We’ve written extensively about the Kia Sorento and its capabilities on this blog. Today we’re going to look at where the Sorento is made. This seems to be a straightforward question, but this car consists of many components (engine, transmission, tires, etc.) made in different parts of the world. Let’s start with a quick answer:
Kia Sorento manufactured from 2021 onwards are assembled in West Point, Georgia. The Smartstream engines it uses are made by Hyundai in Montgomery, Alabama. It has a 6-speed and an 8-speed automatic transmission made in West Point, Georgia, and an 8-speed DCT made by Hyundai in South Korea or China.
However, that certainly doesn’t answer the question entirely. Below, we’ll first dive into detail about the assembly location. After, that we’ll give you the complete rundown of where Kia Sorento engines are made, and we’ll do the same for all transmissions used in this vehicle. Finally, we’ll talk about how to identify which tires you have and where they are manufactured precisely. Read on!
Assembly Locations Per Generation
The first generation of the Kia Sorento (2002 – 2009) was assembled in three different locations. For the American market, the Sorento was most likely assembled in Hwaseong, South Korea, which is one of the primary plants of Kia. Other locations included Gurun, Malaysia, and Izhevsk, Russia.
The second generation of the Sorento (2011 – 2015 for the North American market) was assembled in West Point, Georgia, for the United States and Canada. The Hwaseong plant in South Korea was also still a vital assembly facility. Because the Sorento proved to be quite popular several assembly locations were added. These included: Kaliningrad, Russia, Oskemen, Kazahkstan, Gurun, Malaysia, and Chu Lai, Vietnam.
The third generation (2016 – 2020) was assembled mainly in the exact locations of the previous generation. These included South Korea, the United States, Malaysia, and Russia. Batna, Algeria, Karachi, Pakistan, and Egypt were added to the list of assembly locations.
The fourth and current generation (2021 – Present) is assembled in West Point, Georgia, for the North American market. Other assembly locations include Hwaseong, South Korea, and Chu Lai, Vietnam.
Another essential part of a car is its engine. The Sorento has been around for two decades, which means it has had its fair share of different engines manufactured in other locations, some better than others. Something that we have to note here is that Sorento engines (and Kia engines in general) are mainly sourced from Hyundai. This is because Hyundai is the parent company of Kia, and they are primarily responsible for designing and building the engines.
The first generation of the Kia Sorento used Sirius II, Lambda V6, and Sigma V6 petrol engines and an A diesel engine.
The Sirius II engines were, at the time, licensed from Mitsubishi by Hyundai. It’s unclear whether Hyundai built those themselves (which would have likely happened in Ulsan or Asan, South Korea) or that they were made by Mitsubishi, which would have occurred in Shiga, Japan, and Shenyang, China.
Hyundai made the Sigma V6 engines in Ulsan or Asan, South Korea. The Lambda V6 engines were manufactured by Hyundai in their plant in Montgomery, Alabama.
The second generation of the Sorento used Theta II, Lambda II, and Mu petrol engines and R II diesel engines. The Theta II and Lambda II engines were made in Montgomery, Alabama. The Mu petrol engines were a variation of the earlier Delta V6 engines and were, therefore, most likely made in Asan, South Korea, and Shandong, China. The R II diesel engine was made in Gurugram, India, where Hyundai manufactures all of its diesel engines.
The third generation uses Theta II, Lambda II, and R II engines, and the manufacturing locations of these engines are the same as for the second generation.
The fourth and current generation of the Sorento Kia exclusively uses Smartstream engines made by Hyundai in Montgomery, Alabama. At this plant, Hyundai also makes Smartstream engines for the Sonata and Santa Fe.
The transmissions are always an interesting part to figure out for a Kia. This is because Hyundai has traditionally also been responsible for these components. Therefore, most of the transmissions are made by a subsidiary named Hyundai TRANSYS, which has locations worldwide. Furthermore, Hyundai did start making its own 6-speed automatic, and later an 8-speed automatic, in its plant in Georgia.
The transmissions for the first generation of the Sorento are only made by Hyundai. The second generation has a 6-speed automatic made in West Point, Georgia; all other transmissions are made by Hyundai. The third generation has a 6-speed manual made by Hyundai and a 6-speed and 8-speed automatic made by Kia in Georgia. The fourth and current generation has a 6-speed and 8-speed automatic made by Kia and an 8-speed DCT made by Hyundai.
All transmissions made by Hyundai Transys are manufactured in one of the following locations.
The manual transmissions are most likely source from one of the following plants:
- Seongyeon, South Korea
- Beijng, China
The automatic transmissions (that are not 6-speed or 8-speed) are sourced from these plants:
- Jigok, South Korea
- Rizhao City, China
The DCT transmissions are made in of these plants:
- Jigok, South Korea
- Beijing, China
- Rizhao City, China
Another essential part of the driving experience is the kind of tires used. Research on different forums revealed that Kia has used several different tire manufacturers for the OEM tires of a Kia Sorento. These include Michelin, Nexen, Hankook and Kumho.
Michelin has four locations in the USA where they manufacture passenger tires. These are as follows:
- Tuscaloosa, Alabama
- Ardmore, Oklahoma
- Greenville, South Carolina
- Lexington, South Carolina
Hankook has one location in the United States:
- Clarksville, Tennessee
Nexen has three manufacturing locations, all of them outside of the USA:
- Yangsan and Seoul, South Korea
- Qingdao, China.
Kumho makes tires in the following six plants (all outside of the USA):
- Pyeongtaek, South Korea
- Gokseong, South Korea
- Gwangju, South Korea
- Tianjin, China
- Nanjing, China
- Changchun, China
The Kia Sorento, although often assumed to be solely a South Korean product, is a global endeavor. With its assembly taking place in West Point, Georgia, and components like the Smartstream engines and transmissions coming from both the United States and Asia, the Sorento is a blend of international efforts. Being aware of these details not only enhances our understanding of this versatile SUV but also shows how interconnected the world of auto manufacturing has become. All in all, the Sorento serves as a prime example of how global collaboration can create a product that appeals to a wide range of consumers.
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
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