Kia Sorento / Diesel suitability

Jul 30, 2020
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Hi ,

Appreciate there's a recent thread on here on the Sorento but I had a specific question. Hoping to become a caravan owner soon (see https://forums.practicalcaravan.com/threads/planning-first-caravan-advice.61379/)

I've narrowed down choice to the Sorento for the tow car - currently a Skoda Octavia owner so you can see I like value for money! That's also a diesel and I'm very happy with it. I'm not fussed about MPG / efficiency whatsoever - just needs to be reliable and nice to drive.

So the only question I have - I work from home so the only driving I tend to do day to day is town driving - the 2 mile roundtrip to school and back, supermarket etc.

I know that a diesel is a bad choice for this type of driving with the darn DPF, but is anyone else using a Sorento like this? I'm figuring I can manage it carefully and live close enough to some motorways so I could easily schedule some regular driving above 50mph to ensure the DPF is getting cleaned sufficiently well.

Or should I consider an alternative petrol car? (I'm not a car expert, but my understanding is petrol engines provide lower torque and not as nice to tow?)

Thanks
 
Nov 11, 2009
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You can manage the DPF as you are aware of what needs to be done. I’ve changed from a 2.0 Skoda 170ps diesel as it was a lemon and decided to return to petrol. My Forester has plenty of torque right up the Rev range. There are petrol vehicles that will tow very well but the mpg will be much less than a diesel. But that doesn’t bother me as our Kia Rio runabout easily makes 50 mpg on local journeys, so the petrol tow car gets used for longer trips or if it just needs run out.
Even being petrol we try not to use our cars for short journeys. Obviously we can’t rule out all short trips but then we will take an extended route of up to 5 miles or so on faster roads either going or coming back.
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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It'll depend on your usage pattern - towing uses higher power setting than normal so the DPF should get a good passive regeneration to counter your short journeys otherwise - so it all depends what the mileage proportion is.
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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The DPF shouldn't give any trouble if you're going to tow fairly regularly.
Newer Sorento's are ULEZ compliant and if the DPF warning light comes on a good (legal) blast down the motorway with the auto transmission held in a lower than top gear should sort it out.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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The first series Sorentos didn’t have DPFs. They had a tendency to get blocked EGR valves, otherwise fine. I’d suggest once a week you give the engine a good blast for a few miles just to keep the injectors , valves etc carbon free. An engine that doesn’t get fully warmed up regularly is not good😢
 
Nov 6, 2005
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The first series Sorentos didn’t have DPFs. They had a tendency to get blocked EGR valves, otherwise fine. I’d suggest once a week you give the engine a good blast for a few miles just to keep the injectors , valves etc carbon free. An engine that doesn’t get fully warmed up regularly is not good😢
All turbo-diesels need an "Italian tune-up" occasionally - the turbo vanes need to exercised through their full range of movement otherwise they can seize.
 
Oct 8, 2006
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To clear the DPF requires 30 minutes drive at 2000rpm - thats all.

OR tow your caravan with it - that will clear in a trip around the block(ish)!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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To clear the DPF requires 30 minutes drive at 2000rpm - thats all.

OR tow your caravan with it - that will clear in a trip around the block(ish)!
With my XC 70 that would have been neigh impossible other than keeping it in manual but even then holding 2000 rpm for 30 minutes in a rural area isn’t practical. I never had any DPF issues with a 2010 D5 XC70 or a 2014 2.0 170ps Superb auto. Despite not being able tow very often. Once manufacturers realised that not every diesel driver spends all day on motorways at 70 mph they started to make changes to DPF location and engine software. The last of the Defenders had the DPF close to the exhaust manifold as JLR realised that farmers could be starting up on cold mornings and only doing some short journeys to check stock.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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To clear the DPF requires 30 minutes drive at 2000rpm - thats all.

OR tow your caravan with it - that will clear in a trip around the block(ish)!
It depends on how blocked it has become. If it's too blocked, it might need a garage to initiate a high level cleaning cycle which runs the DPF at a very high temperature under controlled conditions. In the worst case the DPF may need to be replaced.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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It depends on how blocked it has become. If it's too blocked, it might need a garage to initiate a high level cleaning cycle which runs the DPF at a very high temperature under controlled conditions. In the worst case the DPF may need to be replaced.
My DPF fitted cars had a warning light which if it came on amber you would need to continue driving to clear it. This required a steady speed for 20 minutes not specifically a motorway blast. They also had a red light which meant stop immediately. This would need dealer regeneration.
 
May 7, 2012
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The diesel will need a trip down the motorway for 20 miles or so from time to time to prevent DPF problems. basically it is a question of if you are prepared to accept this. Petrol cars will tow adequetly if you go for one. Make sure it has decent torque though, and be prepared for fuel bills being a bit higher with more gear changing on hills.
 
Apr 6, 2017
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I think a lot of the bad press the DPF has got is due to the wrong car being sold for the wrong job. If you drive less than a few miles to work and back with a hardly warmed up engine then Diesel is not for you. Maybe a bicycle would be better!
If annual mileage is less than 10k then a petrol is cheaper than a diesel in most cases as the purchase price of the diesel car is a lot higher that an equivalent petrol model.
If you need loads of torque, do a lot of miles and live 10 miles from work then a diesel works well.
 

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