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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see that the Kia says towing for the sorento PHEV is 2000 lbs. but it also give a range of 2000-3500 lbs. from what little research I’ve done the AWD can tow the upper amount with the FWD doing a maximum of 2000.so my question is … can anyone confirm that my car can tow 3500 lbs.?
 

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2022 Kia Sorento SX Prestige X-line AWD
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So I contacted Kia and they said my car is capable of towing 3,500 lbs.
The tow capacity on all trims are more limited by the vertical load limit aka tongue weight is only 220lbs. Look at the screenshot of the manual the other user posted above. Typically a trailer will have 10 to 15% of its weight on the tongue to ensure proper towing and safety. 3,500 lb would be 350 tongue weight, which is over the capacity for any of the Sorento's. Going over or under the tongue limit will cause you to lose traction/stability significantly or your trailer will start fishtailing

Be careful taking anything Kia says at their word as some technicians and/or salesman are just reading from a manual and really don't know what they're talking about sometimes. For instance they tell you and even on their website say the Sorento X-line has a center locking differential when in fact it's not a center-looking differential and it's a clutch pack. There's a difference and I suspect this is all about marketing and done on purpose. So maybe there's a rare RV/trailer out there that weighs 3,500 lb that has less than 220 lb sitting on the tongue but My parents have an RV and I have one and neither work out like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The tow capacity on all trims are more limited by the vertical load limit aka tongue weight is only 220lbs. Look at the screenshot of the manual the other user posted above. Typically a trailer will have 10 to 15% of its weight on the tongue to ensure proper towing and safety. 3,500 lb would be 350 tongue weight, which is over the capacity for any of the Sorento's. Going over or under the tongue limit will cause you to lose traction/stability significantly or your trailer will start fishtailing

Be careful taking anything Kia says at their word as some technicians and/or salesman are just reading from a manual and really don't know what they're talking about sometimes. For instance they tell you and even on their website say the Sorento X-line has a center locking differential when in fact it's not a center-looking differential and it's a clutch pack. There's a difference and I suspect this is all about marketing and done on purpose. So maybe there's a rare RV/trailer out there that weighs 3,500 lb that has less than 220 lb sitting on the tongue but My parents have an RV and I have one and neither work out like that.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure that I believed what Kia said, but thank you for your explanation. I always take things with a grain of salt. I won’t be towing anything, I will leave it to my son to put on his car.
 

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I emailed Kia Canada and asked why there was a big tongue weight difference between the Sorento and the Santa Fe (which does 350 lbs TW and follows the 10% TW rule for a 3500 lbs trailer). They said that the companies operated separately and couldn't give provide answer.

My best guess is that when they were weight-rating the Santa Fe (sold as a two-row SUV) for towing, they didn't have to take into account the weight of two additional passengers behind the rear axle of the three-row Sorento.

This would be two 70 lbs children seated in the back row, who could still be seated comfortably back there:

Code:
  350 lbs [Santa Fe tongue weight capacity] - 220 lbs [Sorento tongue weight capacity]
= 140 lbs / 2 passengers
= 70 lbs / passenger
Rather than uprating the rear suspension to take a higher tongue weight (and maybe compromise ride quality), they just decided to give it a tongue weight rating that doesn't correspond to the max towing capacity.

I would hazard a guess the Sorento could theoretically tow something with a 350 lb tongue weight reasonably well with passengers only in the front and middle, but wouldn't risk my personal vehicle to find out.
 

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2022 Kia Sorento SX Prestige X-line AWD
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I emailed Kia Canada and asked why there was a big tongue weight difference between the Sorento and the Santa Fe (which does 350 lbs TW and follows the 10% TW rule for a 3500 lbs trailer). They said that the companies operated separately and couldn't give provide answer.

My best guess is that when they were weight-rating the Santa Fe (sold as a two-row SUV) for towing, they didn't have to take into account the weight of two additional passengers behind the rear axle of the three-row Sorento.

This would be two 70 lbs children seated in the back row, who could still be seated comfortably back there:

Code:
  350 lbs [Santa Fe tongue weight capacity] - 220 lbs [Sorento tongue weight capacity]
= 140 lbs / 2 passengers
= 70 lbs / passenger
Rather than uprating the rear suspension to take a higher tongue weight (and maybe compromise ride quality), they just decided to give it a tongue weight rating that doesn't correspond to the max towing capacity.

I would hazard a guess the Sorento could theoretically tow something with a 350 lb tongue weight reasonably well with passengers only in the front and middle, but wouldn't risk my personal vehicle to find out.
I think it might more have to do with the dimensions of the vehicle. There's only slight differences but the combination of ride height, vehicle length and most importantly wheelbase may affect the tongue weight capacity. The most distinguishable difference is the wheelbase on the Santa Fe is shorter along with a shorter body so I would expect in theory that the way is more evenly distributed and sits more on the back axle than it would on the Sorento.

I already towed using my 21' Sorento pulling a teardrop camper that dry weight weighs 1,310 lbs. Loaded it probably weighed 1600-1700 lbs. I actually had to front load the trailer to put more weight on the tongue to prevent trailer sway. What concerned me though is even once it was properly distributed on weight, with no trailers sway and no reduced traction issues I heard creaking in the back of the vehicle. Turned the music down and my wife actually crawled into the cargo section of the vehicle trying to pinpoint where the noise was coming from. It seemed as though it was coming from the frame or the back hatch door. It didn't inspire confidence and I wasn't even close to the tow capacity. There's no way I would hook up a trailer that would weigh anymore than 2500 lbs to this vehicle honestly. Also when I was towing I got 12.5 mpg which was expected, but I didn't expect to hear my turbo spooling constantly. Definitely was pretty taxing on the powertrain at highway speeds towing even the weight I was doing from what I could tell.

4 months later coincidence or not my transmission failed. Now I have a 2022 Replacement under lemon law. The next time I tow I'm going to baby it even more and probably keep it under 65 mph and I'm not planning on towing at all for about 6 months while I break this thing in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I emailed Kia Canada and asked why there was a big tongue weight difference between the Sorento and the Santa Fe (which does 350 lbs TW and follows the 10% TW rule for a 3500 lbs trailer). They said that the companies operated separately and couldn't give provide answer.

My best guess is that when they were weight-rating the Santa Fe (sold as a two-row SUV) for towing, they didn't have to take into account the weight of two additional passengers behind the rear axle of the three-row Sorento.

This would be two 70 lbs children seated in the back row, who could still be seated comfortably back there:

Code:
  350 lbs [Santa Fe tongue weight capacity] - 220 lbs [Sorento tongue weight capacity]
= 140 lbs / 2 passengers
= 70 lbs / passenger
Rather than uprating the rear suspension to take a higher tongue weight (and maybe compromise ride quality), they just decided to give it a tongue weight rating that doesn't correspond to the max towing capacity.

I would hazard a guess the Sorento could theoretically tow something with a 350 lb tongue weight reasonably well with passengers only in the front and middle, but wouldn't risk my personal vehicle to find out.
Me either ,,, won’t risk it … thanks for the info …
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think of this excerpt from the owner's manual every time someone asks this 🤣. Of course, you can tow with the Sorento, but I love this line.

View attachment 124088
That’s sad but probably true … won’t be towing with my car … if anything happened I would not be able to get it fixed … probably for months ... sigh …
 
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