Kia and Hyundai are building eye candy these days that are full of standard features. However, their long term reliability is still without a doubt, poor. Karma will catch up with the auto maker in the long run, just like it did with GM before they finally got their act together in 2009.
What gear was the transmission in when the vehicle was towing the trailer? If Overdrive was selected instead of Drive, this would likely be the cause, as Overdrive must not be used to tow a trailer.
KIA is Korean, not Japanese. The Japanese make pretty good trucks that have big V8 engines, a full frame and are RWD (think Nissan Titan / Pathfinder/ Armada and Toyota Tundra / Sequoia / 4Runner).
Apparently, you live in the 90's. The 2.0t engine Kia makes puts out far more power than the S-10 ZR2 I just bought to replace it. Chevy's 4.3L V6 has less power than Kia's base model 2.4 non-turbo engine.
Towing an 1,100lb trailer can be done with something as weak as a Dodge Caliber. I know, I've hauled it hundreds of miles with my old Caliber.
Direct injection and turbocharging tech have come a long way. Ford's new turbo V6 smashes their V8's. The new Escape also has a 2.0t engine, capable of towing 3,500lbs, and powering an Explorer. You don't need a big gas guzzling truck to tow. You need torque. And that's what a turbocharger does. Unfortunately, Kia mis-programmed theirs, and it caused the engine to detonate at low RPM, under load.
The manual stated to leave it in "D". It's a 6 speed, it has plenty of gears to do its thing.
The best part is, GM was buying Honda V6's not too long ago, because theirs were so bad.
A V8 to tow an 1,100 lb. travel trailer? A four cylinder Tacoma will pull up to 3,500 lbs without a tow package. But even that would be overkill. My '06 Corolla is rated to tow up to 2,000 pounds. I could pull an 1,100 lb travel trailer with that (I don't, but I could).
Kias are commuter bubbles. If you need a work vehicle, check into Jeeps or something domestic. Even something like a used Crown Vic would be far better.
Better to have more horsepower than less when towing. Even if a 2006 Corolla "could" tow a travel trailer, it will stress the engine, transmission and suspension unnecessarily, as the car is not designed for towing. Better to avoid towing altogether, as it will result in premature drivetrain problems, which will outweigh the cost of buying a second vehicle for towing purposes only.
That was kinda the whole point of buying the Sportage. I could use it as my "commuter bubble" and get decent gas mileage, while not having to worry about buying and maintaining a 2nd truck for towing our small camper. If I wanted to have 2 vehicles, I would have got a Chevy Volt and a truck. It was a lease, I wasn't too worried about long term wear and tear (the whole point of leasing). The warranty should have covered what happened, but Kia wants to cop out of it. Still waiting for a court date for my lawsuit.
Detonation will kill a forced induction engine, be it a turbo charged or super charged engine. I hope you get this sorted out. I too am waiting to see what the longevity of these Kia's and Hyundai's will be in the long run.
I've got 2 KIA's, and they both have been extraordinarily reliable. First I got an 02 Sedona and have only done basic maintenance to it. We easily ran a Chrysler Town and Country into the ground, and learned the hard way that Ford on the Windstar really does stand for found on road dead! We also had a Chevy Astro; easily the most uncomfortable vehicle ever made, but it was a good reliable gas guzzler that found its end at the side of a Mercedes SL320.
Then I decided to get a small SUV. I wanted a Rav4, but couldn't find a used one; no really, at that time they were that popular! Then I checked out the Honda CRV, but found that $22,000 - $25,000 was too much to pay for a used vehicle. I found a new 06 KIA Sportage for $17,000. I just passed 90,000 miles and have not had one issue. So far I've replaced tires and oil, but I've got to say even though I've seen other people using their Sedona's and Sportages as tow vehicles, I wouldn't even consider doing that. There's more to towing than just pulling and stopping. I only tow with a 1 ton vehicle like a Ford F350; nothing smaller will do. A big suspension is vital, along with a big motor, a transmission made for towing, and trailer brakes.
You do realize an 8' travel trailer weighs about as much as 5 adults, right? I've put more weight than that in my old Dodge Caliber. Heck, my 1991 Suzuki Swift hauled 4 adults (2 that were over 300lbs), across the state.
If you're hauling a 6 ton horse trailer, yes, get a F-350. But, any car/van/CUV can pull an 1,100lb travel trailer(pop-up). Especially when the vehicle is rated for 2,000lbs. Why bother with a big suspension when the tongue weight is about 80lbs?
The Sportage I towed with was rated at 270hp. My 2011 Sportage pulled that camper all over the state, and it was a 180hp 2.4L. My 2007 Caliber was 140hp, and it towed that camper all over the state too. So, please explain the need for an F-350 to haul a camper that would fit in the bed of that 350?
I think you missed the point. Engine failure while towing half of the towing capacity of the vehicle was the issue. And Kia won't warranty it. So yes, it's within spec, and yes, the vehicle was rated to tow. Besides, why buy a $50,000+ F-350 and suffer with 6 MPG, when you can drive a Sportage and get 20+ MPG as your daily driver? That's why it was purchased.
Just as an update. Kia is STILL fighting this. I'm pretty sure their legal fees are already higher than the cost of the vehicle. Like I said, Kia will do absolutely anything to cop out of the warranty.
And when Kia reads this (I'm assuming they're e-stalking me by now). If you would have done the right thing in the first place, I would have been quiet. But, because of your arrogance, welcome deadkia.com! I'm building a fun site for all to see. Soon, I won't have to post the story. I'll just post a link. I'll have a QR code on my new truck, and my Sportage will have a body wrap on it, parked on a main road. Hope you like to lose sales!