Kia Sorento is a midsize SUV available in 4 generations for the 2003-2023 models. It has good fuel economy and can cover a considerable distance with a single gas tank. However, knowing how far it can go with the gas light on is crucial information for any driver as it gives him an idea to look for the next fuel station on the way.
How Far Can a Kia Sorento Go With The Gas Light On? Kia Sorento can cover a distance of 34 to 54 miles on the remaining 1 to 3 gallons with the gas light On. It is 15-36 miles for 2003-2009 models, while it is about 34-45 miles for 2011-2015 variants. The 2016-2020 variants can go 40-50 miles, and the 2021-2023 models cover about 45-65 miles on reserve fuel. The hybrid version of the SUV can travel around 40-80 miles with the gas light warning.
We will discuss other factors, including tank size, vehicle fuel economy, and engine type effect on the distance you can cover. You will also find the possible error codes that can trigger due to low fuel.
Kia Sorento gas tank capacity for different model years
The Kia Sorento’s gas tank size has variations across different model years. From 2003 to 2009, it had a larger gas tank with a capacity of 21.1 gallons. In the subsequent years, there were changes in size.
For example, from 2011-2013, it reduces to 18 gallons, and for the years 2014-2015, you will find it 17.4 gallons.
From 2016-2020, it can cater to 18.8 gallons of gasoline suitable for long trips. For the latest model years of 2021-2023, the gas tank size is 17.7 gallons, which is sufficient considering the improved fuel economy of the latest and hybrid models.
These figures should be taken into consideration by drivers when planning their refueling stops for different years.
Fuel economy of Kia Sorento
The fuel economy of the Kia Sorento can vary based on the model year, engine type, drivetrain, and driving conditions. We will present the approximate figures in miles per gallon (mpg) for different years of the SUV.
The 2021-2023 variants have approximately 24-26 mpg combined, while hybrid variants during these years have good mileage of as high as 36-37 mpg. The 2016-2020 variants have 20-25 mpg combined with different engine options available.
Moving back in time, the 2014-2015 variants have an estimated mileage of approximately 20-23 mpg combined for an average of city and highway areas. Similarly, the 2011-2013 models achieve about 20-24 mpg combined fuel economy.
The earlier variants from 2003 to 2009 offer around 15-18 mpg combined for different drive configurations and engine options.
Low fuel warning light on Kia Sorento
You can locate the low fuel warning light on the instrument cluster of the Kia Sorento, along with other dashboard warning lights. It is an essential indicator that alerts the driver when the fuel level in the gas tank is reaching a critical level and requires refueling the vehicle promptly.
It has an icon of a gas pump with the words “LOW FUEL” in some models. With the help of a float, the fuel level sensor continuously measures the gas level in the tank and sends this information to the vehicle’s onboard computer or instrument cluster.
When the gas drops to a predetermined threshold, the computer or other electronic mechanism triggers the low fuel warning light to flash on the dashboard. Once the light activates, it remains on until you refuel the SUV or until its gasoline level rises above the predetermined threshold.
Amount of gas left in the tank with the gas light on Kia Sorento
Kia Sorento has approximately 1-3 gallons of gas left in the tank when low fuel warning light triggers. However, it depends on the model year, tank size, and vehicle position on the ground.
You cannot use all of the remaining gas because older vehicles can have sediments accumulated on the tank floor which can hinder the pump from getting that fuel or result in its malfunctioning due to debris blocking its inlet.
Therefore, as per estimates based on various surveys, you have a useful reserve of 1-2 gallons for 2003-2009 models. It is 1.7-2.3 gallons for 2011-2015 variants. For the 2016-2020 models, you have the remaining 2-2.5 gallons of fuel, and it is about 2-3 gallons for the 2021-2023 variants.
Distance covered by Kia Sorento with the gas light on
Based on the fuel economy and the estimated amount of gas left in the tank, the approximate distance the Kia Sorento covers can vary depending on several factors. For 2003-2009 models, you can travel as far as 15-36 miles on the reserve gas.
You can go for 34-45 miles for the 2011-2015 model years of the SUV. You can cover 40-50 miles for 2016-2020 models with the low gas light on.
For 2021-2023 models, you can travel about 45-65 miles on the remaining amount when the low fuel indicator triggers. It is imperative to reiterate that these numbers have the basis of approximate calculations and surveys on data from different drivers.
The actual distance can vary based on several factors, including driving conditions, drivetrain, driving habits, and model year.
How far can the hybrid model of the Kia Sorento go with an empty tank?
Generally, hybrid vehicles are more fuel-efficient than traditional gasoline-only vehicles, which means they can cover a greater distance with the gas light on.
Hybrid models use a combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, making them more economical in specific driving scenarios.
For 2021-2023 hybrid models of Kia Sorento, having an average of 36-37 mpg, you can go for about 40-80 miles with a warning indication on the dashboard.
This variation in the range is due to various factors, including battery charge level, driving conditions, and individual driving habits.
Error codes associated with the low gas light on Kia Sorento
Sometimes, the low fuel warning light on Kia Sorento can trigger specific error codes that you can read using the OBD tool.
They are usually related to the fuel system or its components, such as a low fuel pressure code, faulty fuel pump, fuel pressure sensor, or an emission-related issue. If the low gas light comes on and is accompanied by a check engine light, it indicates a fault in any fuel system component.
One such error code is P0087 for fuel rail system pressure too low. Low fuel levels can cause the pump to overheat and malfunction, resulting in this fault.
Moreover, the lack of gasoline also triggers this error as the fuel pressure sensor sends a signal to ECU that the gas delivered by the pump is less than the engine requirements.
Effect of engine type on the number of miles with low fuel warning
The type of engine installed in the Kia Sorento can indeed impact the number of miles the vehicle can travel with an empty tank.
If motor size in terms of displacement increases, its mpg rating will decrease as it can take more fuel and produce more power.
Therefore, you will cover more distance with smaller displacement engines like 2.0-liter I4 and 2.4-liter I4 compared to the 3.3-liter V6 engine in the 2016 variant.
Similarly, if available in certain markets, diesel engines have better mileage than gasoline engines, affecting the number of miles the vehicle can travel with low gas light.