5 reasons to buy and not to buy Kia Sorento XM



The name Sorento appeared in the Kia lineup in 2002. At that time, it was a frame SUV of quite traditional design, intended primarily for sale on the North American market. The car did not grab the stars from the sky, but was relatively cheap at a decent size and provided the brand a certain presence in the segment. Over time, it became clear that the popularity of classic SUVs is experiencing serious pressure from crossovers with a cross-body and that the brand really needs such a model. Such a model, keeping the name Sorento and received serial code XM, was presented at the Seoul Motor Show in April 2009.

Market positioning has not changed – the second generation Sorento was still focused primarily on the U.S. market. The Sorento has become the first Kia model, which assembly was established in North America. In Russia Sorento sales began in the fall of 2009, and during the last three months of the year 1,475 vehicles have been sold.

The car could be available as a five-and seven-seat variant, as with all-wheel drive, and with drive only on the front wheels, but in our country favored primarily all-wheel drive options. There were two motors available on the Russian market: a 2.4-liter gasoline engine Theta II with an output of 175 hp and 197-horsepower diesel D4HB CRDI with a capacity of 2.2 liters. Gasoline-powered cars could be equipped with both 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission. They had all-wheel drive or front wheel drive, but diesel versions had all-wheel drive and automatic transmission. At the same time, the presence of a mechanics and front-wheel drive automatically meant a minimum level of other equipment.

Kia Sorento 2009–20

The car has gained some popularity in Russia, and in 2013, simultaneously with the restyling (which was a pretty good work done on the mistakes), local assembly of this model was also organized at the Avtotor plant in Kaliningrad. But we are interested in 2009-2012 cars, as all of them were imported from Korea and may play in the secondary market the same role that decade-old SUVs brought from Europe and the USA once did.

The price of these machines today falls within the range from 700,000 to 1,250,000 rubles, with 700-750,000 sellers asking for cars from 2009-2010 with mileage of 200-250,000 km, but at the upper end of the price scale are machines 2011-2012 with mileage of about 150,000 km. As in the days when the Sorento XM was sold in dealerships, the diesel versions tend to cost a little more than the gasoline versions, although time has erased that difference somewhat. Now it is that in principle it is realistic to find a diesel Sorento 2009 for 750,000 rubles, and the gasoline car for the same money can be somewhat younger and have lower mileage.

We have already written about what problems a person who has decided to buy it may encounter. Well, now it’s time to see what its owners write about the car…

Hate #5: rusty fifth door, vulnerable glass, paintwork and plastic

Experts say that when you buy a horse, you shouldn’t approach it from behind. But that’s a live horse, a “common horse” system. And if the question is about an iron horse, and a not young Kia Sorento is considered as such, it is possible and necessary to come from behind. Moreover, it is necessary to begin the examination exactly from it, and there are good reasons for that.

In principle, the body of 2009-2012 Sorento in general has sufficient corrosion resistance and does not cause any particular complaints. Moreover, in many reviews, owners mention paintwork among the advantages: “I especially want to note the excellent paintwork. For example, in Skoda Yeti of the same year of manufacture the paint started to bubble up in many places. There are those who think, that everything is average here – a little bit worse than Germans, and approximately the same as Japanese. But the fifth door was damaged for some reason: either some other metal was used for its production, or the technology turned out to be unsuccessful…

“In my opinion, the main disadvantage of the car is its paintwork. From the moment of purchase I carefully observe and kill bugs at root, and if everything is normal on the hood, here’s the back door requires special attention: any chip instantly turns into a monster! “, “The trunk lid has already blistered, the chrome is blown, even the sign on the trunk lid rusts”, “After winter, the trunk door liner is blistered”, “After 3 months of ownership, the paint on the trunk lid (under the glass) is blistered and the chrome plate began to fray” … In many reviews, owners write that it happened to brand new cars, and doors were painted and replaced under warranty. But now the warranty repair is out of the question…

The quality of windshield is not less critical. In the reviews the owners write that the glass is very soft and covered with scratches and many microscratches just in a year or so. The fact that the windshield is equipped with electric heating in the wipers’ area is certainly a good thing. Worse, this heating often fails, and then the glass can crack for no apparent reason: “I saw the crack, I thought I caught a rock, but the dealer said it was just the heater that failed.” Such stories in reviews are not uncommon.

There are also questions to the interior, and first of all to the quality of plastics, which the interior is trimmed with. Firstly, practically all plastic in the interior is rigid. But that is perceived absolutely normally in the interior of the budget hatchback of B+ segment seems inappropriate in the middle-sized crossover. This is where the reviewers don’t hesitate to express themselves: “Plastic: there is one soft element – the visor, trimmed with leather. Why the Koreans clad it with leather is a mystery – they could clad the whole panel… All the rest is simply so rigid – the first place in rigidity of all cars that I have seen. The second place is probably the “Kalina”, but it is softer there…”.

Kia Sorento 2009–20

And that “horror of how hard the plastic is,” the horror of how quickly it gets scratched and loses its marketable appearance: “The plastic is hard and it scratches in no time. My trunk is scratched in six years and there are a lot of scratches inside the interior as well”. And where the hard plastic is, there are crickets. Not everyone complains about them, but every now and then I have to read that the whole interior starts to rattle and creak on a bad asphalt. Plus the plastic gets dirty quickly: “The interior trim materials struck me. The plastic is stiff and foul, especially the center console. Probably, designers have never tried to touch it with unwashed hands. Stains and stains remain everywhere, absolutely everywhere, and it is necessary to wipe it off constantly. It looks all right in a cheap “every day” parkette, but Koreans want to look like people who make cars not worse than others. It’s just the finish for a model, which has a complete set for almost 2 million rubles!

In one of the reviews the author summed up his impressions as follows: “It is possible to take Sorento, especially used, but only if you are not spoiled by good showrooms. If you are spoilt, look for another model, if not another manufacturer. You won’t like it, the interior will bore you. Quality of finishing materials was annoying all the time I drove it, and it is not treated with a complete set: the top one is even worse than the beggar’s one. Because of the quality of the interior, I probably sold it.

Love #5: the volume of interior and a trunk

But neither those who bought Sorento XM in dealerships ten years ago, nor those who bought these cars later, on the secondary market, were chasing prestige. They needed a practical family crossover, where it is possible to go to work, and to visit grandmother in the village, and to take a large family to the sea. It means, that such parameter, as volume of interior stands in the first place.

All owners are positive about this parameter, both those who were completely satisfied with it, and those who did not get on with the automobile and found a lot of lacks: “I want to tell at once, that the automobile is very capacious for its class. For a family man with two or more children – the very thing. I rarely use the third row of seats, and there is not much space for an adult: up to half an hour of driving is bearable, if you sit there more, it becomes a hardship, for children is normal. Of course, there are some remarks here: “The fact that folding of a back row forms an even floor is a big plus, but the fact that in the passenger version they make a little noise while driving empty on a low-quality road surface is a minus. For more than 40,000 dollars, I would like to get decent quality.

Of course, not all reviews refer to the seven-seat packages, but the volume pleases everyone. In a huge number of reviews, the authors note a huge trunk with a roomy organizer under the raised floor: “The trunk is huge, roomy, there is a bottom tray for sundries, and it is not small either”, “Once again the size of the trunk and “underfloor” were pleased – when moving I managed to push my wife, children and all things at once into the car”.

The owners noted in their reviews that it is possible to move even a sofa, even a chest of drawers in Sorento: “There are two capacious “glove compartments” in the trunk instead of the third row of seats where you can put two 20-liter jerrycans and still have some place. I used to carry a closet, step-ladders, a 4-meter boom of a barrier, 42 square meters of laminate, 15 bags of cement. Add a very voluminous armrest box on the first row, which fits a laptop quite well.

No less important is the fact that, having folded the second row of seats, you get a platform with a flat floor, which easily turns into a sleeping place for two people: “The trunk – is a separate song. It’s a bedroom! Sleeping in the car with the trunk door closed is comfortable (even with my height about 190 cm), the floor is flat, air mattress fits like a flush. Of course there are those who like to grumble: “The trunk is huge, but it’s always jammed, so it’s impossible to put something there, it doesn’t have any finder devices (hinges) – there’s nothing to fix. The deep basement under it is a tomb, as it is impossible to extract anything with a loaded trunk, The rubber mat aggravates the problem many times.

Kia Sorento 2009–20

But such grumblers among the authors of the reviews are still a few. Most of them say that neither a trip to a megamall with a family of four, complete with a bicycle, a scooter and child seats and the subsequent loading of many purchases made there, nor a fishing trip with a boat and a tent, nor long trips of the whole family with all the necessary stuff causes any problems.

Hate #4: The operation of the climate control unit

But there are other things that make you want to grumble. For example, the organization of the microclimate. Basically, there are no any serious complaints about it: the heater warms and the conditioner airs. Moreover, the owners of diesel versions emphasize, that it is warm in the car in winter and that it warms up quickly enough and does not cool down in traffic jams as some other diesels do. But the Korean designers obviously have not thought over some moments…

Here, for example, such a story: “There was a case when it snowed in Moscow. It may not snow in Korea, but it does in Korea. It’s snowing here. And we have snow – it’s like the Koreans in Korea, we tend not to notice it – well, snow and snow, Koreans and Koreans, big deal. Just with these thoughts I left the house, a couple of times waved the brush and drove, as usual, on the snowdrift, for what is superfluous, it will fall off by itself. So what do you think? I don’t know why, but this bus doesn’t sweat like hell. The climate setting is 20 degrees and the “air conditioner” button is on… This mode was enough to forget about fogging in previous cars, but here the whole windows never get fogged. If you press the button “maximum windshield air”, misting is more or less eliminated, but it becomes hot. It was found experimentally that the problem is somehow solved by clearing the space under the wipers from the snow. Apparently, someone has not seen snow and does not know that snow a little bit clogs up the air-intake, if it is realized the way it is made in Sorento (a lot of narrow vertical slots just below the right wiper). What to do? Cut the plastic, widen the hole?

Kia Sorento 2009–20

Or this complaint: “I personally do not have enough settings “windshield + driver”, there is only “windshield + feet”, but then often very hot right leg, if you turn on just “windshield”, or sweat the front side windows, or hot air blows right in the face.

Love #4: good optional stuffing

If in quality of interior materials the pre-styling Sorento of the 2nd generation obviously loses to its classmates belonging to more eminent brands, then in optional filling they are not only not inferior but often surpass them. Xenon headlights, ABS, ESP, cruise control, various heating, electric seats, dual-zone comfort climate control, head unit with touchscreen, color rearview camera and a navigator, and many others.

Some are very pleased with the panoramic roof: “It is a separate plus, there is always light in the car, and you don’t feel the pressure of the ceiling on your head. Even in winter, the curtains on the ceiling did not close”, others especially like the presence of hands-free: “A big plus in safety – it’s hands-free, you talk on the phone hands-free via Bluetooth.

Oddly enough, a lot of people say that the function of automatic parking, which seemed to fairly experienced drivers completely unnecessary, in fact proved to be quite useful: “A cool feature self-parking. So far I’ve only entertained passengers, though I’ve parked in a very small pocket a couple of times… It’s really convenient and quick, especially if there are others waiting behind you to pass you. An indispensable function for ladies in general! But you still need to control it with mirrors and camera”.

In terms of evaluation of all these functions, of course, there are also reasons to grumble. Some people are upset with absence of daytime running lights, others do not like washer fluid consumption: “Headlight washers are activated twice (!!!) for each switch of window washer, that results in enormous washer fluid consumption. Considering Russian realities, sometimes washer fluid consumption exceeds fuel consumption, and considering its cost -…. is sad. In winter I take out a fuse, and presence of headlight washers was one of the most important criteria of choice of a car.

There are a lot of small claims connected with these washers in general. For example, washer nozzles of windshield are located in a recess between glass and a cowl. It seems that it is more beautiful and aerodynamics is better, but the snow is accumulated there, clogging up jets. There is also one more nozzle, washing the rear view camera, though its installation is foreseen by the construction. So the owners write: “I had to install it myself, otherwise the camera gets blind at the times when you need it most of all. And you are too lazy to go out! Or, such a moment: “As soon as the washer runs out, a warning light comes on the screen of the onboard computer, and that’s it! No more on-board computer! The washer ran out – you don’t need to know anything else!”.

The built-in navigation is also scolded: “The maps are flawed, old, only Moscow and the closest suburbs. Where to get updates and extensions – is not clear, and the navigation itself is not too accurate, several times I had to make sure. One joy is that it is always on hand and without additional suction cups.

Kia Sorento 2009–20

The light sensor, as a rule, works properly, but the rain sensor, as it is written in some reviews, sometimes “lives its own life”. But even the most inveterate grumblers and pickers are forced to admit that as a whole the ten-year-old Kia Sorento looks quite decent, even against the background of modern models.

Hate #3: Consumption and dynamics of the petrol engine

It is necessary to tell at once – the estimations of dynamics and fuel consumption of petrol and diesel versions differ very strongly, not to say – radically. On the one hand, it seems that more petrol engines are bought, and there are considerably more of them on the secondary market. But also there are more claims to the petrol engine…

Firstly, serious troubles happen to it more often. There are enough stories on the Internet about a sudden death of this unit, and these stories are not groundless. The engine is really picky about oil quality, and many specialists estimate the idea to combine balancer shafts and an oil pump in one unit as doubtful. No, you should not be frightened and think that if you get Sorento XM with Theta II engine, you will have crank pins and rods will break cylinder mirrors. Most likely, even the engine with decent mileage will work smoothly more than one year. But nevertheless, it is necessary to understand that this engine demands special attention from the owner.

Kia Sorento 2009–20

The second point concerns the consistency of the motor and transmission. The authors of reviews do not accidentally write that the versions with a manual and an automatic are perceived and behave very differently. They do not write much about the mechanics, well, a box and a box, but the automatic causes a set of censures. Perhaps, one of owners has expressed them most completely in the review: “I shall begin from the greatest disappointment – the automatic transmission. It is stupid and voracious. I strongly suspect that the reason can be in American pedigree of the automobile (it was made first of all for America). The engine is the smallest, but the algorithm of the box was left from the big V6. The problem is expressed in the fact, that the box upshifts very early and downshifts very late. As a result – sluggish dynamics and exorbitant consumption. In motion, especially during acceleration, when I would think to shift to the third gear with manual, I find the fourth or even the fifth gear after shifting from drive. Therefore, I have already got used to using manual gearshift, but even here there is a certain meanness. The matter is that the box does not allow to carry out manual control completely, and one-sidedly. It will not switch up itself, in spite of high revolutions, but it switches downwards (in spite of absence of necessity). As a result the following happens: I move, for example, in fifth, before the obstacle I brake, and counting on the third, a couple of times shake the lever to itself, but, having found the deceleration, the box also wants to reduce the gear and resets one more. Instead of third gear I go to second gear, which is very unhelpful (and instead of second gear I go to first gear, which can be even dangerous). So I have to control the gear number on the dashboard. But in corners, where it is especially important, it is not visible behind the spokes of the steering wheel!”.

It turns out, that dynamism, if to believe the opinion of collective reason, is enough for quite confident driving in the city, but it will not be possible to boast already with power reserve on a freeway. It is not enough traction at low revolutions, a solid kick is required for fast acceleration, and overtaking demands some calculation. In fact, this car is calculated for quiet moving of the owner from point A to point B, and it is quite good in this quality.

Kia Sorento 2009–20

This is confirmed by the fuel consumption figures given by the owners. And yet it is the gasoline consumption that causes their greatest displeasure.

It is clear that full unanimity in this question is not observed. Firstly, authors of reviews give in their responses very seriously differ figures. For example, some people write, that on a freeway the car consumes 7,5 liters per one hundred, others name figures 10-11. About city driving some people write, that the consumption doesn’t exceed 11-12 l/100 km, others write, that it can come up to 19. There is nothing strange in it – the consumption depends and will depend on your riding style and “hardness of your foot on the gas pedal”.

Estimates vary: some people find the consumption of 14 l/100 km more than acceptable (as before owned a frame “American” with a really ravenous V8), and others simply scared of the expense of 14 liters, since before they rode a small-capacity cars. But as a whole, the attitude of owners to petrol Sorento is characterized best of all by the phrase from one of reviews: “Gasoline is some vegetable! Consumption is like a stallion and drives like a donkey…”.

Love #3: expense and dynamics of a diesel engine

The statements of owners of diesel Sorento XM sound in absolutely different tonality: “You do not want to transfer to gasoline after diesel”, “Guys, if there is a possibility, buy Sorento on diesel! The consumption and dynamics are simply gorgeous! It is not that 197 horses is more than 175. The matter is in torque and rotational speeds at which the engine can give it out: 2,2-liter turbodiesel D4HB gives out all its 440 nm of torque at 2700 rpm, and it already reaches 420 at 1800, whereas for the petrol 2,4-liter engine to reach the maximum 220 nm it needs to be accelerated already up to 4000. Interaction of the engine and automatic transmission turns out much more productive. The box does not need to strain in vain, clicking gears…

As a result, both in a city and on a freeway, the drivers of diesel Sorento have no problems with overtaking and vigorous accelerations, thus not feeling the torments of amphibiogenic asphyxia concerning dismal consumption of fuel. Actually, they mark fuel economy in the reviews as one of the basic advantages of the model: “The consumption is simply pleasant. On a freeway it is 5,6 liters at the speed up to 120 km/h. In the city 8,6. In general, not the consumption, but the beauty!”, “When I drove the car from the South, in addition to driving characteristics, I was pleasantly surprised at the expense. Just driving and smiling. Cruising speed 120-140, the consumption is 7 liters”.

For the sake of justice, we should note that the majority of owners call slightly higher figures, but exactly that slightly: 7.5-8 liters on a freeway at 120-140 km/hour and 9-11 liters in a city, depending on a season and traffic jams, with the average charge at the board computer of about 8-8.5 liters per one hundredth. Moreover, I even came across a review, the author of which was indignant at the excessive voracity of the diesel engine: “It seems like a diesel engine, it should be economical, but there is nothing like that! In the city it went from 11.5 liters, I don’t drive fast, in winter with traffic jams it was about 13-14. I do not trust the computer, so I was dividing liters by kilometers, and this figure came out. On the highway with cruise control, at 109 km/h (I hope you understand why such a speed) – 6.5-7 liters per hundred. On the highway – yes, it was nice to go, you look at the fuel gauge, and it does not move, but the city, why so much? What can you say? Any assessments are always subjective.
Low consumption – it is also excellent autonomy: “We filled up at the Moscow Ring Road (near Kashirka), the tank was enough to Samara – almost 1100 km, for a second. I was sitting and a passenger, and the trunk was loaded. Cruising speed – 130-140 (came to 150, of course, where possible), was 5-6 areas with repairable track, reversing (stood for 20-30 minutes), and all that. And the tank of the Sorento is 60 liters.

Kia Sorento 2009–20

But, as always, every advantage has its disadvantages. The higher torque of diesel engine can play a cruel joke with fans of dynamic driving or driving with a heavy load (for example, with a trailer or off-road). The weak point in this situation are the splines in the differential cup. This knot is the same for both petrol and diesel vehicles, but the diesel one with its 440 nm destroys them many times faster than the petrol ones, especially if moisture and rust appear in the knot. As a result, “swept off” splines, and the automobile, which suddenly becomes front-wheel drive.

The diesel engine also has its vulnerable places. For example, a crankshaft pulley: “It turns out, they have this disease. The rubber inside the pulley just broke, and the pulley flew aside, but the belt remained in place. This has happened to many (read on the internet). The cost of the pulley at the offices was horribly expensive, 22,000 rubles, from unofficials bought for 7,500 rubles. There are no non-original pulleys. I changed it together with belt and tensioner, just in case. Naturally, as in the case with other diesel engines, at a certain age the injectors and glow plugs may also require attention, and the diesel engines are more fastidious to the quality of filters and oils than the petrol engines. But all this pales against the background of the simple fact that diesel Sorento drives much better than petrol engines.

Hate #2: Ergonomic lapses and little things that irritate

Ergonomics is the science of how humans interact with the technical devices they use. In the case of a car, it is not only concerned with the comfort of the seats and the mutual arrangement of the controls. By the way, the driver’s position is absolutely all right, and nobody complains about the arrangement of devices and buttons. But the Korean engineers didn’t have enough experience to make the car perfect in all aspects. And what is offensive: all blunders are some small, penny ones.

Well, for example, a washer reservoir: “What idiot has thought up such filler neck for antifreeze? It is impossible to describe it with words. If you consider this car, just try at least once to get from a five-liter tank with antifreeze into the corresponding sunk nozzle in the darkness, and without a funnel. Especially maddening is the fact that under a cowl there is space for two such engines and it makes no sense physically to make such silly receiving nozzle for a frost-free water. I’m thinking now to cut off a part of the pipe and attach the neck to another place (for example on the radiator grill instead of the nameplate, there it belongs), replacing a part of the rigid pipe with a hose of suitable diameter.

Or to take such aspect. Nobody particularly complains on work of the media system. One does not like the fact that the brightness of the screen cannot be adjusted: “Despite the background black color, it shines at night so much that it is very annoying on out-of-town trips. I glue it with a super-sticky mat.

Kia Sorento 2009–20

Next: the volume of the audio system is adjustable in steps. It would seem, what’s wrong with that? But there is always someone who does not like it: “The music is more than tolerable, I, as a “non-melomaniac”, am quite enough. The bug is in the volume levels: a very big step – the sound level of THREE is still slightly insufficient, but FOUR is already a bit loud.

Or here is the Hands-free system itself, which connects the head unit and smartphone via Bluetooth, noted by many owners as a significant plus. But the connection algorithm, or rather the fact that the search procedure has to be done every time you get into the car, can really cause some annoyance: “Every time you have to connect it manually. That is, you start the car, it won’t automatically start, so I gave it up. The screen of the media system displays a picture from the rear view camera. It works well, the image quality, and in many reviews noted its convenience. The problem is that loading the system after powering on the ignition and starting the engine takes almost a minute, and if you got in the car and you need to leave the parking lot in reverse, you need to wait – the camera will not show anything.

Well, a lot of reviews mention seat belts. “Also the passenger’s seat belt keeps banging against the plastic. Taped up the headrest rails with duct tape (remembered my second car, “Niva” from 2002). And this is in a car for a million and a half!”. This problem turned out to be worthy of an entire essay: “You have to be a Korean from Kia to understand the design of the rear seat belts. The trick is that by themselves, under the action of the tensioner, they don’t return to the padded seat. The passenger exiting the back seat leaves the iron so that it rests on the hard plastic (between the door and the seat, on the arch of the rear wheel). Next thing you know, you, the driver, are starting up, driving, and immediately you realize there’s a rumbling noise coming from behind. You stop, swear, get out of the car, the car beeps (the key is in your pocket!), you get to the right rear door and then you realize that the door is closed, closes automatically when you start driving and will be closed until you hands open it by pressing a separate button on the driver’s door. You go back to the driver’s door, the level of the swearing is increasing, and the jeep is big, go far away, for this reason swear even more strongly. You open the driver’s door, press the button, the rear doors are unlocked, you close the driver’s door – the car beeps again, again you go to the right back door, open it, correct the belt buckle, close it, the car beeps again, once again you go to the driver’s door, get in and drive on, in between swearing asking only one question: what Korean face, the mother of her long life, tested this car? How much is the ticket to Korea and how priceless is the opportunity to shake the tester’s throat firmly?”

Kia Sorento 2009–20

Love #2: the cost of maintenance and the price of parts

What the owners are absolutely unanimous in estimation of maintenance costs. Cheapness of service is pointed out in reviews written in the distant and pre-crisis years 2010-2012, and in more recent ones, when we are talking about very old cars purchased in the aftermarket. “In terms of consumable costs, it’s the bomb! Before it was a Mitsubishi, which stripped to the skin. This car is cheap in service, and the expense is less in a city”, “It is unpretentious, and even an ordinary worker can maintain it, as spare parts cost the same as for well-known Solaris or Rio!”, “Service of this car is cheaper than for Germans by 30-40%”, “Service is very democratic, the most expensive maintenance is not even up to 13 000 rubles”. One can’t argue: many people write that maintenance, depending on amount of planned works, costs from 9 up to 13 thousand rubles, as well as that there is no sense to waste time searching of not-original replacement parts and components, as even originals do not strike money badly.

Especially pleasing are the prices for suspension components and stabilizer rods, which everybody has to change sooner or later: “I changed the right ball joint. The price of the original (600 rubles) was surprising. The master, who ordered it, was surprised. “Ball joints – 360 rubles. piece (original), bushings stabilizer – 150 rubles. piece (original), the pillars – 960 rubles. piece (original). Of course, at service stations they can try to set even higher prices, but the Internet is your guide. “At about 70,000km I changed the steering column. The store put the price of about 15 000 rubles. and they advised to look on the Internet. Found it in Vladivostok – 1300 rubles! I read the reviews – all positive. I bought and installed 1000 rubles. All.”. And relatively inexpensive and body repair: “I recently drove into the right rear door, parts were garbage cheap! Door molding – 263 rubles, plastic sill – 1500, underfender – 600 rubles.

Kia Sorento 2009–20

This quote is from a fairly old review, so today the figures should probably be multiplied by two, but the result is still more than acceptable.

Naturally, in some cases, the price tags for individual components can be significantly higher, and the repair costs can reach six figures: “I replaced the intake manifold, steering pump, rollers and belt, intercooler radiator, brake discs and pads, steering rack, cleaned the injectors and fuel system at 187,000 km. Spent 134,000 rubles, including labor and parts. But at the output – almost a new and serviceable car! From 187,000 to 210,000 – only change of oil, filters and bushings of the rear stabilizer. And now think what the similar works would cost if the question was about a car of the same class, but of more eminent and prestigious brand.

Hate #1: harsh suspension, not the best noise isolation

It’s amazing how many people in our country think that it is possible to buy on a penny of nickels. There is no other way to explain why in so many reviews the authors complain about lack of driving comfort, as if it is possible to spend much less money than for some Audi Q7 or Lexus RX, and to receive the same level of comfort.

Most of all complaints are about excessive rigidity of a suspension: “the suspension is stiff, especially on bridge junctions and cross joints”, “the suspension is stiff, especially on rebound, careless driving through speed bumps may frighten a person with weak mentality”, “the suspension itself is incredibly rigid, driving through speed bumps at 20 km/h is fraught with serious injures of the spine. Even the exit on a road marking gives away in a car saloon”. However, according to the owners’ evidence, exactly for this reason the car steers very well on a good asphalt! If there is something that does not allow giving the handling the highest grade, it is not always the correct ESP work, which does not help in hard corners, but sometimes only interferes: “ESP is nasty! To be more exact, it is necessary, but very primitive. As it does not provide any directional stability, and stupidly suffocates engine at appearance of lateral slip. Particular abomination is in the fact, that it cannot be switched off at all – it will be switched on again at the next engine start. Which in itself is correct, but so many times I was let down, when in a turn you need to turn the car afterburner, and under the pedal is stupid emptiness, because I forgot to press the button after the start… “.

Suspension copes quite effectively with a small ridge, but on large repeated bumps it shows inclination to vertical swaying. Over time, as the suspension springs sag, rear suspension failures on a loaded car become quite evident. For this reason, many people resort to replacing regular springs with reinforced ones.

Suspension of Sorento XM has one more feature, which becomes apparent outside the asphalt – very short travel. Because of this, the car does not like diagonal suspension. “The suspension is rigid and short, the travel is about 10 centimeters, maybe a little bit more. The car is tuned for asphalt, it does not lurch in turns, and in spite of the fact that it is high, it steers as a usual sedan. But it shakes. But it is stable. There is the other side of the coin: in winter in the ruts and all sorts of outrage (and we have winter in Ryazan outrage in every yard) really likes to go flat and get stuck for no apparent reason. Ashamed as all-wheel drive, on a level playing field in front of people. A neighbor with a shovel will approach you and ask “Why do you have only front-wheel drive?

One more important aspect of driving comfort is the acoustic comfort. Here the authors of reviews are not quite unanimous, someone even praises, someone estimates neutrally, but the majority nevertheless expresses in the spirit of “noise isolation is worthless, it is the trouble of all Koreans” and strongly recommends to install additional noise-insulating panels: “The comfort is about four firm, but under condition of two-layer noise isolation. After a cheap sedan the noise from the fifth door and from wheel arches hits my brains a lot while driving in puddles and on sandy and gravel roads”. The aerodynamic noise, which occurs in the area of front doors, is very annoying. At speed, the air seeps into the interior through the upper corner of the door, and it is a constructional defect of the model, which was eliminated after the restyling. There are different ways to struggle against it, mainly they “dug” additional rubbers and seals, but this struggle goes with varying success.

Love #1: reliability

But the main advantage of Sorento XM its owners consider reliability. Once a confirmation of this reliability was a five-year warranty (which helped many people, although it had some restrictions “in small print”). Today it has definitely ended, because we are considering cars produced in 2009-2012, but nevertheless the authors of reviews write, as if in cahoots: “During the entire time (130,000 km) I only changed filters, air and fuel”,

Kia Sorento 2009–20

Well, if something did break, then, as a rule, the repair did not require any killer expenses of money and nerves: “During 5 years of operation and 167 thousand miles I faced the following failures: replacement of support bearings (2 or 3 times), replacement of the stuck parking brake cable, repair of the driver’s seat frame (critically). Over 5 years of operation and mileage of 167,000 miles, I faced the following faults: replacement of support bearings (2 or 3 times), replacement of the stuck parking brake cable, repair of the driver’s seat frame (critical for drivers weighing over 100 kg), replacement of washer fluid sensor (due to low-quality fluid) and replacement of the steering column cable”, “I and my friend have been together for almost seven years. We’ve had all sorts of things, but never really quarreled. Didn’t let me down on the road, didn’t suck my money – in general, there was a complete mutual understanding and the impression of an honest car. I should note that during all this time, except for consumables, I replaced the bushings and stabilizer bar, front ball joints, and that’s it, nothing else!

The owners point out that it is usually enough to do the planned annual maintenance in time, and the car will operate without malfunctions, but if nothing is done, the differential of the rear wheels drive in the gearbox will die at 90-100 thousand runs (it is a difficult repair, but if it is correctly made, it will not have any consequences, and it will cost 20-30 thousand rubles). Of course, as in the case of many other models, after 40-50 thousand km every year will have to change a couple of rubber bands in the suspension, but it is inexpensive (as already said), and quickly. And many people compare reliability of Sorento with such benchmark, as Toyota cars, which, according to the legend, do not break down.

That is why for a man who is somewhat limited in funds, not chasing prestige, but needs a large and bulky family crossover, the purchase of Sorento XM can be quite a good decision: and the problems of transportation of a large family will be solved, and the car will faithfully serve for several years, not turning into a financial black hole.


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