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2016-2020 Kia Sorento: What You Should Know Before You Buy

Published on October 28, 2022 in Pre-owned vehicles by The Car Guide

Wanting to establish itself as a serious automaker in the SUV segment, Kia came up with an all-new 2021 Sorento that’s better equipped to compete with its opponents. Yet, the former generation still has many appreciable qualities.

Are you considering one? Well, here’s what you need to know about the 2016-2020 Kia Sorento!

Without being a revolution compared to the 2015 models and before, this Sorento came with a significantly more attractive and modern style, even though some said it looked like a minivan. Depending on the version, it can accommodate five or seven occupants.  

Photo: Kia

Three different engines can be found under the hood. The 2.4-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder produces 185 horsepower and 178 foot-pounds of torque, which is enough for drivers who are not too rushed, don’t need high performances and like to keep the cost low at the pump. An optional all-wheel drive was offered.

The 2-litre turbo four-cylinder generates 240 horsepower and 260 foot-pounds of torque accessible at low rpm, while the 3.3-litre V6, exclusive to the Sorento seven-seater versions, produces 290 horsepower and 255 foot-pounds of torque. The first is a bit more nervous and also 10% more economical, but the second engine has a clear advantage in terms of acceleration and towing capacity (up to 5,000 pounds instead of 3,500). We can also say that a bigger displacement without a turbocharger is likely to be more reliable over time.

As for interior space, the previous Sorento was doing well, especially in the five-seat configuration (1,099-litre trunk). Otherwise, don’t expect to seat adults or older teenagers in the third row, and the trunk will be pretty small (320 litres). Once all the backrests are folded, cargo volume increases to nearly 2,100 litres, and can be quite useful.

Photo: Sylvain Raymond

You’ll appreciate this Korean midsize SUV for its good price-equipment ratio, its ergonomic controls layout, and its various safety systems including a smart cruise control, rear blind spot alert and dynamic headlights. By the way, Kia gave it an aesthetic and technological update for 2019, removing the turbo engine at the same time. Then, in 2020, the all-wheel drive became standard equipment in all versions.

Nine recalls have been issued for the 2016-2020 Sorento. You might remember Kia Canada's “improvement campaign” ...  it involved an update of the engine control module to detect potential problems before the engine fails. Thousands of examples have been affected.

Don’t forget to do a proper road test of the pre-owned Kia Sorento you’re interested in, and make sure it passes a thorough mechanical inspection before giving it the green light.  

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