2018 Kia Sorento Problems and Complaints


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2018 Kia Sorento SUV Problems, Issues, Complaints, Recalls, and Which Year to Avoid

Updated on: May 2, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The Kia Sorento is a unique proposition that carries a lot of value for American families. The versatility has resulted in a pretty good sales figure of nearly 100,000 units sold in 2017 alone. The sales figures make it a direct competitor to the Ford Edge, the Honda Pilot, and the Nissan Murano. All this aside, the story hasn't been all-sunny for the Sorento because there are numerous complaints flowing in from the owners. The steering feel is reported as the most bothering issue. This gets coupled with the unintended movement of the vehicle while parked. Adding to the problems are a couple of recalls that were made during this time. Let’s see what all issues the owners had to go through and what the recalls entailed for the Korean SUV

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2018 Kia Sorento Problems

Electrical issues:

  • Speaker issues: The speakers in the Sorento are reported to give a rattling sound at higher volumes. This rattling sound is amplified at highway speeds, causing a lot of discomfort to the occupants. The sound also causes headaches to the occupants, if listened to for a prolonged period. 
  • Headlight issue: Most of the electrical complaints in the SUV point to the Sorento lights. Many people have reported the lighting to be inadequate and cause difficulty in night driving. In some cases, the lights intermittently turn off and decrease visibility. Many owners have raised concerns over a complete headlight failure in lowly lit conditions that can endanger the occupants’ lives. 

Mechanical issues:

  • Steering problems: The Sorento steering raises the most concerns in the owners’ minds. The complainants state that the steering “sticks” while driving at highway speeds and is impossible to move. To keep the car straight, people have to correct the steering wheel. This causes a drastic loss in maneuverability and has also resulted in collisions. 
  • Gear slipping issues: People have reported the gearbox slipping out of gear and into neutral when in park. This causes the car to have unintended movement and collide with objects in proximity. There are many incidents of the SUV rolling and causing injuries to the people entering/exiting the vehicle. 
  • Braking issues: The brake pedal of the Sorento gets stuck, affecting the braking performance. Although no accidents have been reported, the issue is very serious and communicated to the manufacturer. As a remedy, the dealerships bleed the brake lines to prevent any air from entering there.

Exterior issues:

  • Sunroof issues: People have reported the sunroof shattering and causing an explosive sound. The sunroof glass shattered without an internal/external impact and caused the glass to fill the cabin. In some cases, the sunroof cover was on and didn’t let glass enter the cabin. The sound also causes a major distraction while driving. 

2018 Kia Sorento Recalls

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Issues Noticed

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December 8, 2017



Detachment of a component in the side curtain airbags may launch into the cabin upon deployment. This increases the risk of injury in a crash. 

The recall began on December 18, 2017. The dealers will replace the driver- and passenger-side curtain airbags. 


September 21, 2018



An improperly welded cowl crossbar that connects to the Motor-Driven Power Steering (MDPS) steering column may separate, causing a loss in handling and increasing the risk of a crash. 

The recall began on October 26, 2018. The dealers will replace the cowl crossbar. 

Should you buy the 2018 Kia Sorento? 

The 2018 Kia Sorento looks like a good deal on paper but has its flaws reported by the owners. The headlight and steering are the weak points and have gathered a lot of complaints. Apart from this, the gear slipping issue has caused a lot of troubles as well. If you want to go for a Sorento, keep in mind these issues and get them rectified as soon as they pop up. If you want to go for a used Kia Sorento, always look for any accidents/repair history and ensure peace of mind. 

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