ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here.

CarComplaints.com Notes: Kia really changed the design of the Sorento in the 2011 model year. Instead of a truck-like body-on-frame more capable of offroad adventures, the newest Sorento is a unibody construction and is much more crossover than sport utility. The changes brought a whole slew of problems, including a frustrating problem where the door that won’t open. Is it too late to go back?

8.6

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$380
Average Mileage:
96,800 miles
Total Complaints:
18 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (11 reports)
  2. replace door latch (6 reports)
  3. replace actuator (1 reports)
2011 Kia Sorento body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2011 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #18

Jan 302018

Sorento EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I purchased my Kia Sorento EX V6 at 99,723 miles in January 2017. About a year later all of a sudden I tried to open my front driver's side door from the outside to enter my vehicle and it would not open. There was no damage to any external components caused by me or anyone else.

In order to get in through my driver side door I would have to enter through the front passenger door and either use.the inside door handle to push open the door and then walk around to enter but more often I would just enter through front passenger door and lean over to roll down window and then walk around to the drivers side and reach through the open window to open by using the inside door handle. The inside door handle is not malfunctioning, just the outside.

It's been super annoying but I haven't had time or money to take it in to be fixed. Now today I went to enter through my passenger door as usual but now the same exact thing has happened to the front passenger door. It's the exact. Now neither of my front outside door handles are working and the only way to enter is through a rear door and crawl through to the front. This is unacceptable.

I have read several other complaints online with the same exact issue but am yet to find a recall from Kia on the issue. I did have a mechanic look at it when the driver was only not functioning and he said without paying him a diagnosis fee he couldn't open the door panel but did mention he believes the whole door latch and handle system would need to be replaced. Just for 1 door the door latch/handle system is nearly $500 for one door as there are 4 parts needed for 1 door and that's without labor.

No way can I pay over $1k to have door 2 handles or latches fixed on my car. This is crazy. There should be a recall if the part is known to be defective. Another post stated it;s just a rod that needs to be reattached so I'm hoping a friend or family with car knowledge can open the panel to let me know for sure.

- Ashley L., Milwaukee, WI, US

problem #17

Oct 192018

Sorento LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,010 miles

Three days ago I discovered I could not open my left rear door. I did not even have a chance to look into the issue when I discovered I could not open my front right door from the outside but I can open it from the inside.

It is very annoying because with two doors now not properly working it is hard to use the car at all. It might also be a potential safety issue.

I can see other people also have many issued with doors not opening in their 2011 Kia Sorentos. I will definitely complain about it to Kia, and possibly other bodies.

- Mikke F., Butler, PA, US

problem #16

Oct 172018

Sorento LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,980 miles

I could not open the rear left door from the outside on Wednesday, but still could open it from the inside. Two days later I could not open it either from outside or inside. Which means I can not open this door at all!. Two days later I also discovered (and I will submit a separate complaint about it ) that I can not open the right front door in my car from the outside but still can open it from the inside! With two doors not working this problem is getting quite serious, and I will complain about it to Kia, and possibly other places as well.

It definitely is very annoying, and a possible safety issue. I can also read about other people complaining about doors not opening in their 2011 Kia Sorentos.

- Mikke F., Butler, PA, US

problem #15

Oct 032017

Sorento LX 3.2L:

  • Automatic transmission
  • 146,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

This was finally covered under a recall. It was terrible to have to reach toward to back of the car to open the front door.

- colorful1, Houston, TX, USA

problem #14

Nov 102015

Sorento LS 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

The doors of my 2011 Kia Sorrento will not open from the outside. Dangerous for passengers.

- Edward I., East Greenwich, RI, USA

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problem #13

Oct 172016

Sorento

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,000 miles

IT ALL STARTED WITH NOT BEING ABLE TO OPEN MY BACK DRIVER SIDE DOOR FROM THE INSIDE OR OUT AND NOW MARCH 2017 MY DRIVER SIDE DOOR WONT OPEN FROM THE INSIDE... THIS IS A SERIOUS AND DANGEROUS ISSUE. IF I WERE TO GET INTO AN ACCIDENT PEOPLE WILL BE STUCK IN THE BACK SEAT NOT ABLE TO GET OUT AND FOR THE DRIVER, IF UNCONSCIOUS, PEOPLE FROM THE OUTSIDE CAN'T OPEN THE DOOR. THIS REALLY SHOULD BE A RECALL... I AM NOT HAPPY AT ALL WITH THIS ISSUE.

- maillet, Moncton, NB, Canada

problem #12

Sep 162016

Sorento EX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

About a month after purchasing this car (used) my wife told me that she was unable to open the rear driver's side door. I was unaware at the time that this was a known problem with this year Sorento. After confirming that the door would not open from the outside, I got in from the opposite side of the car and pushed the door open while holding the door handle in the open position. Since then it has happened several times, and the common thread seems to be that the inner door panel gets caught (perhaps against the weather stripping) and jams so that it becomes extremely difficult to open.

This is a significant concern for us as we have an adult daughter with severe developmental delays who typically rides in the back. For her, opening the door is an impossibility when it's stuck, and in fact my wife can't do it even from the inside. I consider this to be a design flaw that Kia should fix. What's an annoyance at this point could become life threatening in a accident.

- Joel S., Burnsville, MN, USA

problem #11

Dec 102016

Sorento EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

As many others have noted, it appears this problem is common. The passenger side rear interior door panel gets stuck against the weather stripping/door jam. We have actually had this problem several times under warranty, however, it has occurred again and our Sorento is no longer under warranty so the dealer quoted $1077.00 to replace both the plastic interior door panel and the weather stripping. Since this was already repaired once under warranty and the problem was not fixed for a length of time that a reasonable person would consider adequate, we are not opting to pay nearly 10% of the total vehicle value to temporarily repair this door panel. The panel gets stuck against the weather stripping and pulls loose, completely preventing the door from opening. The only way to "fix" it is crawl inside and push very hard against the door panel to separate it from the weather stripping. I've tried applying Armor All to make reduce the friction between the contact areas, but that has been ineffective. The dealer claims that the panel is warped. I would say this was either poor design or a manufacturing error that produced the door panels and/or weather stripping outside of the specification required to create adequate clearance. We are otherwise happy with the vehicle, but can no longer use it as our family vehicle because our children are too young to be able to push the door open. I would say it takes about 150-200 pounds of force to push the door open. Could be deadly in an emergency situation. The family car is now my 2014 Honda Accord. We might be permanently turned off from a future Kia because of this.

Update from Dec 13, 2016: Searching for a creative way of fixing this if anyone has solutions. Sand down the door panel?

- mbrian, Durham, NC, US

problem #10

Jan 012016

Sorento

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

My car door stopped opening. I can get out of the car just fine, but the exterior handle does not work. Kia informed me it is not covered by warranty and I need to pay $350 to fix this, so I just use an old walking stick to let the window down and walk around. It's definitely a pain and a safety issue when I work at night and have to do all of that to get in my car.

- Reya G., Southfield, MI, USA

problem #9

May 122016

Sorento

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

This problem occurred twice for me so far. Once at the tail end of my warranty - then again at about 101,000 miles. I had seen how many people had this issue - so I called Kia's corporate office while I was in the waiting area when my car was getting fixed. Corporate called me a few weeks later and said that their cars do not have a door issue and that they would not cover my repair. Now a month later, my airbag light has gone off and I've read tons of people having similar issues as I have had.

This is the absolutely the worst car I've ever had! Will never buy Kia again.

- game7ot, Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #8

Aug 152015

Sorento

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2011 Kia Sorento none of the doors will open. This is a safety issue and a piece of plastic junk. Kia needs to recall or be sued or buy my car back!

- Mary O., Frazier Park, USA

problem #7

Mar 122016

Sorento EX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,500 miles

2011 KIA SORENTO 66,500 MILES, DRIVER SIDE OUTSIDE DOOR HANDLE WILL NOT OPEN DOOR. I TOOK IT APART SINCE KIA STATES THE CAR IS OUT OF WARRANTY. IT'S THE ACTUATOR WHICH WAS THE SAME CAUSE AS THE PASSENGER SIDE DOOR. FORTUNATELY THAT WAS COVERED UNDER WARRANTY AT 50K. SO FRUSTRATING THAT KIA WON'T RECOGNIZE THIS PROBLEM.

- christopheroh, Grove City, OH, USA

problem #6

Feb 112016

Sorento 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 219,326 miles

I bought my Kia Sorento new in August 2010. This week the rear passenger side door will not open from the outside. It seems that this seems to be a common problem with this model. I believe Kia should step up to the plate and issue a recall.

- James G., ROANOKE, VA, USA

problem #5

Dec 072015

Sorento

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

Driver's side door could not be opened from the outside. It would only open from inside the car. When I Googled this issue I realize this is a common Kia problem.

- anabelh, Escondido, CA, USA

problem #4

Nov 112015

(reported on)

Sorento

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Passenger door will not open from the inside or outside. Dealer said it is not a recall and it is not under warranty. Originally they said it would cost $500.00 to take the door apart and fix the problem, but ended by saying they would discount the cost down to $150.00. Don't know if this is true yet because I am waiting on the part, but I am angry because I have never had a car do this before. It is obviously a manufacturers defect and they should take full responsibility for it. I have to get it fixed because it is a safety hazard. And now that I see other people are having the same problem I am furious!

- mockj, Southfield, MI, USA

problem #3

Feb 032015

Sorento

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

One rainy day while at the grocery store, my drivers side door would NOT open as I was trying to get in. It will open from the inside just fine, but I now have to roll my window down or climb in the passenger's side to manually open my driver's door.

- vwelder, Dalton, GA, USA

problem #2

Oct 062015

Sorento 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,157 miles

Just had the driver's door lock actuator replaced a month earlier - was able to convince dealership that it was a recurring problem while it was under warranty. However, this issue with the rear door latch was not under warranty.

- Robert J., C, OH, USA

problem #1

Jul 312015

Sorento LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

The back door on the driver's side of my vehicle will NOT open from the outside or from the inside. In essence, this door is inoperable. No one can enter from that side of the vehicle and no one can get out of the vehicle from that side. This is exactly the second time this has happened to my 2011 Kia Sorento in exactly one year. I believe this to be a manufacturer's defect. This is unacceptable and annoying because I paid too much money for this vehicle to have the doors malfunction in this manner and it's also a safety hazard.

- ekennedy, Frederick, MD, USA

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