- A minivan bargain
- Lots of standard features
- Reasonably brisk performance
- Seating isn't the most flexible
- Recent safety scores are lower
The aging Kia Sedona still offers the usual minivan virtues of people-carrying and cargo-toting, but there are newer, more flexible, safer choices.
The only Korean-brand minivan on the market, the Kia Sedona carries a family-friendly vibe into what's likely its last year on sale in its current form. The Sedona has lagged the pack on utility and gas mileage, and its only changes for the new model year are minor.
Spruced up in the 2011 model year with a new face and a revised powertrain, the Sedona soldiers on with its 3.5-liter V-6 with 271 horsepower, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission complete with a sport mode. Gas mileage is better, up to 18/25 mpg, and the Sedona's performance is of the reasonably brisk variety that's common to almost all minivans--not too fast, not too slow. Handling is soft, especially compared with the slightly perky Nissan Quest.
Two factors weigh against the Sedona for serious minivan shoppers. The first is safety scores just released by the IIHS. Long a "good" performer in front- and side-impact protection, the Sedona's roof-strength rating earned a "poor" grade, the lowest of all minivans. That keeps it from being a Top Safety Pick, an honor bestowed on the Chrysler, Honda and Toyota minivans. The NHTSA hasn't tested the latest Sedona, though. It does come with standard curtain airbags and stability control, as well as Bluetooth, with an option for rear parking sensors and a rearview camera.
The other prime minivan directive is flexibility, and here the Sedona is competitive, lagging behind the Chryslers along with the Odyssey and Sienna. Grand Caravans and Town & Country minivans have two rows of seats in back that fold into the floor; the Sedona and other vans (except the Quest) have sliding second-row seats and a fold-away third-row bench. With the downsizing of the Quest's interior, though, the Sedona is no longer the smallest minivan, in terms of cubic feet of cabin space.
The Sedona has a fairly long list of standard features, including power features, air conditioning, satellite radio, and steering-wheel audio and phone controls. An EX model comes with power rear-quarter windows and a rearview camera. Options include a DVD entertainment system, a CD changer, and wireless headphones, as well as a navigation system. The Sedona lags behind the Chryslers with their in-car satellite TV and wireless connectivity, and the Sienna with its marvelous 16.4-inch-wide LCD entertainment screen.For an in-depth review of this minivan, turn to TheCarConnection's most recent review of the Kia Sedona.