Notes: As long as catastrophic engine failure at under 60,000 miles is the top owner complaint, it'll be pretty hard to recommend the 2012 Sorento.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
65,000 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
2012 Kia Sorento engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Kia Sorento Owner Comments

problem #6

Jun 282019

Sorento EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,992 miles


Driving on one of the world's dangerous streets in Manila while inside the tunnel of Edsa with the speed of 5km/hr due to super heavy traffic my car engine just died (my battery is just 2 months old) . Brought to Kia Pasay and they checked for 2 days.. I drove again for just a few mins, my dashboard lights were dancing and all counters were reset but no engine failure. It keeps on repeating every 5mins... Brought again to Kia shop and checked for 5days.. I tried again, no dashboard lights dancing but went to original problem.. until now.. I have to bear with it.. Kia Philippines!!! Can you help me????

- Sam G., Manila, Philippines

problem #5

Jul 112016

Sorento LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,728 miles

Kia completely shut off while driving in Virginia. We were able to put the vehicle in neutral and push it up a hill. No light came on to warn us of an engine problem or anything. We had to push it up a hill to get it off the road. We were in the middle of nowhere. We coasted down the hill to a small town in Virginia where two mechanics told us that it was an engine problem. We had the vehicle towed the the nearest Kia dealership, 150 miles away to Richmond, VA who confirmed it needed a new engine block and rod replacement.

The vehicle was done for and suggested that we shouldn't drive it. They said the rod is very close to going through the engine block. I was told it would be better to have pushed the damn thing off of a cliff than to deal with it anymore.

Prior to the trip I had it taken to Kia for a recall, also told them to check the rattling sound that it was making during start up. They said there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. I say Bullshit.

- Melissa M., Greenwood, IN, US

problem #4

Nov 052015

Sorento EX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,026 miles

This is an intermittent problem so how how can it be checked? Is this the same type of problem GM has?

- Pete C., Roanoke, VA, US

problem #3

Sep 182015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles


Friday 9/18/15 10:40 am, backing out of parking spot slowly into a road. Engine suddenly failed, engine light came on, and the brakes completely failed. Was able to restart the car and park it again, but brakes still failed and had to use the emergency brake and the curb and tree at curb to stop vehicle. Towed to Ed Voyles Kia on Peachtree Industrial Blvd in Atlanta who found no record of the incident in computer and that all diagnostics were normal and they couldn't reproduce the problem, so there was nothing they could do. I sent them this link with others experiencing similar issues and told rep about others' experiences: Then had it towed to Cobb County Kia in Kennessaw, GA. They maintained neglect on our part b/c oil level was at 0 (previous dealership saw no problem here), engine had major sludge and particles of metal in it, needed full engine replacement for $6500 Didn't make sense with our regular oil changes and didn't explain the brake failure, though rep said it did. Had it towed to AAA Car Care Plus in Marietta. Could not reproduce the issue and said the car, including the engine, was in great shape, was full of all fluids. Mechanic also said that there were 0 records on computer and that one of dealerships likely wiped it completely clean. Have rented a car in meantime because my, my husband's, my two kids' AND other drivers and pedestrians safety would be compromised. Other comments online mention problem more than once, some on the highway. Also remembered that my husband had had trouble starting the car a couple of months back, with no lights coming on at all. He got the battery checked out, and he was told it was fine. We relayed this to the mechanics too, but they seemed not to acknowledge the info. Having it towed to our house and are renting a car till it's addressed We cannnot and will not drive the car until it's resolved, such a big public safety issue.

- msaintalbin, Atlanta, GA, US

problem #2

Jul 262015

Sorento LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,120 miles

Was traveling back from Illinois where I had a conference. Was going through Rolla, MO about 45 minutes from home, when I stopped at a stop sign, the car took off normally, got up to about 30mph when all of a sudden the dash went dark, lights went off, no sign of dimming beforehand, just out went from FULL BRIGHTNESS to complete darkness. Then as quick as it happened I heard a couple clicks in the dash, yellow check engine light illuminated, dash and lights came back and it was running again, without any input from me. This happened twice in a span of 15 minutes then not again.

The next day took it too the dealership and was told they could not recreate the problem, but that the battery was weak. Car just barely 3 years old, with only 30k miles on it so I wasn't purchasing their lousy battery, if it won't last longer then that for 150 bucks. I bought a replacement. Guess what, it happened again since. Now not sure what to do. I work too many hours to drive 80 miles to the stealership for them not to be able to recreate the problem and since this is apparently happening way too many times and no one seems to know what is happening with these cars. I'm afraid this will be the next CHEVY COBALT and people will start dying from this. If Kia can't fix what is otherwise a wonderful car, sadly that can't be trusted maybe they should buy them all back since our lives aren't worth risking to drive them.

- David J., Cabool, MO, US

problem #1

Jul 302014

Sorento LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

This must be at least the 15th time this is happening. Already 3 times this week. Anytime I slow down on an incline the vehicle shuts-off. I have to put it in park and restart the engine.

The vehicle never came to an halt but while in motion it shuts-off. Most of the time this happened within the first 10 minutes. It is very dangerous and Kia should do something to fix this before someone gets killed.

- why kia?, Ellicott City, MD, US

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