2020 Kia Sorento Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

SUVs continue to grow in popularity, including the 2020 Kia Sorento models. “Let’s get epic” is what the automaker has to say about this SUV. However, the only thing “epic” about this model is the defective powertrain and faulty electrical system.

Click on other model years to view more problems: 2019   2021   2022   2023

Problems with the Transmission

The main part of the powertrain is a transmission. Some vehicles come equipped with smooth-shifting transmissions that make the ride enjoyable, but that’s not the case with the Sorento.

One NHTSA complaint states, “I have a 2020 Kia Sorento V6. When the engine is cold or has been sitting for an hour or so, the transmission shifts erratically between 20 and 40 mph. When coming to a stop, at the same speed, the vehicle surges forward. I have taken the vehicle back to the dealership 3 times. They reprogramed the transmission module 2 times with no improvement. This problem happens in all 4 driving modes. I purchased this vehicle 10-22-2019 and the problem started about 3 or 4 days later and continues through today 2-23-2020.”

2020 Kia Sorento Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
Unknown Or Other
Trailer Hitches
Electrical System
Service Brakes
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Fuel/propulsion System

What is causing the transmission problems on the 2020 Kia Sorento?

It turns out that Kia is fully aware of this model’s powertrain malfunctions. Service Bulletin #TSBTRA086 even talks about the replacement of the four-wheel-drive coupling assembly pressure sensor, harness and actuator motor because of oil leakage and abnormal noise while driving. If the word “epic” is said to mean impressive, Kia needs to come up with another way to describe this SUV. Maybe puny or mediocre would fit the bill better.

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

The law makes Kia pay legal fees.

We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.

Electrical System Problems

Another top issue with the Sorento seems to stem around the malfunctioning electrical system.

Reference this Cars.com review to see what’s going on. “The functionality of the traffic collision detection is really slow almost got into an accident many times because of that.”

As more people get behind the wheel of the Sorento, it’s expected that there will be plenty more accidents to talk about. Modern vehicles should have well-running driver aids that prevent accidents, but this model seems to want to cause damage. Sadly, Kia hasn’t wanted to talk about the malfunctions, simply leaving owners in the dark. Let’s face it; there’s nothing “epic” about rear-ending a car in traffic.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Kia pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Diane

    I bought my 2020 KIA Sorrento 2 yrs ago, it has been the best car I’ve ever owned. I have not had any problems with my suv. It’s super roomy, I keep the seats down, for my 3 standard poodles, and they have tons of room, and I do to. The cabin is super roomy, more so than other suv’s. The dealership keeps calling me trying to buy it back, because the resale is almost double what I paid for it.

  • Lyle

    I have a 2020 Kia Sorento EX V6 AWD and have driven it 26000 miles. The only issue I’ve had is occasionally the Apple Car Play disconnects and I have to unplug it and plug it back in to get it working again. I bought a new cable but still does it off and on. Kia checked it and found no issues with USB port. Other than that it’s been a great vehicle. Avg 26.5 MPG on trips and I am a fast driver so that’s not bad. I wanted the SX but none were available . My next car will be the Telluride Sx if I can find one.

  • Jollery

    I also bought my 202 Kia Sorento in August of 2020 and have issues from the very first day of my purchase. My screen goes black for no reason, both my back window engines have gone out and I’ve been waiting 4 months for the second window to be repaired, the interior wood trim pieces have peel off and been replaced 3 times and I’ve been waitn 4 minths for the 3rd repair. My windshield was broken and I’ve been unable to get a facory windshield from my dealer, so was forced to replace it with a non factory windshield. This has affected the sensor connections that automate my entire air conditioner, heater, and defrost system. I live in Arizona and Texas…which are the 2 worse places to live without air conditioning, heater, or a defrost and no working back windows.

  • Jonathon C

    My 2020 Kia Sorento keeps having alternator problems. The vehicle has 104k now and since it’s no longer under warranty they want me to pay. I know for a fact a alternator is supposed to last longer than 6 months

  • Bryan W

    We bought a 2020 Kia Sorrento EX-V6 AWD August of 2020 and it is absolutely the best Automobile that we have ever had. We currently have over 26,000 miles on it and it drives and rides extremely well. We have not experienced any of the problems that have been stated by others so far. This vehicle has made numerous trips from the east coast to the mid-west and we have always felt safe and comfortable. We religiously perform all required maintenance and will continue to do so. Sorry to hear that some are experiencing problems. We still believe it has been the best vehicle decision we have made.

  • Corey Y

    Bought my 2020 Kia Sorento EX in August of 2020. After the first oil change it started shifting erratically between 20 and 25 mph and sometimes up to 40 mph especially when the AC is on high and when the vehicle is cold. Also having problems with the lunging forward when breaking. And not impressed with the front collision cameras. The vehicle to date has 17,000 miles on it and the brakes have been squeaking for at least six months now too. Took it in to Kia and they say there’s nothing wrong with it. As soon as I got in and took off and started doing it again.

  • Davante C

    Bought a kia around August -September and had no problems. Recently gotten an oil change and now my screen goes black on startup. My transmission lunges forward when I come to a stop. I can literally drive 5mph without touching the gas.. not supposed to do that.. Try to press the gas gets no power and takes longs to shift and accelerate. Suppose to be a 2020 EX gdi. Please help. Only had the car less than 2 months.

Leave a Reply or Comment

Write a comment below to share online. Or, instead you can to our legal team.

Please select your star rating.

Briefly describe your experience Briefly describe your experience

What’s your name? What’s your name?

What’s your phone number? Please enter a valid phone number

Want to know if you could sue? Get a free legal evaluation from Lemberg Law?

Get Your No-Obligation
Case Evaluation

Send a secure message to our legal team.

What’s your name? What’s your name?
What’s your email address? What’s your email address?
What’s your phone number? What’s your phone number?
Briefly describe the problem Briefly describe the problem
Confidentiality Guarantee: We keep your information completely confidential and will not send you spam or sell your information.
By submitting above, I agree to the privacy policy and terms and consent to be contacted by an agent via phone call or text message at the phone number(s) listed above, including wireless number(s).