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?


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,634 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2011 Kia Sorento engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2011 Kia Sorento:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2011 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Jun 152013

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 29,350 miles


While driving my 2011 Kia Sorento it just lost power, it would not go forward but the engine was still running and all the dashboard idiot lights lit up. I was in a parking lot with no one behind me otherwise I would have been rear-ended if this happened driving on the road or highway. The car would not go and there was no steering response. I turned off the key to kill the engine and then restarted the car. The car started and I was able to get to my destination and park. I checked this problem online by searching Kia Sorento stalling and found a dozen or more video's from people experiencing the same issue that I just experienced. Some of the drivers found that if you use the car in the manual shift mode the stalling did not seem to happen. This is a real potential disaster. You loose power and have no way of moving the car to get out of the way when you are in traffic on a riding in a 'death wish car'. the video's also stating that they experienced the stalling many times and once it started it got worse. They also stated that Kia dealerships were of little help since they need to reproduce the stalling and since it's just random that is not easy. The videos were taped when the issue was actually taking place and showed the tach at about 15 RPM's all the engine lights lit but no steering response or power to move the car. I am hoping this can become a recall and Kia will fix this stalling problem and keep the people in these Kia Sorento's safe! if this is a computer problem then there should be an error log to show when the car lost power for no reason. Kia needs to take ownership of this defect and fix this potential deadly problem.

- Port Jefferson Station, NY, USA

problem #10

Dec 012010

Sorento 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 900 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia sorrento. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the engine stalled without warning. Upon restarting, the vehicle resumed normal operation. The failure occurred numerous times. In addition, the push start ignition failed to operate on four separate occasions. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer three times for both defects. The dealer was unable to locate the problem. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 900. Updated 04/02/13 the consumer stated the vehicle would stall when approaching a stop sing, turning to slow down, or driving slowly through a parking lot.

- Long Beach , CA, USA

problem #9

Nov 012012


  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, all of the instrument panel lights illuminated as the vehicle stalled. The contact also stated that there was a sudden loss of engine power. There was a sudden increase in engine rpms and the vehicle failed to shift gears while the contact was traveling 15 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on five separate occasions. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 34,000 and the current mileage was 38,000.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #8

Mar 212012


  • 40,000 miles


While driving (usually steady state speed on highway - with or without cruise control engaged) car experiences a sudden loss of engine power accompanied by a jolt (as if brakes had been abruptly and briefly engaged, or as if fuel supply suddenly shut off), tachometer dips suddenly, car suddenly decelerates for a second or two, and then things return to normal. Sometimes an indicator light - or more than one- flashes momentarily at the time of the incident, these include the engine light, the traction control light, and/or the key immobilizer light - sometimes no indicator light flashes at all. This has also happened while accelerating away from a dead stop - sudden loss of forward momentum w/ a jolt. I am afraid I will get rear-ended as the car suddenly slows but brake lights are not illuminated, and a car following too closely will not be able to react in time. If cruise control is engaged at time of incident it becomes disengaged and has to be reset. This sometimes will not occur in an hour of driving, but sometimes will occur as often as 10 times in a 20 mile drive with no discernible pattern. This has happened many times and grown more frequent over time. The first time it occurred was in a rain storm and I suspected the ESC was sensing slippage and firing the brakes, however it happens regardless of weather or road surface and now happens every time I drive for more than a few miles on freeway. The car has been evaluated by Kia service more than three times and problem is not resolved - battery and ABS module were replaced without success. Concern is of safety of vehicle and other vehicles following behind me.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #7

Dec 052011


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact was driving 70 mph when the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact had to exit and push the vehicle to the shoulder. The contact towed the vehicle to a dealer. The dealer advised the contact that a sensor failed and would need replacing. The dealer replaced the sensor however, the failure persisted after the repairs. In addition, the vehicle failed to start. The contact took the vehicle back to the dealer where the dealer advised the contact that a safety switch was the cause of the failure. The vehicle was repaired a second but to no avail. The failure mileage was 14,000.

- Metairie, LA, USA

problem #6

Nov 122012


  • 23,000 miles
Put key in ignition, all lights on dash came on as normal, radio came on as normal, engine did nothing, made no sound whatsoever. After several attempts to crank vehicle eventually started. After the 3rd time this happening I took it to all star Kia of baton rouge (the only Kia dealership in the baton rouge area, which is approximately 45 minutes on a good day from my home). Vehicle was there only 30 minutes when I was told it was my battery, which I knew was incorrect because everyone knows a dead battery would not have allowed my radio and all the electrical components to come on, but I allowed the to give me a new battery without question. One week later the same exact problem. This time I had it towed to the dealership because I could not get it started and quite frankly am tired of wasting my time and gas money on the same issue. This time they said it was the fuse block, said all kinds of other garbage that did not make sense to the average intelligent person. Did not have the car back 2 days and the same thing, wont start. I have called the dealership and will have it towed Monday again. Do not expect it to be fixed, the mechanics at this dealership do not seem to know anything about vehicles or what makes them crank, run, and go.

- Greenwell Springs, LA, USA

problem #5

Oct 312010


  • 10 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure but replaced the alternator as a temporary remedy. The remedy failed to repair the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who advised the contact that they would follow up with the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 10 and the current mileage was 47,000.

- Burbank, CA, USA

problem #4

Sep 192012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 21,439 miles
The incline control light & the traction control light came on for no reason. I was parking my vehicle on a flat surface and when these lights were on I was unable to put the car in park or reverse. I had to put the vehicle in neutral and shut off the vehicle with my foot on the brake. I then had to restart the vehicle, the control and traction lights were not on and I was able to put the vehicle in park. I went directly to the dealership that I made the purchase from and was told that this is a known defect in the brake line where there is a short in the line that causes the computer to think the break is not pressed down enough, therefore confusing the computer into thinking it should apply the incline and traction control and prevents the vehicle from being put in reverse or park. I was told that by turning the vehicle off while in neutral like I did will sometimes reset the computer. I was told there is also a little box that has a very small slit in it and if I could find something to fit into it that would go down about 6 inches, that would also reset it. However, they were not aware of what one would use to do that with. I was told there was no need to fix this very common problem. I asked if this would eventually mess up the drive shaft, computer system, or transmission and was assured it would not.

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #3

Aug 312010

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 75 miles
When acceleration from a stop or slow speed the engine will occasionally bog down or hesitate and almost die. Very dangerous when attempting to pull out in traffic esp onto a highway from a side street.

- Land O Lakes, FL, USA

problem #2

Aug 192012

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
On 9/19/2012 at 12:17 pm I took a frantic call from my wife. She had just stopped to fill up with gas, got back on the interstate and set the cruise control at around 75 mph. Shortly afterwards the front end started shaking and the vehicle started to lose speed. She shut off the cruise and was looking for a place to pull over when the vehicle started to accelerate on its own. It was already going over 80 mph when she called. I told her to stand on the brakes-no effect. I told her to put her foot on the brake and to push and hold the start button for 10 seconds-nothing (that is the override to get the car started when the brake switch malfunctions-we had just had it replaced at the dealership 2 weeks prior). I told her to shift it into neutral-the shifter is locked in drive. I told her to shift to a lower gear-it won't move. After 4 minutes the car was going over 85 mph-I told her to hang up & call 911 as she could tell them where she was much better than I could. A few minutes later I received a call from the highway patrol-they had 2 cruisers on the interstate with her trying to clear traffic ahead of her. I asked if they could get a cruiser ahead of her and let her nose up behind it and then use the cruiser to stop her. Evidently they didn't like that idea or it is against policy because they never did try that. The dispatcher had to hang up to concentrate on the situation at hand. I now had the dispatcher's number so I could call her back. At one point I called back and suggested that she engage the cruise control and try to slow the car with it. My wife does not remember ever trying this. This went on for about 45 minutes at speeds up to 119 mph. At the end one of the officers told her to put her left foot on the brake and pull up on the accelerator with her right foot at the same time. She went from over 100 mph to under 50 mph instantly, let go of the pedals.

- Ames, IA, USA

problem #1

Oct 062011


  • 7,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Kia Sorento. The contact stated that the vehicle would stall sporadically with the illumination of the check engine and oil warning lights. The vehicle had been taken to the dealer three times for the failure but the technicians were unable to duplicate or correct the problem. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 7,000 and the current mileage was 15,000.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

Not what you are looking for?