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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,975 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2011 Kia Sorento Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Aug 082015


  • 44,650 miles


The driver's side door will not open from the outside. There is no damage to the handle, and there was no incident to cause it to break and not open. Apparently the door lock actuator (inside the door compartment) is broken. Sounds like a common complaint.

- Bristow, VA, USA

problem #20

Oct 122013


  • 43,151 miles
A bang/thud happens when gas is applied. Sound appears to be coming from left front engine area. Customer service rep rode with me back in 2013, heard sound, but later stated it was "normal". invoice states no problem found. The car was recently taken back to the same dealership for the same issue, only its louder now, with no solution. I am getting more frustrated. There is clearly something wrong with this vehicle. I plan to try another dealership.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #19

Jun 022014


  • miles
Driver's side door handle just stopped working one day. It can be opened from the inside, but not the outside. This is a safety hazard in relation to if there is an accident and I cannot get myself free, no one from the outside can get me out either. This is not the first report of a door handle not working on this brand of SUV model.

- Metairie, LA, USA

problem #18

Jun 062015


  • 94,455 miles


The driver's side back door would not open from the outside. Only the inside. Now a few days later, the driver's door is doing the same thing. Not opening from the outside, only the inside.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #17

May 212015


  • miles
I was in the process of pulling the handle of the door and the handle snapped clean off the door. It made it very difficult to reach my son because the doors child safety lock was activated.

- Edgewater, FL, USA

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problem #16

Sep 172014


  • 61,000 miles
The interior dome light quit working took to a mechanic, he looked into the wiring harness and said that all the wires had melted together. This problem could affect all the electrical parts of the truck. Also of note is that the truck indicator light showing that the truck is open, even when its not. So far no fire has started. Cost to fix per the mechanic is over $1000, or more.

- Lochbuie, CO, USA

problem #15

May 012015


  • miles


My exterior driver door will not open from the outside! however works fine from the inside. I took it to a Kia dealer and they wanted to charge me over $100 to diagnose the problem but not fix it! I read other post below are having the same problem. I'm going to piggy off what others stated, and say this should not be happening on a 2011. I'm already looking into trading my car in! a few months ago my rear passenger seats will not fold back up. Took it in and the dealer stated it was a recall for the year 2012 but not the 2011. Again another $100 just to diagnosis not fix it! $200 just to fold a seat back up.. crazy! again I'm looking into trading for a better make! not purchasing another Kia!!!

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #14

Mar 152015


  • 89,000 miles
Can't open doors using exterior handles on 3 of the four doors, only able to open from inside. Locks work fine. The three doors that don't work are the driver door, front passenger, and rear door on driver side. This SUV is only 4 years old. This should not be happening on a vehicle less than 5 years old.

- Bainbridge, GA, USA

problem #13

Apr 142015


  • 24,500 miles
Drivers side exterior door handle does not open the door, interior handle works fine.

- Payson, AZ, USA

problem #12

Oct 102014


  • miles
I have experienced several problems with the 2011 Kia Sorento. The left driver"S door had lock malfunctions and now the right door is doing the same thing not allowing passengers to open the door. I have taken the vehicle in several times with concerns of a knocking sound on the right front. I think the right shock absorber on the vehicle is gone, but the service technician indicates that they can"T hear anything when driving it. An alignment was completed last month but the vehicle has a rough ride and I am still hearing the knocking sound. I noticed yesterday that there is a humming sound when the car would accelerate and the acceleration is slow. Needless to say the warranty has expired and when I asked the dealership about purchasing an extended warranty I was given the run around.

- Kankakee, IL, USA

problem #11

Aug 182014


  • 62,455 miles


I was driving my 2011 Kia Sorento on the expressway doing 75 mph when I heard a loud explosion. I thought someone's engine exploded, but then I saw glass flying behind my car and heard a loud windy whooshing above me. I realized it was my panoramic sunroof. Thankfully my sunshade was closed and no glass fell on me. I was in the middle of a bad neighborhood and didn't feel safe pulling over so I drove to the first place I did feel safe. By the time I got there, the whole glass top above the drivers section was completely gone. There was no apparent reason for the implosion. There were no other cars in the vicinity, weather was clear, and it is a new freeway and I was not going under a bridge. I feel this is a defect in the glass or engineering of the sunroof.

- Novi, MI, USA

problem #10

Oct 012013


  • 48,000 miles
When I press on or let off of the brake there is a popping noise. My ex also has a 2012 Sorento and hers does the same.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #9

Oct 012013


  • 48,000 miles
When I press on or let off of the brake there is a popping noise. My ex also has a 2012 Sorento and hers does the same.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #8

Oct 012013


  • 48,000 miles
When I press on or let off of the brake there is a popping noise. My ex also has a 2012 Sorento and hers does the same.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #7

Feb 012012

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 9,500 miles
The intermediate shaft may suffer from noise and excessive wear due to a misalignment of the intermediate shaft with the right side output gear. Continuing to drive the vehicle in this condition leads to the development of a whirring/whining noise and can eventually cause damage to the automatic transmission. I am getting the same but the Kia dealers are telling me that there is not a recall on my vehicle as mine is an AWD. When starting out a hesitation is felt when putting in drive and when going down the highway a whirring noise is heard and it feels like a vibration is coming from the center of the car.

- East Freetown, NY, USA

problem #6

Jun 222011

Sorento 4-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
My Sorento will hesitate to move when the accelerator is pressed and then suddenly lurch forward with full acceleration for a brief time. This is an erratic problem. Dealers response is to wait until it become consistent -- my response, I may be dead before that time. Customer service response is driver error. My response is that I have driven for decades many different model and age vehicles and have logged in appx 2 million safe miles. My experience with the Kia is my first problem with such an issue. Kia denies any problem with the sudden acceleration issue, however a google search turns up numerous similar issues. I have noted that this problem has occurred only when making left hand turns so far.

- Madison, FL, USA

problem #5

Dec 192011


  • 12,500 miles
Car will not start with key or remotely control. After car sits for a time, several hours or days, it may start. Car has shut off by itself and will not start... had to be towed several times. Seems to have a computer system malfunction that dealer cannot repair.

- United, PA, USA

problem #4

Sep 012011

Sorento 6-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
Driving home on rainy day when sunroof shattered out of nowhere. Did not run off the road nor did I hear anything hit the vehicle. I heard one loud pop and noticed sunroof visor sagging significantly. Cannot prove something didn't hit it, but did not find any evidence of something hitting the sunroof. Contacted Kia to see if any other cases had been reported with Kia representative stating that she did not believe there is anything wrong with their vehicles, but she also stated that she did not have the resources to look back and see if there was another report. She also declined to let me speak with her supervisor on this matter. Due to safety purposes, I believe Kia needs to look into this possible issue. If this has happened to anyone else, please contact Kia and nhsta in order to help correct this possible problem. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Hardy, VA, USA

problem #3

Apr 012011

Sorento 4-cyl

  • miles
2001 Kia Sorento. Consumer states all late models vehicles sold in America today by default flash side lights upon each repeated depression of the key pad except his new Kia Sorento the consumer stated flashing upon first depression of the key pad was insufficient, especially when trying to find the vehicle at night in a large dimly lit parking lot.

- Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #2

Jan 062011


  • 145 miles
When taken to a speed over 35 mph felt a drift to the right in the steering. When taken to higher speeds, it became physically necessary to hold steering wheel tightly in order to keep vehicle from going to the right. Steering seemed extremely tight and somewhat jerky when cornering making it difficult to get a smooth turn. Steering wheel did not sit straight when driving straight. Front wheels not pointing at same angle when parked. Noticed odor after driving 15 miles that can only be explained as a "burning brakes" odor. Took vehicle to dealer repair department where they performed an alignment; however, this did not fix the problem and we were then told that Kia was saying new tires would fix this Kia known issue. The tires were ordered and put on within the next few days, but replacing the tires did not fix the problem. At this time, we were made aware that our loan had not actually funded yet, so we asked for a contract recession due to the fact that the problem with this vehicle was a known, non repairable issue. The dealership refused contract recession. We were told we would be contacted if Kia came up with a solution to this issue. We returned the vehicle to the dealership repair shop 2 days later telling them to call us when it was fixed. Kia customer service called 2 days after we dropped the vehicle off the second time to let us know that new springs were needed, had been ordered, and would be at the shop the next day. That was nearly a week ago and we have yet to hear from anyone about the vehicle. Dealership has now determined that the vehicle is performing as it should be, even though it still drifts to the right. Turning to the right feels normal, while turning to the left feels as if I am fighting to keep the wheel from snapping back towards the right. Kia will not look into the problem any further on this vehicle.

- Eugene, OR, USA

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