Can a Kia Sorento pull a pop up camper?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can a Kia Sorento pull a pop up camper? We will review Kia Sorento’s behaviour on the road, towing capacity and performance. 

Can a Kia Sorento pull a pop up camper?

Yes, a Kia Sorento can pull a pop-up camper, a boat trailer, a lightweight horse trailer and even a smaller utility trailer. A Kia Sorento has a maximum towing capacity of 5000 lbs/2500 kg (depending on the manufacture year and braked/unbraked trailer). Please see the table below for more details. 

Kia Sorento Towing capacity

YearTowing capacity for an unbraked trailer (kg)Towing capacity for a braked trailer (kg)
202120002000
202020002000
201920002000
201820002000
201720002000
201620002000
201520002000
201420002000
201320002000
201220002500
201120002500
201020002500
200920002800
200823002800
200723002800
200623002800
200523002300
200423002300
200323002300

What is it like towing with a Kia Sorento?

Many people consider the Kia Sorento a camouflaged off-road vehicle since under its modern SUV skin, the machinery of a real 4×4 was hidden. The Korean brand leaves out, with the new generation of Sorento, all those lovers of traditional off-road vehicles who do not even want a car that is manufactured like a modern passenger car in paint.

 Kia is now betting on all those potential customers who want a 4×4 to drive like a normal car: the second Sorento is a modern SUV.

It is clear that all this has its positive and pleasant side, even when you go with a trailer in tow, especially if you have the diesel engine of the Sorento II, which, with a displacement of 2.2 litres and four common-rail cylinders, reserves you many joys. 

The R-Engine represents an immense step forward from the 2.5-litre of its predecessor and made by VM. The new one works in a refined, but not absolutely exemplary way, and is capable of pulling without load already with enough force and at low revs. 

The maximum power of 197 hp is achieved from 3,800 rpm, but things get interesting from 1,300 laps. Therefore, a high lap driving style does absolutely nothing. It is much better to change gear at 2,500 revolutions.

In this way, the Sorento is able to tow two tons quickly and without problems. Up to sixth gear is very good: it saves fuel and works perfectly at 1,500 revs. If you suddenly have to face a slope, nothing happens: you change to fourth and at 2,000 laps there is no 10% rise to resist.

So, let’s be clear: if you move on normal roads, you will not have problems. Of course, now you have to know what happens if things get ugly and slippery, that moment when an old Sorento took an axe out of its sleeve and pulled the reducer and rigid coupling for both axes.

On a 14 percent incline, the Sorento II is capable of starting with two tonnes in tow if the driver is clever with the clutch and throttle. On the other hand, if the road is wet or does not grip well, things change a lot.

Kia Sorento: performance when towing

The Sorento II’s all-wheel-drive system transmits power, as is customary today, to the front wheels and when they start to skid, the multi-plate clutch closes and puts the rear axle to work … Wonderful.

On the other hand, when, for example, you have to start with a trailer on your back and the road surface has little grip, the Korean system does not react so well: the standard ESP, here called ESC, reacts with panic to the wheel that is skidding and ends up slowing down … not caring what the driver orders. 

The engine dies and period. If this happens to you, I recommend that the next time, you clutch slowly so that the front wheels do not suddenly become overwhelmed with too much torque. It takes experience and patience to get a good start and the clutch responds as you ask.

In any case, when you are so loaded, the best you can do is disconnect the ESP and start with the necessary power: the front wheels skid a little, but the starter will work yes or yes. 

If you tackle slopes that are too steep and turn off the ESP, the clutch may overheat and the yellow control lamp on the rev counter will pop out. The Kia then begins to work only with the front-wheel-drive or, rather, it does not move at all, since the front wheels begin to skid as they would in any front-wheel-drive car.

In this case, the 4×4 traction is reactivated after a brief cooling pause and a new start of the engine.

Anyway, do not worry, because I am talking about extreme situations that you will not have to face on a regular basis. Typically, the Sorento shoots reliably, quickly and economically. It is clear, it does not have the same guts as its predecessor, but it consumes about three litres less than its older brother. 

It swallows exactly 12.8 l / 100 km during the test cycle, which puts it in the top ten of our 65 towing vehicles: 8th place, exactly 45 places ahead of its predecessor, the Sorento I.

The body is 1.75m high and provides a pleasant feeling of space, despite the fact that its waistline rises a lot behind. It also offers an elevated driving position that allows you to have a magnificent view of the traffic. 

There is plenty of room for passengers and luggage: under the boot floor, there is, if you do not put an optional third row of seats, a very large space for luggage. The chassis is firm, but comfortable and safe: with the trailer in tow and going fast, it controls the roll in a way that no one misses the ESP.

Conclusions

The new edition of the Kia Sorento is a completely different car than its predecessor. It has the advantages and disadvantages of modern SUVs with normal car platforms: with great advances in fuel consumption and driving performance. 

Of course, when pulling heavy loads on steep slopes with poorly adherent surfaces, you need a fairly expert driver behind the wheel.

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or comments regarding the content. 

FAQ on Can a Kia Sorento pull a pop-up camper?

What size camper can a Kia Sorento pull?

A Kia Sorento can pull any camper that weighs up to 3500 lbs. It is thus capable of towing a lightweight trailer, pop-up camper, boat trailer or one horse trailer. 

Can you tow with a Kia Sorento?

Yes, you can tow with a Kia Sorento. The car has a powerful V6 engine and new features that will help you tow in safety even in more rough conditions. 

What SUV can pull a pop-up camper?

The following SUVs are the best for pulling a pop-up camper:

  1. Jeep Grand Cherokee;
  2. Land Rover Discovery;
  3. Ford Explorer;
  4. Dodge Durango;
  5. Nissan Pathfinder. 

References