
When you upgrade your Sorento with the Kia Sorento tow package, you’ll access features that take the safety and reliability of the Kia Sorento towing to new heights. The Locking Center Differential and Torque Vectoring Cornering Control (TVCC) provide a stronger hold when hauling the max cargo weight.
 

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2012 Kia Sorento EX AWD
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Just adding to this since I have done this in a "real world" scenario


I have a 2012 Kia Sorento EX (her name is Maggie) and she currently tows a 3k+ Tiny home. I am not advocating this use, just letting you know the Sorento is capable of towing. Also a few things

1. the sorento does NOT come with a tow package, (only the leads to attach to one)
2. most tow package adapters will not work for the hookup (the Kia one seems to be unavailable or as this thread says, ridiculously overpriced)
3. The majority of tow package connectors have 2 X 3 wire conversions, the Sorento is missing the one to activate the brake lights, you will need to Manually splice into a brake light for this to work.
4. Your vehicle can support a 1500-3500 pound tow, depending on whether the towed trailer has its own brakes. If you have trailer brakes, this will set you at 3500, if not, your faced with the 1500 level.
5. The Sorento has no onboard brake controller, if you buy one with brakes, you will need to run a wire to your brake pedal harness, and also one clear back to the tow connector so your brakes will activate when the tow vehicle does.
6. Make sure you use a weight distribution bar system or your suspension will not take kindly to the tow load.


For a reference I am towing a 2020 Wells Cargo Fastrac 6X12 Cargo trailer that has been modified into a tiny home conversion, dry weight was around 1330 pounds.
 

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Sorento LX V6 2018
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Just adding to this since I have done this in a "real world" scenario


I have a 2012 Kia Sorento EX (her name is Maggie) and she currently tows a 3k+ Tiny home. I am not advocating this use, just letting you know the Sorento is capable of towing. Also a few things

1. the sorento does NOT come with a tow package, (only the leads to attach to one)
2. most tow package adapters will not work for the hookup (the Kia one seems to be unavailable or as this thread says, ridiculously overpriced)
3. The majority of tow package connectors have 2 X 3 wire conversions, the Sorento is missing the one to activate the brake lights, you will need to Manually splice into a brake light for this to work.
4. Your vehicle can support a 1500-3500 pound tow, depending on whether the towed trailer has its own brakes. If you have trailer brakes, this will set you at 3500, if not, your faced with the 1500 level.
5. The Sorento has no onboard brake controller, if you buy one with brakes, you will need to run a wire to your brake pedal harness, and also one clear back to the tow connector so your brakes will activate when the tow vehicle does.
6. Make sure you use a weight distribution bar system or your suspension will not take kindly to the tow load.


For a reference I am towing a 2020 Wells Cargo Fastrac 6X12 Cargo trailer that has been modified into a tiny home conversion, dry weight was around 1330 pounds.
Not sure how a 2012 Sorento helps with a 2018. All V6 Sorentos from 2016-2020 come with the wiring already in place, just need a plug and play adapter from any of the towing companies - takes about 10 minutes to install.

I believe you can get a wireless brake controller to eliminate that need to run wiring back and forth. I agree with your limits and the requirement for trailer brakes but people on here regularly exceed them without any complaints
 

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2012 Kia Sorento EX AWD
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Not sure how a 2012 Sorento helps with a 2018. All V6 Sorentos from 2016-2020 come with the wiring already in place, just need a plug and play adapter from any of the towing companies - takes about 10 minutes to install.

I believe you can get a wireless brake controller to eliminate that need to run wiring back and forth. I agree with your limits and the requirement for trailer brakes but people on here regularly exceed them without any complaints
I am not saying that there is no wiring but the statement "comes with wiring already in place" is simply not true. I spoke to many Kia people and they say its an add on after the fact, the two plugs under the car will adapt to the harness if you can find one.

I referenced 2012 because that is the one someone had asked on. As for the weight limits, yes you can exceed them all day long, but it is neither safe or smart (not that I accuse anyone on the internet of being either :p)
 

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2016 Sorento EX 2.0T AWD
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Tom4416, I hope you are correct but what you say doesn't make sense to me because the owner's manual says with tow package is 5000# and without it the capacity is only 2000# if the trailer has brakes. How would one tow something unless the car has a tow hitch?
@tom4416 is correct. The towing package is nothing but an OEM hitch and harness installed by the dealership. That info in the owner's manual is simply upselling tactics. As long as you drive the V6 AWD, you can do 5000 lbs with a weight-rated, properly installed hitch. You'll also need the right trailer ball (2" x 1" shank, at least.)
 

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2017 Sorento EX V6 AWD
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If you end up doing much towing, most of us have added air lift bags in the rear springs to help with the squat. You can find posts on them in this forum.
 

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2019 Kia Sportage. SX with AWD. 2.0L Direct Injected Turbocharged & Intercooled Gas.
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So.....at the end of the day your still good to go!!
 

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18 sorento
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I bought a used 2018 Kia Sorento SX with AWD and V6 engine last October. My wife and I are planning to move from Michigan to Oregon and so we had a tow hitch installed. To my knowledge this car does not have the tow package. We had planned on renting a UHaul 6*12 trailer but I am now wondering if the car can handle towing that trailer and contents. What I would like to know is what all is included when Kia installs a tow package? The dealership where I bought it does not seem to know which is rather pathetic. The old boy at UHaul thought we would be just fine but of course he is not on the line to replace my brakes or transmission etc if we abuse the car by towing too much weight.

Advice and experience appreciated!
Hello, i have the same sorento. The wiring is super simple. Remove the driver side rear wheel well skirt , there are 2 plugs there for the trailer wiring. Truly plug and play. Get rhe pre assembled wiring from reese towing or etrailers.com everything is there and ready to go .
 

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2018 Sorento SX V6 AWD
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just got home from the Kia dealership where I bought the car and have gone round and round with them and have called 2 other Kia dealers as well as Kia customer service and none of them have been able to tell me what is included in the "trailer package" that is mentioned in the manual chart as enabling a 5000# towing capacity. Really frustrating. I still do not know if Kia would void my warranty if I have a problem due to towing a heavy trailer.
 

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Sorento LX V6 2018
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I just got home from the Kia dealership where I bought the car and have gone round and round with them and have called 2 other Kia dealers as well as Kia customer service and none of them have been able to tell me what is included in the "trailer package" that is mentioned in the manual chart as enabling a 5000# towing capacity. Really frustrating. I still do not know if Kia would void my warranty if I have a problem due to towing a heavy trailer.
You seem reluctant to accept the information provided by forum members, the dealership is being evasive (typical) and so you are no better off than you were when you asked the question. There are several "towing" threads located in this section, suggest you look them up and maybe you'll become convinced we know what we're talking about. Many of us have installed our own hitch and wiring. AWD is what gives you 5,000lb capacity because with a FWD vehicle and a tongue weight of 350-500lbs (depending which owners manual you read) it starts to greatly impact traction to the point where if you are on wet roads, you'll start setting off the traction control/anti-skid lights periodically because you're getting wheel slippage.

I'm not sure how Kia would know what or if you were towing when something broke unless you decided to tell them. They establish the tow ratings at their own peril and I, personally, think they are overrated for the Sorento but that doesn't mean they aren't responsible if something breaks because you were towing 5,000lbs with your AWD or 3,500lbs with your FWD.
 

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2019 Sorento SXL
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It seems the dealer staff just doesn't want to bother with your questions about a used car. If you really will only use the dealers answers, talk to the service manager and parts counter person. If they don't know they can look it up. However, I think you would be better served to go to a hitch installer and ask them what you need to tow whatever it is that you want to tow. They know their products and what they will need to get you setup. Since you plan to use a U-Haul trailer I would start there.

Since the car is 3 years old I would trust the hitch dealer more than I would the dealer.

Good Luck
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We are going to go ahead and tow the UHaul trailer which weighs right at 2000# empty. Not sure how much we will end up putting in it. The service manager at the Kia dealership where we bought it printed out 4 different build sheets for a 2018 Kia Sorento. SX Limited V6 AWD, EX V6 FWD, LX V6 AWD and LX V6 FWD.

At the top of the build sheet under the mechanical section the build sheets on the last 3 says this: Towing Equipment- inc: Harness

But the build sheet for the SX Limited says this: Trailer wiring harness.

So it is worded a bit differently for the SX Limited and he was trying to tell me that the lower 3 models had towing equipment that the SX Limited did not have. That makes no sense to me.

Anyway we are going for it and hoping for the best.
 
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