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The Kia Sedona may not be the first name you think of when shopping for a used minivan. Right out of the gate, the Sedona had almost everything needed to be a success in the minivan segment, but it was pudgy, weighing some 400-700 pounds more than its rivals, which blunted acceleration at higher speeds and didn't do much for cornering ability. Still, overall performance was relatively refined, if not exciting.
With the second-generation Sedona benefiting from a diet and more power under the hood, Kia's minivan was no longer huffing and puffing to catch up to the more expensive class leaders. Plus, it delivered in the key areas of build quality, passenger comfort, crash test scores and storage space.
Although the Sedona has been eclipsed by more recently redesigned rivals in a few areas, it will likely provide most everything a minivan consumer could want. Factor in the Sedona's lower purchase price and you're looking at a solid value for families on a tighter budget.
Most Recent Kia Sedona
The second-generation Kia Sedona minivan debuted in 2006 and ran through 2012. Originally, this Sedona was powered by a 3.8-liter V6 with 244 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. Output went up to 250 hp from 2007-'09, but was dropped back to 244 for 2010. A five-speed automatic was standard on the Sedona for those years.
For 2011 and '12, the Sedona received a more sophisticated 3.5-liter V6 rated at 271 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. It was matched to a six-speed automatic. Given its superior power and fuel economy, we recommend trying to get a Sedona with the 3.5-liter engine if you can.
Most Sedonas have the typical minivan interior layout, meaning seven-passenger capacity with second-row captain's chairs and a 60/40-split third row that folds into the floor. Sized similarly to most other minivans, the Sedona offered plenty of legroom for all three rows, though the third-row seat suffers from a low cushion and limited headroom for taller folks. Maximum cargo space was a generous 142 cubic feet, and plenty of cubbies were available for quick stowage of things like cell phones, purses and snacks. From 2007-'10, the Sedona was also offered in a short-wheelbase model that gave up 5 inches to the regular Sedona and featured a 50/50-split removable third-row bench. It was offered in base trim only.
Inside, the Sedona was somewhat plain but not at all unattractive. Most cabin materials were of decent quality, but there were a few cheap-feeling elements here and there. Gauges and controls were easy to use, apart from the less-than-intuitive manual climate control.
Available in LX and EX trim levels, even the most basic Sedona had a full complement of safety features, front and rear climate controls, keyless entry, full power features and, for 2009 and later, satellite radio and an iPod/USB audio jack. Bluetooth connectivity was added for 2011. Springing for the EX means added luxury features such as alloy wheels, a power liftgate, power seats and a trip computer. Leather upholstery, a DVD entertainment system, a navigation system and a rearview camera were optional on the EX.
Overall, the Sedona is a respectable choice for a minivan, but it's worth noting that the offerings from Chrysler, Honda, Nissan and Toyota were all updated or redesigned during the Sedona's last few years and were typically superior in terms of refinement and extra features. The Sedona was always a great choice in terms of value, however, and a used Sedona will likely be priced considerably less than its rivals in comparable condition.
Past Kia Sedona Models
The first-generation Kia Sedona ran from 2002-'05 and went with the "most features for the money" strategy. But in addition to providing a lot for families on a tight budget, the Sedona also boasted excellent build quality and impressive crash test scores. However, compared to its successors, this Sedona was 400 pounds heavier and its modest 3.5-liter 195-hp V6 didn't help matters. Two trim levels were offered: well-equipped LX and plusher EX.
The debit side of the ledger included a portly weight of 4,800 pounds (anywhere from 400-700 pounds heavier than its competitors), somewhat lazy handling and mediocre steering feel and response. This Sedona also lacks a fold-flat third-row seat and therefore doesn't offer as much cargo flexibility and capacity as some other vans with that feature.
We liked this Kia Sedona for its comfortable seating, roomy cabin, quiet ride and high crash test scores. Poor reliability could be a concern, however. Only minor detail changes, such as slight revisions to the grille and taillights, occurred during this Sedona's four-year run, so condition and mileage should be the chief considerations when shopping for one.
Read the most recent 2012 Kia Sedona review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Kia Sedona page.