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Can You Flat Tow A Kia Sorento?

Are you trying to go on a long cross-country road trip on your camper van but still want to have a small and compact vehicle like a Kia Sorento with you? Then you might want to consider flat towing it. But have you ever thought, are  Sorentos flat towable? In this article, we will answer just that. We have researched and asked the experts. This is what we found out. 

You cannot flat-tow any iteration of the Kia Sorento since it has been automatic transmission since 2010. You can only flat tow a Kia Sorento if it is a manual transmission. Thankfully, you can still bring your Sorento to your cross-country road trip by either towing it with a trailer or through a tow dolly.

Modern Sorentos are not flat towable regardless of the year, model, trim, or drivetrain. The main reason is that they were not made with flat towing in mind. 

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Now that we know Kia Sorentos are non-flat-towable, continue reading as we discuss other additional questions, such as what other Kia models can be flat towed, can the Sorento be used to tow, the most ideal flat-towed vehicle in the market, and many more. We will suggest some informative and helpful articles at the end of this post, so finish until the end to learn more about them by the end. 

Flat towing a Kia Sorento

Sadly, you cannot flat tow a Kia Sorento because the modern iterations of the vehicle are all equipped with an automatic transmission. 

Kia Sorento Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) on display

Having an automatic transmission will likely hinder your vehicle from being flat towed. Although some car brands will allow this even with an automatic transmission, this is not the case with Kia.

To flat tow a Kia Sorento, you must have a manual transmission. This means that the latest Kia Sorento with a flat towable model would be from 2010 and older, as this was the last Kia ever produced a manual for their Sorento line. Luckily, there are other ways that you can flat tow your Sorento, even if it is the latest model.

You can use a tow dolly if you have a front-wheel drive Sorento. A tow dolly is a small trailer where you only put the front wheels of your vehicle on the dolly trailer and let the rear wheels touch the ground as you travel.

First, you must confirm that you have a front-wheel drive and not an all-wheel drive, as having the latter and towing it in a dolly will damage the transmission system (more on this later).

Another option is having a full trailer that you load the Kia Sorento onto. This method will allow any model of the Sorento to be towed. A downside to this is the added weight of the trailer to be towed.

It would also be more difficult to load and unload your Sorento if you try to use it. Using a Wheel-lift method, like how tow trucks tow, is also not advisable, as most camper vans would not be compatible to do it. 

Simply put, the Kia Sorento was not made for the concept of being flat towed behind a motor home on the freeway. It was made to be a family car or a personal commuter vehicle with the purpose of being driven and not being towed. 

What other Kia models can be flat towed?

KIA Soul on display during Abu Dhabi Int'l Motor Show 2010 at Abu Dhabi Int'l Exhibition Centre

The only Kia model available for flat towing is the Kia Soul Turbo with a dual-clutch automatic transmission and the Kia Forte GT with a dual-clutch transmission.

Remember that Kia as a brand is not really known for recreational use such as flat towing, off-roading, Overlanding, etc. Kia has always made vehicles that are meant to be driven either in the city or on the highway. They are daily commute cars and family vehicles meant to be used with utility in mind.

Their brand has always been about urban use. You can go on long road trips with your Kia, but other activities, such as camping and flat towing, will play outside of Kia's brand identity. That is why they have very limited flat towable vehicles. 

Can the Kia Sorento tow?

The all-new 2022 Kia Sorento can tow up to 3,500 lbs. But Kia will require you to have the tow package installed in order for you to achieve the maximum towing performance for your Sorento.

Below is the Kia Sorento Towing capacity per engine choice.

2.5L DOHC 4-Cylinder Engine: 

  • 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque
  • 8-speed automatic transmission
  • EPA-estimated combined MPG of 24 (FWD) and 29 mpg (AWD)
  • 2,000 pounds maximum towing capacity

Turbocharged 2.5L DOHC 4-Cylinder Engine: 

  • 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque
  • EPA-estimated combined MPG of 22 (FWD) and 29 mpg (AWD)
  • 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (wet type)
  • 3,500 pounds maximum towing capacity

Belo is some of the new Sorento towing features available in its tow package. 

  • Adaptive AWD with Lock Mode
  • All-Weather Capability
  • Safe Exit Assist
  • Drive Mode Select with Snow Mode
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Torque-Vectoring Cornering Control
  • Hill-Start Assist Control
  • Blind Spot Collision Warning & Avoidance Assist

What is the easiest vehicle to tow behind a motorhome?

A parked green Jeep Wrangle

The Jeep Wrangler is widely considered to be one of the forefront favorite and easiest vehicles to be flat towed behind a motorhome. This is due to how the wrangler was mainly designed; it was designed to be used this way.

It has an offering of both manual and automatic transmissions, and even some of its automatic transmissions will allow you to flat tow it. 

Another thing for the Wrangler is that it does not have a speed limit while it is flat towed. The Wrangler's versatility and off-road capabilities also favor it as one of the best flat towed vehicles in the market, as you can go almost anywhere. You can go on off-road adventures on trips that your motor home cannot access.

Does flat towing damage the transmission of your vehicle?

Does flat towing damage the transmission of your vehicle

Flat towing will not damage your vehicle's transmission if the vehicle you are flat towing is meant to be flat towed and you followed the proper procedures on how to do it.

For the majority, an automatic transmission vehicle would not be flat towable due to the design of its drivetrain. When flat towing, you need to set your gears to neutral for the transmission to free-wheel while being pulled as all wheels are touching the ground. This is simple if you have a manual drivetrain.

For automatic ones, putting the gear into neutral will not be that simple due to the transmission not being lubricated if it is in neutral. Only when it is running will the vehicle be able to lubricate your transmission.

Lubrication is important as it avoids the wear and tear of your vehicle's metal parts, especially if they are moving parts like the transmission. As metal to metal hits each other, they are prone to damage, but lubrication lessens the damage and helps it last longer. 

This is one downside of the automotive industry's inclination towards having an automatic transmission future. Every year, fewer and fewer manual vehicles are being produced, and as a result, fewer cars are flat towable. 

But as innovation continues, it will not be impossible for car manufacturers to make automatic vehicles flat towable, especially since a niche group could be targeted as sales for this type of vehicle. 

Why flat tow a vehicle?

The idea of flat towing is having an extra, more compact vehicle for you to use on your road trip aside from your camper. Your RV will be big. It will either be a big camper van or a bus. Having a small vehicle like a sedan or compact SUV with you will allow you to roam places where your RV is too big to go.

For example, if you are visiting a big city like New York, it would be easier to go sightseeing in the city in your smaller vehicle than your camper van. You just need to park your RV outside the city, get on your flat towed truck, and drive around. This eliminates the need for you to call a taxi or an uber. 

In review

Kia Sorento 2020 Test Drive Day

Kia Sorentos are not flat towable due to them being automatic transmissions. You would have to find an older version of the Kia Sorento in manual transmission in order for you to flat tow the vehicle. But the problem won't stop there, as you might have trouble attaching the vehicle to your camper van as they might not have a tow hitch. 

Kias were purposely made to be urban vehicles, not recreational ones, so few models are flat towable. Although you can tow other methods, such as using a tow dolly or full trailer. But there are still drawbacks. For the tow dolly, only front-wheel drives can be towed this way. While using a full trailer will allow you to tow any type of Sorento, you will have the extra weight of the trailer to be towed. 

We hope that you learned something from reading the article above. Check out these related posts below, all about flat towing. 

Can You Flat Tow A Lincoln Navigator?

Can You Flat Tow A Toyota Highlander?

Can A Nissan Kicks Be Flat Towed?