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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
this baby was kind of hard to steer
responds to the accelerator with enthusiasm
the transmission shifts almost imperceptibly
Car and Driver
comfortable for a minivan, but it is not quite car-like
Whether you're opting for the base SWB, or LX or EX versions of the LWB version, all 2010 Sedonas are powered by a 244-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6. Although a little coarser-sounding than some of the V-6 engines in rival vans, the engine is relatively smooth and has plenty of torque to move either version quickly with the five-speed automatic transmission—which is smooth but a bit slow to downshift at times.
J.D. Power reports that "the Kia Sedona responds to the accelerator with enthusiasm.” Motor Trend notes that "acceleration proved to be enough to give it a fighting chance in cutthroat Los Angeles traffic, making it a sleeper of sorts...passing nimbler sedans or meaner-looking SUVs made driving a minivan easier on the ego."
Reviewers are split on how well the automatic transmission performs. Car and Driver attests that "the transmission shifts almost imperceptibly," but ConsumerGuide says "the automatic transmission [was] very slow to kick down." J.D. Power also reports that the Sedona "is geared for rapid acceleration if the driver pushes down on the pedal with authority, or it smoothly upshifts at low rpm when moving along in a leisurely fashion."
Thanks to revised engine tuning for 2010, the Sedona achieves a slight boost in city fuel economy; it's now rated at 17 mpg city, 23 highway, which is about the same as other minivans. Testing a previous model-year version of the Sedona, Motor Trend said that they averaged "17.9 mph for the life of the car.” ConsumerGuide reports figures of "22.7 mpg in mostly highway driving, 18.1 with more city use."
Reviewers overall describe the Sedona's handling as competent but not exciting. J.D. Power declares, "Kia has done a terrific job with the suspension tuning on the Sedona," later calling it absorbent yet stable, "with a little extra communication tossed in for the driver and motion control for the passengers." MotherProof doesn't like the Sedona's handling as much, saying, "this baby was kind of hard to steer...it often felt as if it just didn't know how to move the parts it came equipped with." Maneuverability leaves something to be desired, however; while the Kia Sedona 2009's "39.6-foot turning circle isn't out of line for a vehicle of its size, the Sedona isn't as maneuverable in tight parking lots as some of its competitors," according to Kelley Blue Book.
The 2010 Kia Sedona accelerates well, but its steering and handling aren't exciting.