2003 Kia Sorento LX from North America - Comments

1st Jan 2010, 14:00

I picked up a 2003 Kia Sorento with 95K miles in July of 2008. Have only changed headlight once... so far. I have no real issues with the brakes, I do have to do a brake job, which I will do myself. I noticed a rotor was bad, but not from warpage. However I think the real problem is that the vehicle is too heavy, the rotors and pads are undersized, so they overheat and warp, even under normal or minimal use.

It will be interesting to see how my car history pans out. There are times when I miss my Rodeo, but I like the ride of the Sorento much better. Hence my thoughts about the vehicle being too heavy for the brake system.

Ray - St. Paul, MN.

14th Jan 2010, 10:02

I have a 2006 Kia Sorento, brought it brand new. No problems until 2008. I have purchased headlight bulbs also. Mostly for the front of the vehicle. I'm now experiencing problems; the rear door buzzing when you lock the vehicle. Does anyone know what is causing this problem? Please e-mail me @ marywilson102@yahoo.com

19th Jan 2010, 15:18

I have a 2005 Kia Sorento. I really have not had that many problems with it, and would have considered buying another Kia except for 1 thing. In less than 5 years I have replaced 14 headlights and 3 tail lights. Whatever the problem is, it appears to have been fixed in the 2007 model. I have talked to the Kia people multiple times. When I called the dealership service mechanic and said I had a headlight problem - had replaced numerous headlights, he knew I had a Sorento made before 2006, without ever telling him my year or model. The Internet is LOADED with consumer complaints about headlights on the Sorentos. So why is it that Kia REFUSES to acknowledge there is a problem? The headlights are about $15 each, but the biggest problem is the inconvenience. I had 2 go out in 1 night and had to drive home with my brights on -a 45 minutes drive. I'm lucky I wasn't involved in a road rage incident!

21st Jan 2010, 16:42

I purchased a Sorento in 2004, since then I have had head light problems, cooling reservoir replacement, brake rotors wearing improperly, but my biggest complaint is the reluctance of the dealerships to recognize the difficulty the public is having getting satisfaction with the ongoing obvious problems they are experiencing with this product, and why the govt. hasn't addressed this situation. I like the design and the ride, but the continued maintenance and costs are ridiculous. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that something is wrong here. Future Sorento owners, good luck, (and present owners).

27th Jan 2010, 08:14

We bought a 2003 Sorento in April of 2005 from a dealership. Loved it!!! Loved it!!! Then the problems began with headlights being replaced almost once a month. Wipers not working properly, stopping in the middle of the windshield. Brakes, I guess that's normal. Tires going flat (all four.) (sorry I am not very "mechanical".) Car has been overheating. The interior lights hardly ever worked. Battery has been replaced twice and we still have to get a boost all the time. Clinking sounds. I don't remember everything but a few days ago my husband was driving home and the car just decided to die at 100km/hr. Clunk clunk stop! It's now on its way to the wreckers seeing it's 4-5 thousand dollars just to repair the engine. GREAT!!! EFFFF you KIA!

28th Jan 2010, 11:41

And still: People are flocking around the Kia dealers to purchase these rolling coffins. People are so short sighted, only the sticker price seem to matter for a lot of people. Long term quality doesn't matter. Problems with Kias? You can blame yourself, like I do. I already knew Kia made crappy cars when I bought my 99 Kia, since I'd already read a lot of quality issues in these cars. Still I bought one since the on the road price was 20-30% below a comparable Toyota. No wonder: There's no free lunch. They've put in the most crappy parts imagineable in these cars.

22nd Feb 2010, 17:26

I have 2003 Sorento, which I purchased new, and have had none of the problems I'm reading about in this forum.

Kia has sent me letters about the coolant reservoir, the crank pulley bolt and the butterfly clip. I brought the car to the dealer, and they took care of those in one visit.

I have only replaced one of each headlight and the dome diode (radio shack $3.99 for 2).

My experience with my Sorento has been great, and I'm planning to give this one to my daughter and buy a new one.

Anyone interested in fixing the dome light diode, can buy a 3 amp diode at Radio shack and bend the prongs to match up with the holder, which hangs next to the fuse panel. If it doesn't work one way, just turn it around. Fixed!

21st May 2010, 22:09

I owner of a 2005 Kia Sorento with 186k miles.

1. Windshield wiper won't go all the way down. Now the car won't pass inspection (tn) due to that.

2. Horn won't blow when you need it, but will make a clicking sound under the hood. All fuses are good. That one puzzled me.

3. Yes! Have to replace headlights and tail lights often.

4. And yes! Dashboard light has a mind of its own, works whenever.

Finally! I too will not buy again or recommend to anyone.

26th Jun 2010, 02:13

2006 KIA Sorento bought it with 32,632 back in May of 08, and now have 57,000 as of June/July 2010. My KIA was wonderful until I was rear ended on 9/11/09. The vehicle should have been totaled (400.00 from a total), but of course not, I don't have good luck like that.

So now, since the accident, I am having rear differential problems, tranny problems, front brake problems, a knocking noise when I accelerate, it shifts about three or four times abruptly when you accelerate from a stop, squeals when moving forward or backward slowly, oil leak (however this happened only after my last oil change done by sears - Don't RECOMMEND!) and gets about 11 MPG! I am at the gas station just about every freak-en day!

Now that I am sick of! What a catastrophe. Honestly, I am getting rid of this vehicle for what ever I can get for it. Problem is I still owe about 10,000.00. The car looks awesome, even after the accident, but mechanically, well... this is a lot of issues. So, whether or not it's really a good vehicle, isn't fair to say.

For the record (even prior to the accident) I have replaced the right front low beam two times in three months, the left front low beam twice in two months, and both brake lights twice in six months.

6th Aug 2010, 21:37

I have an 05 Kia Sorento that is a manual transmission.

I have had to replace the drive shaft 3 times due to a swing bearing going out. My warranty would not cover it either, due to it being a non-covered part. The drive shaft would be covered, but the Kia dealership said the swing bearing wore out and caused the drive shaft to break.

On top of that, even the Kia manufacturers do not make or sell the swing bearing alone, so just the part was $800.00 each time. Labor $300.00 (it always seemed to fail 1 or 2 months after the 12 month warranty expired).

My headlights go out every 3 months one at a time, but within 3-5 days the other one is out too, so I have learned to just buy 2 for $35.00 and get it over with. I will never buy another Kia.