2003 Kia Sorento Overview


Looking for a Used Sorento in your area?

CarGurus has 33,273 nationwide Sorento listings starting at $1,495.

Average user score
4.2 5 stars
Based on 9 reviews

2003 Kia Sorento Overview

For years, the compact Sportage was Kia's only SUV offering. In 2003, the Sportage is taken briefly off the market in order to introduce the new Kia Sorento, a small to mid-size SUV that features true off-roading capability. The 2003 Sorento is about the same size as the Mazda Tribute, with two rows of seating for five passengers. This means a little extra legroom for comfort. It comes in LX and the more upscale EX trim, each offered in either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

Powered by a 3.4-liter, 192-hp V6 engine and 4-speed automatic, power is adequate, but tends to complain a bit when accelerating on the highway. What makes the 2003 Sorento unique is its low-range four-wheel drive capability, giving it true off-road performance. A high ground clearance and skid plates also help in this department. The four-wheel drive comes standard as part-time, engaged by the driver. On the EX, there is an optional Torque-On-Demand 4WD that engages automatically when needed and can be used on dry pavement.

Kia has outfitted even its base model 2003 Sorento nicely, with full power features, cruise control, four power outlets, a CD player, and a multitude of storage compartments. Dual front-side and side-curtain airbags for both rows are standard. ABS brakes are only optional, and no traction or stability control is offered. The EX adds on power driver's seat, wheel-mounted controls, leather and wood trim, a garage opener, and a sunroof. Heated leather seats are optional on the EX. Rear seats fold down to expand the cargo area to 66 cubic feet, and the rear window opens separately from the hatch, for easy access.

Though just in its first year, most owners of the 2003 Sorento are happy with the smooth ride, comfortably seats, tight maneuverability, and the off-roading features of their SUV. They say it also feels safe and sturdy, and the price can't be beat, considering you get comparable features to other mid-size SUVs. Some complaints mention the lack of a third row, road noise, early brake wear, and the lousy fuel economy.


What's your take on the 2003 Kia Sorento?

2003 Kia Sorento Top Comparisons

Users ranked 2003 Kia Sorento against other cars which they drove/owned. Each ranking was based on 9 categories. Here is the summary of top rankings.

2003 Kia Sorento vs:

    Have you driven a 2003 Kia Sorento?  
    Rank This Car

    Cars compared to 2003 Kia SorentoPeople researching a 2003 Kia Sorento contacted a dealer about


    Looking for a Used Sorento in your area?

    CarGurus has 33,273 nationwide Sorento listings starting at $1,495.

    Have questions?   Ask a question

    Kia Sorento Questions

    R&r Sunroof Drain Tubes

    I don't find this site very user friendly. I'm not a tech savvy kind a guy so when I'm left to guess how to navigate I get frustrated and give up. I'm not even sure someone is going to read this. I...

    4 views with no answers yet

    2003 Sorento, Water Is Leaking In The Car On The Passenger Side Top Front C...

    XS 4wd. Water is found in the top corner of the roof, down the panel to the left of the windowscreen and down into the carpet. This is our first sorento so we would like to know the likely causes.

    2,795 views with 5 answers (last answer about a month ago)

    Ok On The 2003 Kia Sorento The Mechanic Has Determined The The Timing Is Of...

    the one that is off. He says that the head will have to be machined and several valves replaced. Does that sound right?

    10 views with 1 answer (last answer 4 months ago)

    Interior Lights,tail Lights And Gauges Light Turn Off When I Open My Door

    So when i turn on my car all the lights in the subject turn on but when i open my car door to get out suddenly all of them turn off, so to turn them back on i have to turn off the whole car, and st...

    35 views with 2 answers (last answer 6 months ago)

    2003 Kia Serento

    My car clicks once but wont start i check oil and was empty and i have oil leak does mean my engine could possibly be locked

    12 views with 2 answers (last answer 6 months ago)