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Brownie16

Unstable Sorento?

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Hi all.

Sorry if this is a repeat but new to forum.

I have a 2012 very low mileage kia sorento kx2 and it tows a caravan easily power wise but terribly stability wise. Looking at forums I am to believe it's the suspension at fault and have contacted kia main dealers to have self levelling suspension fitted but have been informed it's not possible.  Do I trade in and get sorento kx3 with self levelling or look at something else. Thanks in advance. 

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Start by checking the caravan! What's it's MTPLM weight, what's it's noseweight, are you using the correct tyre pressures on car and caravan?

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I have checked all the above and all seems fine and well within tolerances but towing is twitchy. Most of this model and year sorento owner seems to feel the same. Kia uk is impossible to contact to help.

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We had a second generation Sorento at the Tow Car Awards when they first came out (2010?) which didn’t have self-levelling suspension. I have to agree with you I’m afraid, stability was awful. Having driven (and towed with) one with SLS, it was a totally different beast. If you like the Sorento in all other respects, then go for one with SLS if you can.  But, if you fancy something different......... Only you can decide that.

 

The dealer is quite right, you can’t swap/upgrade the non-SLS for SLS.

Edited by nigel207
Correction

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Is the caravan "terrible stability wise", or just "twitchy", you have used both descriptions but the causes could be very different!

 

Twitchy could just be an ineffective stabiliser, but terrible is something more fundamental.

Edited by Stevan

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it sounds to me like you wont feel right until you have changed your car.  Have you tried hitching up your van to another car just to see how the van behaves.  There is so much to check  with caravans, I don't know how experienced you are with caravanning and I don't want to teach granny to suck eggs, so to speak, but if I were you I would start checking again from the start and that includes the loading of it. 

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39 minutes ago, nigel207 said:

 

The dealer is quite right, you can’t swap/upgrade the non-SLS for SLS.

 

The Sorento is a Hyundai Santa Fe underneath - some Santa Fe owners flinch at the cost of replacing their self-levelling dampers when they wear out and fit non-levelling replacements so it may be possible to fit Hyundai springs/dampers in place of the Kia ones.

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If you’re looking at the Santa Fe, remember that the SLS is fitted as standard on the 7 seater but is not available on the 5 seater.

We have owned both and the 7 seater does feel better towing but not by a huge amount 

Duncan

 

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I am on my third Sorento, towing a 1900kg twin axle and before that a single axle. All have had SLS. They are superb towcars. At the time we bought the first Sorento (2011) the new shape had just come out and there was a lot of Talk about unsteady towing with the non-SLS models so we had a KX3 with SLS and it was fine.

 

Bottom line is if you like everything else about the Sorento, then you need to get one with SLS and life will be wonderful!

For towing an automatic is doubly wonderful...

Edited by staffordshirechina

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I'll second the Hyundai Santa fe.

Ive got the 7 seater with SLS(66 plate) and tows lovely.

I had the 57 plate Sorrento and wasnt 100% happy with the stability although power was good.

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From 2013 kx2 standard SLS. 

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I  had fitted SLS 2 years ago to my  2012KX3 which I thought had it,it was not fitted.

It's a direct replacement  with no change to the springs, this I confirmed with a KIA  dealers in Swindon. The only downside is the price £900 ish .Try another dealer. 

Mike 

 

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Just now, outnumbered said:

I  had fitted SLS 2 years ago to my  2012KX3 which I thought had it,it was not fitted.

It's a direct replacement  with no change to the springs, this I confirmed with a KIA  dealers in Swindon. The only downside is the price £900 ish .Try another dealer. 

Mike 

 

 

That's a good price for 2x SLS dampers - they used to be more than that for 1.

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We’ve just had a rear shocker replaced on the Santa Fe(25500m and will be keeping a close eye on the other one) and garage said it would have cost about £750 if it wasn’t under warranty 

Duncan

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Google replacement shockers, I had one go on my 2014 SF under warranty, and I've had the one go at 70000, outwith warranty.  The replacement non SLS is excellent and only a fraction of the cost of replacing SLS.  Don't notice the difference!

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I fitted Mad Springs replacement progressive springs to my previous 2010 KX2. The transformed the handling both towing and solo and achieved better confidence. Cost is approximately £315. Cheaper the loss incurred by replacing the car or fitting the SLS system. 

 

https://mad-suspension.co.uk/?route=product%2Fcategory&path=2#selecteer-dealer2

Edited by Seaman
Extra information.
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Yes I'd look at upgrading the existing suspension; firmer springs even?

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Have a look at the upgraded Pedders rear suspension kits, its about £280 for replacement shocks and uprated springs. loads have done it to the MK2 santa fe and said its been spot on since.

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We had two Sorento's a 56 plate which was the original configuration with SLS and 59 plate which was the upgrade model with more powerful engine but no SLS. I agree with the consensus that the Sorento without the SLS was no where near as stable as the one with and that seems true through to this day. If its not an option to change cars I would second the suggestion of adding MAD springs. I used them on a previous (non 4X4) car very successfully.

 

David

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Before you start spending mega money trying to upgrade the car suspension it is worth checking and double checking the basics. Are the car and caravan tyres OEM, or alternatives?

Is the hitch height correct when driving?

Are the shock absorbers in good condition?

Is the stabiliser functioning correctly?

 

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Thought I would suggest mentioning towbar security and A Frame bolt security. I say this as I had to re-torque the towbar to  chassis bolts due to being loose, also noticed one year when Our van was serviced the engineer was testing the damper and as he pushed I noticed the hitch lifted so he removed the fairing and found all bolts were loose too. 

Worth checking. 🤔👍

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A regular poster, Shipbroker, sadly no longer with us, towed regularly with a 2011 KX1. Don't think he mentioned any issues with it, though he missed his Rexton. I would guess that in addition to SLS, the KX3 and above models would have different wheel/tyre combinations, probably larger diameter with wider, lower profile tyres. 

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Over the years, I have had 4 Sorentos and towed over 20,000 miles with them, I tow a single axle Eccles Moonstone weighing in at  1650kg. 

I have never had a moments trouble or hint of instability when towing with any of them.

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12 hours ago, Dobloseven said:

A regular poster, Shipbroker, sadly no longer with us, towed regularly with a 2011 KX1. Don't think he mentioned any issues with it, though he missed his Rexton. I would guess that in addition to SLS, the KX3 and above models would have different wheel/tyre combinations, probably larger diameter with wider, lower profile tyres. 

You are correct, kx1 and kx2 have 17" wheels the kx3 has 18 2010 -2014 

 

I feel mine kx2 (2014) tows better with my summer wheels which are 18" rather than the 17" I use in winter.

 

Danny

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43 minutes ago, Dannyp said:

You are correct, kx1 and kx2 have 17" wheels the kx3 has 18 2010 -2014 

 

I feel mine kx2 (2014) tows better with my summer wheels which are 18" rather than the 17" I use in winter.

 

Danny

 

Smaller rims with higher profile tyres will have potentially less sideways stability than larger rims with lower profile tyres - it's worth fitting XL tyres which have stiffer sidewalls and resist punctures better as a bonus.

 

My Touareg is fine on 17" winter tyres and stability is no different to the 19" summer tyres - but that doesn't help a Sorento owner!

Edited by Black Grouse

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