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Old 04-08-2010, 08:52 AM   #1
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Kia Sorento mysterious towing capacity?

I guess looking up tow rating has become a hobby of mine LOL,

I was looking at the new 2011 Kia Sorento on the Kia USA website and noticed that in the USA and Canada that the tow rating is 3500 lbs. I thought to myself, Ok, it has a Unibody Design, and we can only get the gas V6 here in North America.

I headed over to the Australian Kia website to see how much of an increase in towing capacity the little diesel motor has. I was interested to find that the Kia Sorento, which is basically the exact same vehicle except the steering wheel is on the Right side, has a 2500 kgs tow rating with a small diesel. I am not great with kgs to lbs conversions so I looked this up on google. It seems that every 1 kgs of weight is equal to 2.20462262 lbs. So if I take 2500 x 2.20462262= 5511.56 lbs.

My first thought was OK, it’s a diesel. So I looked at the tow rating for the gas version in Australia, it is rated 2000 kgs which is 4409.25 lbs.

My question to this board is, where does the tow capacity go when these vehicles are on North American Roads? Why does being in North America automatically lower your tow rating by 21-37 %? Oh, and the folks in Australia use weight distribution just like we do. Not WC/Super light tongue weights like in Europe.

I have this same issue with my 2004 Kia Sorento. In North America its either 3500 lbs or 5000 lbs depending on whose owner’s manual you read. However, in Australia people are towing up to 6000 lbs with no problems. I have personally towed right at the max of 3500 lbs with an enclosed cargo carrier and there were no issues, pleanty of power, pleanty of brakes. I just don’t understand the logic, especially with Kia. Chevy, Dodge, Ford, Toyota, and Nissan want you to buy a bigger more expensive truck, but this is Kia’s flagship SUV.

Thanks for listening; I am just kind of puzzled.

Jerem0621
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:00 AM   #2
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Kia does sell a more expensive truck here - the body-on-frame, Explorer-like Borrego. (Well, they try to sell it - not many were bought and they're still selling off 2009 inventory.) That has a 5000 lb capacity with the V6, 7500 with the V8.

My guess is that Kia's US engineers ran the powertrain cooling and other tests to 3500 lbs and called it a day. They confirmed that it could tow the par-for-the-course 3500 lbs for a smallish V6 SUV in the US market and that was enough.

As an aside, relatives in the UK tow with a last-gen body-on-frame Sorento with a diesel. It does well.

Tom
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:34 AM   #3
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The new uni-body Sorrento is built in Georgia and is only being sold in the US. The original truck style is still being sold in Asia and Australia.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:25 PM   #4
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Is it? This article shows the new-generation Sorento going down under.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
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That is exactly the article that started this for me. Where the article mentions reduced towing capacity. According to the Kia Australia website the towing capacity is 2000 kgs for gas and 2500 kgs for diesel.

Hmm. I want a diesel in my Sorento! LOL

Thanks!

Jerem0621
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:03 PM   #6
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As I understand it an Australian Honda Element could easily tow my trailer, but the US version cannot.

An interesting point to me is that we take the manufacturer's towing capacity ratings as gospel, but who knows how they come to those ratings? I looked up info here on the forum about the Ford Ranger, because I was surprised to see the tow rating for a v6 Ranger is 5700lbs, which is surprisingly close to the towing capacity of our 5.8L V8 full size van, but the info I found here on the forum was a lot of people saying that was completely ridiculous and that it was completely inadequate for towing.

I really question exactly what towing capacity means and how it is determined. I would love to see solid answers about how they come to that magic number.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:24 PM   #7
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http://www.toyota.com.au/toyota/vehi...SedanSaver.pdf

How about the Australian Corolla with towing capacity of 2800 pounds?

A relative has pulled an 1800 pound Scamp (trailer brakes) with a Pontiac Vibe. This vehicle uses Corolla engine and transmission. I found it to handle well towing, and all fluid temps stayed in normal range when towing in warm and hilly conditions.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:27 PM   #8
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:59 PM   #9
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That's what I was going to point out Shari. Down under, the hitch falls away from the ball, so there's less tongue weight. In fact, you need a WD setup so it can APPLY some tongue weight.

It all makes perfect sense.
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:05 PM   #10
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InsideOut,

That took me a minute to figure out.. After I picked myself up off the floor. For those of you who read jibberish like me, simply copy and past into word and you will be able to see what was so about the last post

Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:40 PM   #11
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what is the thoughts on Kia Sorento reliablity and longevity. I am looking at one today for sale
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi View Post
New Cars Toyota Australia: Prices, Service Centres, Dealers, Test Drives

How about the Australian Corolla with towing capacity of 2800 pounds?
I'm sure the North American Corolla can tow 2800 lbs too...but here the market here is different (i.e. real men tow with trucks, right?!)
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:52 PM   #13
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I pulled my 31 airsream with my kia sorento. In germany the max capacity is 3,5 tonns.
But i changed the car short time ago and I tow with a nissan pathfinder. Kia is a 4 cylinder nissan 6
I met people they drove 300000km with the kia without major problems.

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Old 02-11-2014, 05:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
As I understand it an Australian Honda Element could easily tow my trailer, but the US version cannot.

An interesting point to me is that we take the manufacturer's towing capacity ratings as gospel, but who knows how they come to those ratings? I looked up info here on the forum about the Ford Ranger, because I was surprised to see the tow rating for a v6 Ranger is 5700lbs, which is surprisingly close to the towing capacity of our 5.8L V8 full size van, but the info I found here on the forum was a lot of people saying that was completely ridiculous and that it was completely inadequate for towing.

I really question exactly what towing capacity means and how it is determined. I would love to see solid answers about how they come to that magic number.
I think there are a lot of lawyers and marketing types involved...

I have a variety of towing rigs, there are some that I will operate over capacity with no qualms. Others I won't tow anywhere near the rated capacity because I don't feel comfortable with it. I use the towing limits as guidelines.

Aaron
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